Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian’s first two episodes.
After watching the second episode of The Mandalorian, I have decided that the Disney+ series should change its name to Butch Boba and the Sundance Yoda. Or even better, it should turn its focus completely where it belongs: on Baby Yoda, the big-eyed infant that the Mandalorian takes into custody in his role as intergalactic bounty hunter. Then it could be called The Chronicles of Baby Yoda, and I can guarantee it would instantly increase the number of Disney+ subscriptions threefold. (Not that it needs any help in that department.)
The first episode of The Mandalorian, which debuted Tuesday, provided only a brief glimpse of Baby Yoda, who looks like a baby version of Yoda even though his (or her!) name is probably not Yoda. Baby Yoda is apparently 50 years old, which is still very young in Yoda creature years, so he has the appearance of a baby. And, oh my God, he’s cuuuuute. Look at him! He’s got peach fuzz on his little head, eyes as big as Dagohbah, and a nose that is just begging to be booped. This is a controversial statement, but I am going to make it anyway: Baby Yoda is more boopable than a porg. That’s right. You heard me.
There’s even more Baby Yoda to enjoy in episode two, because, seriously, there’s no way Disney would CGI-conjure something that adorable and not put it to more extensive use. Picking up from where the first episode left off, the Mandalorian begins to head back home with Baby Yoda and his floating crib in tow. The sight of the two of them together as they make their way across the sci-fi Western landscape is both lovely and hilarious. It’s like looking at a movie poster for Star Wars Presents: The Pacifier.
Throughout the episode, it’s obvious that Baby Yoda has the ability to use the Force, so it’s just a matter of time before he does it. That’s pretty much the reason we’re all watching now, right? Everything else that happens — Jawas stealing parts from the Mandalorian’s ship, his effort to get those parts back, and a ship-repairing montage that doesn’t last long yet feels like it goes on forever — is kinda dull. Once it’s hinted that Baby Yoda might be able to move shit with his mind, I’m just waiting for the moment when he will actually, telepathically move some shit.
That moment arrives when the Mandalorian has to battle a huge beast — I’m sure that beast has a name, but I’m too preoccupied with Baby Yoda to check Wookieepedia — and it becomes clear that he’s going to lose in devastating fashion. Then along comes Baby Yoda, who rises from his crib, unfolds his three, itty-bitty fingers, concentrates very hard, and freezes the beast in midair, thereby creating a new childhood-development milestone for parents to obsess over. (“Most kids aren’t able to do Jedi mind tricks until they’re around 50, but my Dylan did his first when he was only 2. Our pediatrician said she’s never seen anything like that before. Then she strongly suggested I limit his lightsaber time to just one hour per week.”)
Watching Baby Yoda use the Force is like watching a Pembroke Welsh corgi do yoga, or a kitten call an Uber, or a bunny look concerned while filling out his income taxes. It fits into a very specific subcategory of cuteness, which is Babies Doing Things That Are Clearly for Grown-ups. It’s cute because Li’l Yoda is a wrinkly wee child, but it’s extra cute because he’s a wee child behaving like an all-powerful elder. And, for the record, he’s succeeding.
As soon as he finishes his Force business, Baby Yoda drops back in his crib, clearly spent and ready for a nap. (By the way, what do you call it when Baby Yoda takes a nap? The Force doesn’t awaken! Classic Star Wars dad joke.) It’s hard to know what’s going on in that teeny head between those two batwing ears, but I’ve got to assume Baby Yoda is thinking, If this show is about the Mandalorian and how cool he is, how come I am the only one who can fend off killer pseudo-buffalo without a gun?
The bottom line is that Baby Yoda is the best part of The Mandalorian so far, and right now, the main thing persuading me to watch more episodes. Hear me now: If the Mandalorian brings that sweet little swamp dweller back to Werner Herzog’s Space Nazi and he actually kills him, as God is my witness, I will never watch another Werner Herzog film. Well, unless he casts Baby Yoda in it. Then, and only then, will I make an exception.