The first season of The Mandalorian introduced a compelling, powerful new hero into the Star Wars universe. We’re talking, of course, about the small, green, sleepy, broth-loving creature known officially as the Child — and then, once Mando had a fateful encounter with the Jedi Ahsoka Tano, as “Grogu” — but unofficially by the much better name Baby Yoda. (For the sake of Disney not getting mad at us, we hereby acknowledge that
the Child Grogu is not actually a young version of Yoda — the timeline doesn’t work out for that — but he is a 50-year-old, and therefore quite infantile, member of the general Yoda species.) As we’ve gotten to know him better this season, we’ve learned that Baby Yoda is primarily a big fan of food, even when it means eating the eggs of a nice frog woman, and that his emotional connection with Mando might be a bad thing for his future, Jedi-wise.
Last season, we devoted much of our coverage of The Mandalorian to focusing on just what happened with Yoda in each episode in adorable GIF form, and this season, we’re back at it again. Obviously. When we left off, Mando and Baby Yoda were off on an adventure to parts unknown to find others of Baby Yoda’s kind, with the creepy Moff Gideon trailing behind them. Will Mando learn better child-rearing skills this time around? Will the guild start a day-care program? Will Baby Yoda make friends with more quirky American comedian guest stars? We can only hope.
Spoilers ahead for season two of The Mandalorian.
Mando’s first choice as a newly dedicated single parent is to take Baby Yoda to a fight club! This seems unwise, and Baby Yoda is quite concerned about the general vibe on the way in. There’s graffiti on the wall; everything seems very dank and unpleasant.
Wouldn’t you know it, but Baby Yoda was right to be concerned. In his search for the other Mandalorians, Mando gets into a fight with Gor Koresh. Happily, Baby Yoda has learned some crucial self-preservation techniques, namely how to hit the button that shields him from blaster fire. Mando has also picked up one moderately responsible fighting skill: He kicks Baby Yoda’s closed-up pod away from the fray once the battle starts going. Responsible!
Mando discovers there may be a fellow Mandalorian on Tatooine. (Are there really not that many planets in this galaxy? A suspicious amount of this story ends up back on Tatooine.) Heading back to Tatooine means one very important thing: a loving reunion with mechanic Amy Sedaris! She grabs Baby Yoda with a very relatable level of speed and enthusiasm.
Returning to Tatooine means Mando can hire a little speeder to get him to the very remote town where this mysterious other Mandalorian lives, which thankfully comes with little panniers that can fit Baby Yoda. Weeeeeee! Speeder rides!
Turns out, Mos Pelgos is not just home to Timothy Olyphant, Salt-and-Pepper Marshall of Tatooine. (The character’s real name is Cobb Vanth, but let’s be real.) Mos Pelgos is also home to a giant, Dune-inspired sandworm called a krayt dragon. Baby Yoda is alerted to this fact by a dramatic earthquake.
Good call hiding inside the big pot, Baby Yoda!
Mando and Timothy Olyphant, Salt-and-Pepper Marshall of Tatooine, make friends with some Raiders who are also interested in dispatching the krayt dragon. This is notable for a number of reasons, but the most important one is probably this little transition shot of Raider using a toothbrush to clean a bantha’s teeth.
What follows is a lengthy and very dramatic planning sequence and final battle scene, where Mando, Salt-and-Pepper Marshall, and the Raiders team up to fight the krayt dragon. Things go badly, of course — the plan to explode it from below doesn’t work, many Raiders die, and Salt-and-Pepper Marshall gets quite worried about how this is all going. In the exciting endgame of the battle, Mando grabs a bantha covered in explosives and lets the dragon swallow them all up! Baby Yoda is understandably worried about this. But fear not: Everyone makes it out all right. Except for that bantha covered in explosives, obviously. Anyway, there’s a creepy man watching them from the distance as the episode ends. Onto the next adventure!
Back on the road in Tatooine, Mando and Baby Yoda quickly fall prey to some Jawa-like creatures who threaten Baby Yoda with a knife (very scary!) and demand Mando trade him for his jetpack. This is very stressful for our heroic Baby, but luckily Mando pulls through and uses the jetpack to rocket the captor away.
It’s been a tiring time for Baby Yoda over the last few days, which means that Baby Yoda has also gotten very hungry recently. Is Mando getting enough protein for the child’s development? Apparently not, considering how Baby Yoda stares so lovingly at the big piece of meat Amy Sedaris is roasting. (Even in space, she’s a great host.)
Baby Yoda, driven primarily by hunger throughout this episode, also starts to lust for the eggs of the poor amphibian woman who’s trying to get Mando to take her to find her mate and fertilize them on another planet.
The eggs might represent the last of an endangered species, but they are also very tasty.
Like Pringles, you can’t just eat one, even if doing so is pretty wrong.
Baby Yoda has to learn to self-control!
With the lizard eggs off the table, Baby Yoda wanders off in search of other food. This turns out to be an ice spider egg! Baby Yoda didn’t realize this would so suddenly turn into an Aliens homage!
The spiders attack Mando, Baby Yoda, and the amphibian woman. It’s very stressful for Baby Yoda, especially when they attack from above. Luckily, the amphibian woman saves Baby Yoda at the last minute with a blaster, which feels unmerited considering how many of her eggs Baby Yoda has eaten.
Back en route to their destination in space, Baby Yoda and the amphibian woman make a bit of peace. But Baby Yoda is still secretly eating her eggs! No, stop that!
I know they say that no one can eat 50 eggs, but Cool Hand Luke could and I could too. Why won’t you just let me?
What kind of messed up chowder is this? I told you, I wanted eggs!
Oh nooooooo! Now Baby Yoda’s the egg that’s getting eaten!
Ah, the eggs. The sweet, sweet eggs.
Once those eggs hatch, though, they’re really cute! What if frogs are friends, not food?
What Baby Yoda looks like when your brain is on druuuugs.
After the harrowing events of last week’s episode, Baby Yoda helps Mando fix his ship. Unfortunately, Baby Yoda also ignores the instructions to please keep the red and blue wires separate. The Child is no electrical engineer!
After so many adventures, it’s about time that someone put Baby Yoda into a structured school environment. When Mando meets up again with Cara Dune and Greef Karga for a mission, he drops Baby Yoda off at their new classroom, where the baby gets a li’l desk and tablet.
Unfortunately, Baby Yoda is a disruptive presence in the classroom.
Baby Yoda uses the Force to obtain a roll of space macarons. Unfortunately, when Mando is off on his whole action mission, we learn that the evil man Giancarlo Esposito is trying to hunt Baby Yoda just for those Force skills. But the important thing is that those space macarons look very good. Mmm, tasty!
Once Mando’s mission goes awry, he speeds back and picks up Baby Yoda from school. This means he also disrupts Baby Yoda’s tender macaron digestive process with some evasive maneuvers. Get that baby a little wet wipe!
It’s a big week for our li’l baby, who starts off the episode waddling off the ship with Mando, carrying his favorite comfort toy, the shiny ball from the throttle in the cockpit. Unfortunately, this is a serious expedition, so Mando confiscates the shiny ball. (Rude!)
On his serious mission, Mando meets a new friend, Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson, the first Jedi canonically able to sing “Out Tonight” from Rent. Ahsoka has some big news for Mando: She can communicate with Baby Yoda telepathically, and he has a name, which is Grogu! Gro-gu! Baby Yoda (sorry, this is still a more fun title than Grogu) acknowledges this pairing of random syllables as his name by cooing.
Once the naming is done, Ahsoka moves on to some training. First, she has Baby Yoda play Force-catch with a little pebble, which doesn’t go very well because Baby Yoda isn’t interested in sending the pebble back.
But then! Mando steps in with the shiny ball, and suddenly Grogu is a lot more interested in playing. This is a sign of his immense potential but also, according to Ahsoka, a sign that he has too strong a connection with Mando and may be ruled by his emotions. She’s worried about the possibility of Grogu going Darth, so after Mando goes and helps out on a little mission, she suggests Grogu stop by a Jedi temple on Tython and choose his own path. We hope our Baby Yoda will choose the right one, though, knowing him, it will probably just be whatever path involves more snacks.
In order to find his true Jedi teacher, Mando plunks Grogu down on a very important Jedi rock. It doesn’t seem like the rock does all that much, but then, whabam! Meditation force-field thingy!
Mando doesn’t grasp how this whole mystical force-field situation works, though, because the instant he gets it going, Mando sees a ship arriving on the horizon and tries to yank the baby right out of there. Not sure what you thought was gonna happen when you stuck your face into the magic blue glowing field, buddy, but guess what? You can’t interrupt the Jedi trance! Why do you keep trying?!
Basically the second Mando leaves to go defend him, the trance ends, and l’il Grogu collapses in exhaustion. Calling out through the galaxy for your Jedi master is very tiring.
In a truly predictable turn of events, leaving Baby Yoda undefended at the top of an exposed temple in a universe where lots of people have easy access to jet packs does not go well! Under orders from Moff Gideon, a band of Darktroopers zip down and steal the baby. It’s very scary, honestly!
We should probably be concerned about Grogu being tempted by the Dark Side or what have you, but when he tosses around these Stormtroopers like rag dolls it’s hard not to shout, YEAHHHH BABY YODA, FUCK ’EM UP!
Sadly, Grogu drains all his powers trying to mess up those Stormtroopers. Moff Gideon puts shackles on him, and then gives the order to send him away as a donor. Good thing Mando and Boba Fett and Fennec Shand teamed up in this episode so they can save him!
With Baby Yoda being kidnapped and all, he was woefully absent from this week’s episode. But we did get to look at this handsome face, and that’s something, right?
Chapter 16: The Rescue
After the tragically Baby Yoda–less events of last week’s episode, Mando manages to get some intel and team up with his allies Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, and Bo-Katan and track down Moff Gideon in order to rescue Grogu. Well, Bo-Katan is really more focused on Moff Gideon’s darksaber, but when they all split up in order to get what they want on his ship, it turns out that the evil guy has planned it all out and decided to hunker down with both Baby Yoda and his darksaber. This is stressful for the poor kid!
Moff Gideon tries to play some mind games with Mando, but Mando’s mostly focused on protecting Baby Yoda, so it doesn’t go all that well for him. They get into a fight, which continues onto the bridge, and then, because of some random Mandalorian laws, Mando ends up in control of the darksaber because he bested Gideon. Gideon starts a firefight again, and Mando once again proves what’s really important to him by diving right in front of it. What a good dad!
But then, as it turns out, there was a Jedi who answered Baby Yoda’s call through that beacon a few episodes earlier, and Baby Yoda senses him through the TV as he hacks his way through the Dark Troopers on Moff Gideon’s ship.
The Jedi has a green lightsaber and a CGI face, which of course means that he has to be a young Luke Skywalker. Luke says that he needs to train Baby Yoda in the Jedi way on his own to avoid all those problems of emotions, etc., which means that Baby Yoda is going to have to say good-bye to Mando. Mando is so very sad about this that he even takes off his helmet to say good-bye.
Luke and Baby Yoda, and Baby Yoda’s new Baby Yoda–size friend R2D2, head off on their own adventure, potentially leaving Mando behind for a long time. Or not, hopefully? Can The Mandalorian go on without Baby Yoda, and more importantly, Baby Yoda GIFs? Who knows, but we’re verklempt!