By now, you probably know that Baby Yoda is not actually Yoda, but did you know that Baby Yoda has a secret name? It turns out that both showrunner Jon Favreau and director/voice actor Taika Waititi know Baby Yoda’s secret name and are simply not going to tell us. But the big question isn’t what is Baby Yoda’s secret name? No. The big question is: Do we want to know Baby Yoda’s secret name?
During the red carpet arrivals for The Golden Globes, New York Times writer Kyle Buchannan directly asked Taika Waititi what he could reveal about Baby Yoda, and Waititi insisted that not only is Baby Yoda not named Baby Yoda, but that there is a name, and he’s going to wait for “Favreau to give that away.”
I also asked Taika about Baby Yoda, since he directed the MANDALORIAN finale. “He’s not named Baby Yoda!” Taika insisted. There is a name yet to be revealed, and Taika knows it but won’t hint. “I’ll wait for Favreau to give that away.”
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 6, 2020
This is interesting, but let’s get real. If you really think about the moment when we learn Baby Yoda’s name, that revelation already starts to feel lukewarm and disappointing. Though it was compelling when Pedro Pascal was unmasked in the season finale of The Mandalorian, most of us were probably rooting for him to put that helmet right back on. This isn’t because Pascal isn’t a likable dude, he totally is. It’s just that the whole point of Mando is that he wears the helmet, and the game we’ve all agreed to play with Baby Yoda is that he’s called “the Child,” but we all get to call him Baby Yoda.
In fact, part of the appeal of The Mandalorian is in its vagueness. My wife is one of those people (read: normal, smart) who doesn’t know or care that the Star Wars timeline won’t allow for Baby Yoda to be a literal baby version of Yoda. It looks like Yoda. It’s cute. This is a Star Wars thing, so let’s just call it Baby Yoda. Obviously, Star Wars scholars (read: nerds) like me can know that Baby Yoda isn’t Yoda, but if we give Baby Yoda a real name it would take some of the fun out of this for my wife and, I gotta admit, literally everyone else.
Twitter is already full of people making jokes about Baby Yoda’s name, but nobody is actually trying to guess his name because that’s a game for jokers. Guessing Baby Yoda’s name is some Rumpelstiltskin shit, and frankly, not worth our time. (Also, if anyone asks you to guess their name, you should always say “Rumpelstiltskin” just in case. Historically, Rumpelstiltskin is the person most interested in people guessing his name.)
So, if Baby Yoda has a real name, and he was named by Jon Favreau, the very talented guy who directed a lot of great movies and Iron Man 2, we should encourage Mr. Favreua to keep that name to himself. We don’t want to know Baby Yoda’s name. It will ruin it for us. Please let everyone keep this Star Wars anachronism. We know it’s wrong to say “Baby Yoda,” but, I think I speak for everyone when I say, we can’t handle a world in which Baby Yoda is “really” named Rumpelstiltskin.
The Mandalorian season 2 is coming sometime in late 2020.