After two episodes of Disney's new Mandalorian TV show, we now know that a certain force-sensitive baby is going to be very important for the future of Star Wars. Baby Yoda, as fans have come to call the little guy, is a mysterious green creature that appears to hail from the same species as the famous Muppet Jedi voiced by Frank Oz, who George Lucas used to joke was "the illegitimate child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy."
All we know about Baby Yoda is that he's 50 years old. And, that the Empire, or whatever's left of it, is willing to pay top dollar to gain possession of him–dead or alive. Although so little has been revealed about Baby Yoda–or Yoda himself for that matter (we don't even know the name of his species)–there is a member of the species in the Star Wars expanded universe who bears a direct connection to the ancient Mandalorian race. This pointy-ear Jedi may be the key to understanding the path ahead for Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni's new TV show.
Vandar Tokare is a Yoda-type character who appears in the beloved Star Wars video game series, Knights of the Old Republic. The Star Wars Wookieepedia describes him as follows:
Vandar Tokare was a male Jedi Master of Yoda's species who was the head of the Dantooine Jedi Enclave Council during the Mandalorian Wars and Jedi Civil War, holding a seat on both the Jedi High Council and the Council of the Jedi academy during this time span.
Dressed in blue with a more yellow-ish complexion, Tokare was a supremely powerful figure in Jedi history. He lived about 3000 years before the events of A New Hope. The Mandalorian is set almost a decade after Episode 4. While Tokare may seem like an odd character to connect to the new series, it's the timeframe that actually matters here most. If you notice in the Wookieepedia entry, Tokare played a role in the "Mandalorian Wars." The post continues:
In the years leading up to the Mandalorian invasion of the Galactic Republic during the Mandalorian Wars, Master Tokare taught many pupils, and by 3964 BBY he was the leading Master of the Jedi Enclave.
The Mandalorian Wars were a period in Star Wars history where there was great contention between the people of Mandalore, who were legendary warriors, and the Galactic Republic. The Jedi turned the tide of the Mandalorian War, aiding the Republic against the warrior people. So if Baby Yoda has any familial connection to Tokare, this could mean that he descends from the same people who opposed the Mandalorians many centuries ago. If the main character of the new Disney+ series finds this out, it may complicate his motivations even further.
Tokare, like Knights of the Old Republic, and many of the pre-2012 works of Star Wars ancillary content, is no longer considered canon to the franchise. When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, they retconned a ton of stories and characters that existed outside of the main series of Star Wars films. But while Tokare no longer exists in the world of Star Wars per se, the character may still be a piece of lore that's influenced the creators of The Mandalorian. And, if we know anything about Dave Filoni, one of the creators and producers of the show, it's that he's a self-described Star Wars nerd, and that old Expanded Universe tales are very important to him as a storyteller. He is, after all, the guy who brought Admiral Thrawn (a hugely beloved character of Star Wars expanded universe lore) back into the main Star Wars continuity in his animated series, Rebels.
My guess? Baby Yoda isn't a descendant of Yoda (or Yaddle, for that matter). That'd fog up the legacy of the character and leave a lot of unanswered questions about the supposed celibacy of the monk-like Jedi Order. Also, if Baby Yoda is the son of Yoda, then why didn't the old green dude say anything to Luke Skywalker about his son before his death in Return of the Jedi? I'm anticipating that Baby Yoda has some centuries-long connection to an old figure like Tokare, and that sometime throughout the first season of Mandalorian, Mando will find that his little friend hails from a race that's been an enemy of his people for millennia.
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