The Mandalorian Needed To Put Baby Yoda Aside For The Sake Of Star Wars

The Mandalorian‘s decision to separate Din Djarin and Baby Yoda is essential for the sake of Star Wars. The Mandalorian season 2 finale, “Chapter 16: The Rescue,” delivered on reuniting Din and Grogu, with Mando and his allies successfully taking the Child from Moff Gideon’s clutches. But the reunion didn’t last long, as Luke Skywalker arrived to not only help save the day, but take Grogu away for training, seemingly changing the future of the show in a major way.

Before release, marketing for The Mandalorian sold a very different show from what it ultimately became. For starters, Baby Yoda was not revealed until the very end of its premiere episode; his existence significantly changed the trajectory of the series as much of Din’s arc from there had been motivated by his developing relationship with the infant. Instead of the assumed format of The Mandalorian where the focus was on bounty hunting, it quickly became a Lone Wolf and Cub-type narrative with Din becoming focused on caring for the mysterious child rather than taking more work. In fact, he was even willing to burn bridges with the Bounty Hunter Guild just to ensure Baby Yoda’s safety. 

Related: The Mandalorian Season 2 Ending & All Twists Explained

While The Mandalorian has been generally received positively, there’s still a portion of the Star Wars community that doesn’t overly like that it resorted back to old franchise tropes. What was supposed to be a series focused on something that hasn’t been largely explored quickly became familiar with the inclusion of Baby Yoda, which effectively ties the show to the Jedi and Force — two elements that have already been front and center in the Skywalker saga.Now that Baby Yoda is expected to take the back seat as he joined Luke Skywalker to be trained in the season 2 finale, The Mandalorian can finally tackle other running themes in the series, particularly Din’s roots and the Mandalorian culture in general, especially with the Darksaber’s existence.

One of the issues that plagued the Star Wars sequels was its reluctance to move the story forward. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was successful at the box office and generally well-received, but it’s been accused of simply rehashing narratives from the original film. Star Wars: The Last Jedi attempted to introduce new storytelling ideas, but some deemed it to veer too far. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker further leaned on nostalgia despite not making much sense in terms of narrative – case in point: the return of Emperor Palpatine. The Mandalorian has been in a unique position in the franchise as it tackles a fairly familiar, but unexplored and at some points, even defined part of Star Wars in the Mandalorians. If this new endeavor succeeds, it will further motivate Lucasfilm in trying new narratives and branching out to the untapped parts of the mythologically-rich space opera.

Less Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian‘s future could negatively impact the show’s reach, especially with regard to casual viewers who only really watched the show because of the adorable Grogu. All that being said, this is also the best time for the show to pivot and explore less mainstream ideas as it has already brought in new fans who hopefully are invested enough to continue watching despite Grogu’s assumed limited screen time moving forward. If Lucasfilm plays it right and has a solid story beyond its original premise, there’s a good chance that people will continue to support it.

More: Everything We Know About The Mandalorian Season 3

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