Discovering the true name of Baby Yoda has been a burning question for fans of The Mandalorian. In the latest episode, titled “The Jedi,” the character’s name is finally revealed as Grogu. This revelation is casually mentioned by the renowned Jedi Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson, as she shares his backstory with the Mandalorian, portrayed by Pedro Pascal. But how did the creative team come up with the name and when was it decided on?
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Executive producer, writer, and director Dave Filoni sheds light on the origins of Grogu’s name. Filoni explains that showrunner Jon Favreau has known the name for a while, and their discussions led to the idea of how this pivotal moment should be unveiled in the series. Ahsoka’s connection with the child, and her ability to communicate without words, allows her to learn Grogu’s name and share it with the Mandalorian and the audience. It’s an intriguing backstory behind this highly-anticipated revelation.
While the revelation of Baby Yoda’s name in “The Jedi” episode is undoubtedly a significant moment, it leaves us with more questions than answers about his species and potential connections to characters like Yoda and Yaddle from the prequel trilogy, who also appear to belong to the same mysterious species. Dave Filoni further elaborates in his conversation with VF, emphasizing that Ahsoka is the key narrative link, which is precisely why her introduction into the storyline holds such immense significance. Of course, it’s worth noting that aside from the narrative aspects, the sheer thrill of having Ahsoka appear in The Mandalorian is an absolute delight for fans.
Dave Filoni further elaborated to VF on why “The Jedi” episode not only unveiled Baby Yoda’s true name but also delved into his backstory prior to meeting the Mandalorian. Ahsoka’s pivotal role becomes evident once again, as her psychic connection to the Force fostered a profound link to Baby Yoda’s memories. Filoni emphasized, “I believed that if anyone could fathom or empathize with The Child’s enigmatic history, it would be Ahsoka. Given her extensive personal history, her recounting of his story also grants viewers insights into her own past. This narrative approach draws parallels to the scene in ‘A New Hope’ where Obi-Wan reveals Anakin Skywalker’s history to Luke Skywalker. Through Anakin’s story, we gain a deeper understanding of Obi-Wan and his background. Much of what we call the ‘campfire scene’ is shaped around the essence of that iconic moment in ‘A New Hope.'”
Filoni’s insights also shed light on why Ahsoka’s introduction occurred relatively late in The Mandalorian Season 2. It’s not solely due to her compassionate nature but her vital role in bridging the past of the Jedi order. While her presence is undeniably a thrilling treat for fans, it serves the crucial purpose of injecting momentum into Baby Yoda’s storyline, which had been relatively static in Season 2. Consequently, The Mandalorian’s plot can forge ahead as we gain a clearer understanding of Baby Yoda’s identity and the Mandalorian’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding him. In essence, while Baby Yoda’s name had been known to Filoni and Favreau for some time, it’s Ahsoka who played a pivotal role in orchestrating the significant revelation.
Both Seasons 1 and 2 of The Mandalorian are now available for streaming on Disney+, with new episodes of Season 2 premiering every Friday until December 18. For further updates on Disney+, you can explore more here.