Grogu almost wasn’t in The Mandalorian: “We were very cautious”

The Child in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. Image courtesy Disney+
The Child in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. Image courtesy Disney+ /

We can all unanimously agree that the introduction of Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, in The Mandalorian was one of the best things to happen to Star Wars in recent years. Adorable, funny, mischievous — the child has become an integral part of the franchise in very short order. But back when the idea was first hatched, it turns out that writer Dave Filoni was not instantly on board. How could that be?

It’s hard to imagine The Mandalorian without Grogu. The story centers around Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) protecting the child and becoming a father figure to him. Take away that aspect and the entire story changes, and yet Filoni was still nervous. “Honestly, it’s something I never would’ve done because Yoda is Yoda,” he told Vanity Fair. “I think people now look back and think it was like a slam dunk. But we were very cautious. The amount of measuring, especially in the first season, for how we were framing this kid took a lot of effort.”

And once they decided to go with the baby idea, there were problems with the design. Vanity Fair describes the initial concept art put forward for Grogu as either wrinkled, feral, or cartoonish. Filoni was unimpressed. “There were a lot of different looks that popped up, and then we got one that finally clicked,” he said.

Artist Chris Alzmann had the honor of creating the winning concept for Grogu, a look that is now in the pop culture hall of fame. “He had kind of a goofy, ugly look,” added Favreau. “We didn’t want him too cute.” I mean, he is cute, though.

Pedro Pascal “just knew” that The Mandalorian would be a success

Pedro Pascal may have risen to fame for his portrayal of Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones, but it was The Mandalorian that took him to stardom. And that’s funny, because when he plays Din Djarin he barely show his face. Mandalorians show their devotion to the creed by keeping their helmets on round the clock. Throughout the series, we only see his face a couple of times.

According to Pascal, the incredible success of the show was never in doubt. But how fans responded to his faceless character did take him by surprise. “I knew that it was an ace in the hole. I just knew,” he said. “And I haven’t been surprised by any of it. Maybe I’ve been a little surprised by how compelling the Mandalorian can be, because he’s faceless.”

It sounds like Pascal is willing (if hesitant) to spend a lot more time in the Star Wars universe. “Maybe I’m a little bit of a commitment-phobe, because the coolness of it really excites me, and the life span of it really intimidates me,” he said.

The Mandalorian seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Disney+. Season 3 is coming. Stay tuned.

Next. Star Wars: Andor, The Mandalorian, and Ahsoka release windows confirmed. dark

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