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SYFY WIRE werner herzog

The Mandalorian's Werner Herzog fell 'in love' with Baby Yoda, forgot it wasn't real during shoot

By Jacob Oller
Werner Herzog The Mandalorian

Baby Yoda has become the talk of the internet. Star Wars fandom is not a barrier to entry for enjoying the dangerously adorable alien, which made its debut in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Everyone online has been making memes, seeking merch, and otherwise going gaga over the mysterious critter. One of its biggest fans was also one of its co-stars: legendary director Werner Herzog.

Speaking to The New York Times, The Mandalorian’s third episode director, Deborah Chow, went behind the scenes on the realities of working with Baby Yoda. And no, it’s not really Yoda, but a young member of the Jedi Master’s race. That didn’t stop Herzog from loving it, though.

“Werner had absolutely fallen in love with the puppet,” Chow said. “He, at some point, had literally forgotten that it wasn’t a real being and was talking to the child as though it was a real, existing creature.”

And who could blame him? The sweet puppet melted audiences' hearts, and they weren’t even in the same room as it. For those tasked with filming it, it seems like the effect was far stronger.

“With the baby, every time it came on set, the whole crew would respond to it,” Chow explained. “Even the grip department, every production assistant is coming to the monitors, trying to see it. We definitely knew there’s something special going on with this — we just hoped the rest of the world would feel the same way.” The world of Star Wars has endless aliens and spectacles to offer, so it has to be something pretty great to win over a team for whom such wonders have become commonplace. Baby Yoda is pretty great.

Chow is also helming the upcoming Obi-Wan series for Disney+, so her expertise handling Baby Yoda sweetness, high-caliber shootouts, and the action-adventure mix that they inhabit over the course of her Mandalorian episode should delight and excite fans. But will one of her episode’s most memorable characters make its way to the Ewan McGregor-starring show?

Sorry, but no, she said: “I can’t talk about Obi-Wan, but I don’t think the baby will be coming with us on that one.”

The Mandalorian will release its fourth chapter on Disney+ next week.