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SYFY WIRE The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian's Dave Filoni explains why it was finally time to reveal Baby Yoda's name to the world

By Josh Weiss
The Mandalorian

Love it or hate it, Baby Yoda now has an actual name on The Mandalorian...and that name is Grogu.

The latest episode of the Star Wars series introduced a live-action Ahsoka Tano (played by Rosario Dawson), who was able to commune with the non-verbal character through the Force. In addition to learning his true name, Ahsoka also learned that Grogu was trained in the Jedi arts on Coruscant before the Empire took over. According to the episode's writer and director, Dave Filoni, all of this mind-blowing information was revealed to him by showrunner Jon Favreau during production on Season 1. They kept it all under wraps until "Chapter 13: The Jedi."

"I felt that if anyone would know or understand The Child's history it would be Ahsoka. She has such a long history as well," Filoni, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, recently told Vanity Fair. "By having her relate the story it also helps the viewer to understand some of her own backstory. This is similar to when Obi-Wan tells Luke about his father's history. Through the story about Anakin, you are getting a look at Obi-Wan and his backstory as well. A lot of the campfire scene, as I call it, is shaped around that scene between Obi-Wan and Luke in A New Hope."

The Mandalorian

Mando (played by Pedro Pascal) asks Ahsoka to train the child, but she refuses, stating that Grogu is too emotionally attached to the bounty hunter. As the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker, she knows what strong personal emotions can do a powerful Jedi. "It makes him vulnerable to fear, which makes him vulnerable to anger, which means that he could be dangerous. That means maybe we should just let his Force sensitivity just wane, you know?" Dawson explained.

"She wants to do good and help people, but rather than do it like the Jedi did, which was all wound up in the politics of the Republic, she's doing it on an individual basis in the galaxy," added Filoni. "Plus, she has a larger quest, which is always more fun when they have a larger quest." 

That quest? Tracking down Grand Admiral Thrawn.

And remember that viral photo of George Lucas cradling the Baby Yoda puppet that went viral earlier this year? Well, that was taken during production of Season 2 and Dawson was standing nearby in full Ahsoka makeup. "I was there that day. I was all dressed up, I was just off to the side of that photo, all done up as Ahsoka," she said. "And I remember it broke the internet when that picture came out. It was just an amazing, amazing moment, and we were all beside ourselves. It was definitely very geek-out."

Episodes 1-5 of The Mandalorian's second season are now available to stream on Disney+. Only three episodes remain for Season 2.