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SYFY WIRE The Mandalorian

Jason Sudeikis had no idea he'd become an internet punching bag for punching Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian

By Matthew Jackson
The Mandalorian

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Jason Sudeikis shot a brief cameo scene in the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian. Alongside fellow comedy star Adam Pally, Sudeikis got a chance to wear scout trooper armor, perch on a speeder bike, and just goof around for a few minutes in the middle of one of the biggest TV events of 2019. He also, in the course of that sequence, punched the internet's new favorite son, Baby Yoda. 

In his defense, he had no idea it was going to be a big deal at the time.

In an interview with Uproxx to promote his new competition series Tournament of Laughs, Sudeikis was asked about the now-infamous moment when he struck the beloved, soup-sipping little alien angel, and the resulting internet explosion. His honest answer: He'd basically forgotten that he did it until the episode aired.

"Yeah, that was a whole thing. You know what? I kind of forgot about it," he said. "I can’t remember exactly how many weeks, months went by from when Adam Pally and I did that with [Jon] Favreau and Taika Waititi. For me, the most significant thing was my little boy Otis, who, like any little kid from the last 50 years, loves Star Wars. And I remember he even got to see baby Yoda. And it didn’t hit me when that became such a huge thing when the first episode of Mandalorian premiered and everybody went hog wild about Yoda, baby Yoda, it didn’t even hit me then like, 'Oh s**t.'"

Though Sudeikis didn't remember the Baby Yoda punch for quite some time after he shot it, he does apparently remember the moment that he realized he'd accidentally blown up the internet, because his partner — actor and director Olivia Wilde — was the one who broke the news.

"Anyway so they premiered on a Friday or a Saturday, whatever it was, I know it was the weekend because Otis and I were playing video games and Olivia came into the room and goes, 'Hey, you’re trending on Twitter' and I’m not active on social media so in this day and age it’s kind of like, 'Oh, that’s interesting,'" he recalled. "And then immediately it’s like, 'Wait, why?' I have no idea why. I already got a hard enough last name to spell. For it to be trending is bonkers, and then when she says, 'apparently you punched Baby Yoda' and I was like, 'Oh, that’s right!' I totally forgot that I literally hit… then I watched it and I was like, 'I’ll be darned. How about that?' So that was the extent of it. It was very surreal and I started getting texts from friends going, 'You bastard' and people saying like, 'Did you really get to wear the suit or was that just your voice?' All those funny questions. And Liv is active on social media so I knew she was catching some guff on my behalf."

Sudeikis' story only serves to further underline the sheer magnitude of Baby Yoda's impact on the internet over the two months in which The Mandalorian aired its first season. An actor who initially thought they were just going to shoot a fun little Star Wars moment they could show their kids forever ended up the target of secondhand internet rage on behalf of a beautiful little green animatronic creature. Which of course begs the question: Which comedy icon will the draw the internet's anger for harming The Child when The Mandalorian returns for Season 2?