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It’s hard to remember now — especially on a Friday, when there’s a new episode of The Mandalorian streaming — but Baby Yoda wasn’t always Disney’s premiere toddlerized version of a beloved character. Back in 2017, everyone was freaking out about how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Baby Groot was weapons-grade cute. We all loved that lil' guy, but then Baby Yoda came along and poured weedkiller all over our fawning adoration (and it didn’t help that Groot aged into a teen by the time of Avengers: Infinity War). Still, this most recent episode of The Mandalorian might just make you remember why we liked the wee tree in the first place, because "Chapter 12: The Siege" featured Baby Yoda at his most Baby Groot.
The similarities between Baby Yoda (I refuse to call him “The Child” because I’m not getting paid by Disney to do so) and Baby Groot have always been there on the surface. They’re both smaller, cuter, and more vulnerable versions of beloved non-human characters. But Friday’s episode features some pretty explicit overlap, starting with the opening scene. In an attempt to fix the Razorcrest, the titular Mandalorian had Baby Yoda crawl into an opening of the ship to fix some wiring. Baby Yoda, on account of being, well, a baby, struggles to follow Mando’s very simple instructions. Ultimately, Baby Yoda zaps himself.
It’s quite similar to the climax of GotG Vol. 2, when Star-Lord and Rocket, unable to fit into the small tunnels that lead to Ego’s “brain” at the center of his planet, send Baby Groot in with a bomb and simple instructions. Although it’s pretty touch-and-go, Baby Groot does manage to press the right button, starting off a countdown rather than instantly obliterating all of them.
Then, at the end of the episode, when Mando comes to the rescue in the repaired Razorcrest to shoot some TIE fighters out of the air in an impressive dogfight, Baby Yoda pulls another Baby Groot move. Because he’s been snacking on space macarons (much the same way Baby Groot ate candy in that one scene), Baby Yoda gets a little tummy sick after Mando does a couple of barrel rolls. Casually, in the way babies are wont to do, Baby Yoda vomits up a little bit of blue barf. In GotG Vol. 2, Baby Groot spews out some green stuff when Rocket and Yondu send the ship through too many hyperspace jumps.
Does this mean that The Mandalorian is copying Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? No — or at least, not beyond the fact that Disney knows that “baby versions of popular characters” is a killer business decision. At a certain point, baby characters are going to do things that real babies do. You know, like throw up on themselves a little and, uh, crawl into small spaces to operate dangerous machinery. If nothing else, let the most recent episode remind you of the love you maybe once felt for Baby Groot before he was replaced by a newer, cuter version of himself.
Baby Yoda... watch the throne.