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What do babies wear in a galaxy far, far away?
Just in time for the last holiday season of the twenty-teens, Disney+'s The Mandalorian has given us the absolute gift that is the Child or, as the Internet has dubbed him, Baby Yoda.
(Yes, I realize and even agree that the Baby Yoda moniker might make the uninformed suspect him of being Yoda in his Muppet Babies heyday, but the only alternative was calling him "Yadling" off of Yaddle, and that's too close to "youngling" for everyone's comfort.)
While I've yet to carve out the space to watch The Mandalorian, I, like the rest of the Internet, have fallen in love with the little tyke. Looking at him gives me the same feeling I get when I see a particularly floppy-eared golden retriever puppy: the feeling that makes me whisper "there goes my son and heir." His enormous ears! His old man baby face! His little coat!
While studying this green bundle of joy all bundled up like the meme monkey, I began to wonder: what do other babies wear in a galaxy far, far away?
Now, I am not a parent, merely an aunt. But I am a former child (shocking, I know), and between these two experiences, I have learned that there are two main schools of thought when it comes to dressing a child. The first is to adorn your precious little potato so that all might admire your progeny. The second is making sure you can change said precious little potato's diaper in a minute flat with a minimum of sartorial casualties. Threading the needle between these two schools of thought is one of the challenges of modern parenting.
So how do parents and caretakers in a galaxy far, far away thread that needle? I've combed through the universe for examples to evaluate each species' toddler togs' fashionability and their practicality.
Baby Yodas (and Togrutas and Dathomirians and…)
In my research, I have identified three main trends in microfashion throughout the galaxy. Baby Yoda's coat fits the first trend: a long T-shaped garment. The Clone Wars shows us other toddlers sporting similar garments. When we see Ahsoka being recruited to the Jedi Order as a three-year-old, she's sporting the look. And when we encounter Asajj Ventress as Asajj Babytress, she's wearing a tiny baby halter dress (as well as, as people have pointed out on Twitter, full eye makeup, because the Nightsisters have never played around a day in their lives).
This garment is the modern equivalent of the universal toddler dress Victorians used for children of all ages. Given the dearth of Yodas and Yaddles in the galaxy, I have a suspicion that Baby Yoda was not dressed by his birth parents, but whoever did clearly subscribed to this trend. And then rolled up his little sleeves. Adorable.
Fashion: Look, when you're that cute, everything is fashion.
Practicality: I really hope the coat is made out of synthetic fleece and not space shearling. Gonna guess the Mandalorian isn't going to be hitting up a dry cleaner anytime soon.
Baby Hutts (and Ewoks and…)
According to Legends canon (which counts as "canon until proven otherwise"), the baby Hutt (or Huttlet) spends the first fifty years of its life in an adult Hutt's brood pouch, emerging when it is of roughly the same development as a fifth-grader. First: gross! Second: Jabba the Hutt is apparently a huge hippie when it comes to parenting because he doesn't keep his darling baby boy Rotta in his brood pouch. No, he wants Rotta to have all the experiences that a regular Huttlet doesn't have, presumably to give him a killer edge in college applications. But I do have to wonder if Jabba's ruthless murder of his own baby cousin gave him some weird aversion to keeping his baby in his brood pouch.
In any case, baby Hutts, like regular Hutts, go au naturel, with the occasional accessory. This is the second of the three main trends in microfashion in the galaxy; Ewoks and, presumably, Wookiees also eschew clothing generally.
Fashion: N/A. Jabba is a minimalist when it comes to personal expression through accessories and has failed to accessorize his son. What, like it's hard to glue a little hat on him or something? GET CREATIVE.
Practicality: Maximal. A little slug is easy to hose down, should it get into mischief, and, given the shape of a Huttlet, throw like a football to air dry quickly. Hut, hut!
Baby Rodians (and Gungans and…)
The Clone Wars episode "Children of the Force" introduces us to the Rodian Dunn family, consisting of mother Mahtee and Force-sensitive son Wee (never change, Star Wars). Mahtee adheres to the third and last main trend in microfashion across the galaxy: SPACE ONESIES. The other Force-sensitive child in this episode, the Gungan Roo-Roo, is also wearing a onesie more appropriate to Naboo weather, which tells me that the cold-blooded humanoid species have decided en masse that the onesie is the way to go.
Fashion: A onesie is just a jumpsuit for babies, and jumpsuits can be very cool. These are kind of bland, but I do get it: these kids are not only growing fast, but the second they can walk on their own, the Jedi Order is going to snatch them up and charge their parents for the uniform.
Practicality: The worst part about a jumpsuit is having to basically take the whole thing off to go to the bathroom. But since you have to do that anyway to change a baby's diaper, this is not a concern for either baby or parent. A+.
One of the great injustices of Padmé's death at the hands of a medical droid (Oh, please, "died of a broken heart"? In space? More like medical malpractice!) is that we never got to see how she dressed baby Luke and baby Leia. Padmé, through her handmaidens, has already demonstrated a commitment to twinning on a level us beyond us mere mortals; could you imagine what she could accomplish with actual twins?
Alas, it was not to be, and baby Luke and baby Leia are delivered to their adoptive families swaddled in what appears to be the thinnest of terry cloth towels.
Fashion: Worse than N/A, because we know what could have been. I'll tell you what, Queen Breha probably made sure Baby Leia had some great toddler togs, in honor of Padmé, but we never got to see it. Sigh.
Practicality: 100% practical. Obi-Wan raided the Best Space Western on Mustafar to swaddle these kids before dropping them off and you can't change my mind.