The age of the Child, 50, is also notable. The Mandalorian takes place five years after Return of the Jedi. That means the alien was born before even the start of the Clone Wars, when the Republic was just beginning its slide toward galaxy-wide conflict. This is one of the reasons some fans believe the Child could be related to Yoda, who was still very active on a galactic stage in the Prequels, but the Jedi of old aren’t supposed to have children. So is the Child possibly a war refugee like Mando himself? A desperate attempt at continuity for a species that only has one or two members at a time? Or just one of many children gone missing in a dangerous galaxy?
Whatever the case, the implications of Baby Yoda’s existence remains one of the central mysteries on the show.
So where did Baby Yoda come from?
Maybe “Baby Yoda” is just what his name implies. As Slashfilm points out via sharp-eyed Twitter users, Doctor Pershing (Omid Abtahi) might offer a clue. The man employed by Werner Herzog’s character in season 1 has a symbol on his sleeve that might match the one worn by Kaminoan cloners, which implies that this doctor has some pretty specific plans for Yoda’s species. We later see him running tests on Baby Yoda, although those experiments are cut short when Mando rescues the Child.
Later in the season, the Ugnaught farmer Kuill suggests Baby Yoda could be a “strand-cast,” a bio-engineered organism that we learned way more about in The Rise of Skywalker (both Supreme Leader Snoke and Rey’s father were revealed to have been strand-casts created by the Emperor’s imperfect clone and the Sith Eternal). It’s very possible that Baby Yoda was created in a lab as a way to learn more about how to capture the powers of Force user inside a clone body. We know the Sith tried to do just this with the Emperor’s son, but failed to transfer the Sith lord’s powers to the strand-cast (although Rey would eventually inherit these exact powers, including Force lightning, one generation later). Baby Yoda might have been the first and only bio-engineered specimen to have inherited the powers of his predecessor, which is why Imperial scientists would want to study him further while trying to properly resurrect their Emperor.
There’s precedence for all of this, of course. Cloning has been a part of Star Wars since the very beginning, with the Clone Wars being mentioned as early as A New Hope, but wasn’t detailed until Attack of the Clones. And with The Rise of Skywalker bringing cloning and weird science back to the forefront of this universe, Baby Yoda’s strand-cast origin story is looking much more likely now.