Whether or not you love The Mandalorian, the appeal of Baby Yoda is undeniable. The character, who actor Werner Herzog described as “heartbreakingly beautiful,” is the clear breakout star of the series, even if Disney has not yet figured out how to merchandise it. While there’s still much we don’t know about the baby, it’s fair to say that it has captured our hearts–and it seems that’s true of the people who got to work on the show as well.
Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed episode four of the series, has discussed the Baby Yoda (which she refers to as “Baby”) in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. She reveals that her children, aged 6 and 11, were on the set with her, but were not able to talk about the Baby with their friends. “The thing I was most nervous about was that my kids had been on set quite a bit,” she says. “So, they had seen Baby and interacted with Baby … When the kids went back to school, every single day I would say, ‘So, what are you not gonna talk about today?’ And they would say, ‘Baby!'”
Howard says that she would have to remind her kids every day that they could not talk about the baby, and it’s “confusing” now for them that they can, after having to stay quiet about it for a year. “We’ve been having this routine for about a year now, and it’s fun; it’s really, really fun. Everyone is super pissed that there’s no merch….but I think they made a good choice in not focusing there and just focusing on the storytelling.”
Elsewhere, Howard says that she had a lot of freedom to direct how the puppet moved, praising the effects team that created it and showrunner Jon Favreau for how everything is set up. “The Legacy operators said that each director would have a different way of directing Baby, and for me, what they would do is they would just look at me the whole time because I was just pulling faces. They were like, ‘We would just copy the faces that you were making, Bryce.’ I was obsessed with Baby and Baby’s internal journey.”
The fifth episode of The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ on December 6.