(Spoilers ahead for the “Chapter 13” episode of the Disney+ “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian”)
What’s in a name? If we’re talking about Baby Yoda, apparently a lot. From the beginning of “The Mandalorian,” the world has been rightfully obsessed. Let’s face it: you watch “The Mandalorian” for the plot, for the great guest stars, for Pedro Pascal’s intense performance as Mando… but mostly, you watch for Baby Yoda, who each week gets a spotlight in some way. (Last week it was macarons; the week before it was soup.)
On this week’s episode of “The Mandalorian,” we got a bunch of cute moments and then some. In an episode that was heavy with easter eggs and mythology, we were awarded some pretty significant information regarding Baby Yoda’s background and real origins — including his name. Yes, Baby Yoda has a name and it’s not even “The Child,” which is how he’s referred to in all the proper Disney marketing. It’s Grogu.
I know. We feel your pain.
But just because Grogu is the officially official name of everyone’s favorite infant alien, does that mean we really need to call him that? Is all hope lost for knowing Baby Yoda as Baby Yoda? When he first appeared at the end of the premiere of “The Mandalorian,” no one knew what to call him. Baby Yoda fit because, well… what else do you call a 50-year-old mini version of wise old Yoda? It quickly became beloved, so much so that you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that still doesn’t call him Baby Yoda. Heck, I still call him Baby Yoda. Old habits die hard.
After his debut, fans started clamoring for merchandise. “Star Wars” needed something more “official” to call the popular character than just Baby Yoda, so Bob Iger and Disney began referring to him as “The Child.” Even though we all knew Baby Yoda had a real name that would be revealed at some point, we latched onto these two nicknames. They’re a part of us. Having a real name just means that there’s something appropriate to call the character, but it doesn’t take away from how we see him.
The moral of the story is that as much as “The Mandalorian” wants us to start using Grogu as liberally as we use “Anakin” or “Leia,” there’s no reason we can’t keep referring to him as The Child or Baby Yoda. Or even “kid,” which is what Mando calls him. Sure, those aren’t technically his real names. But nicknames are perfectly fine in this day and age.
And let’s face it: they’re a lot cuter.