The Mandalorian Season 2's finale is almost here.
"Chapter 14 - The Tragedy" ended with the heartbreaking, though not entirely unexpected, capture of Grogu by Moff Gideon's treacherous dark troopers. The season finale is once again seeing Din Djarin assemble an all-star team of warriors to find and rescue his little green friend, and the titular character will stop at nothing to have the baby back. But what has the being affectionately called Baby Yoda been up to during his time in captivity?
When we last saw him, Grogu was rag-dolling stormtroopers in his prison cell. Moff Gideon even watched in patient curiosity as his own men were throttled by the former Jedi initiate, until it was time to taunt the baby and put him in shackles. Over the course of the series, we've seen Grogu tap into the Force many times , including parts of the dark side. What does this mean for our friend? One of the directors for the series has shared her thoughts...
In an interview with Digital Spy , director Bryce Dallas Howard has said that she knows where Grogu's darker tendencies are leading, and that it's essential that this parallels the cute factor of the character:
"Well, I’m definitely not going to share any guesses, because I know [ laughs ]. But what I will say is that, for me, the joy of working with Baby Yoda is that, yes, it’s an intoxicatingly cute, adorable being, but you can only play that note so many times, right?"
The director also explained that Season 2's goal was to uncover who exactly this baby is:
"That was a wonderful part of the journey for Mando and Baby in season one, but in season two, there's an opportunity for the character of Baby – who, by the way, is not a baby [ laughs ]; who is, according to human years, fully middle-aged. But to understand: "OK, who is this being?" And it’s not just binary."
Howard noted that George Lucas' Star Wars stories always made a point to prove that there's more to people than just good or evil, and that could be the case for Grogu:
"Part of the power of what George [Lucas] created is that it deals with light and dark in a way that isn’t binary, and shows that the best of us have the ability to do terrible things. And the worst of us have the ability to do extraordinary things. So, that thematically, of course, is going to play a role in any Star Wars story. I’m all for characters getting fleshed out."
WHAT THIS MEANS
There's no way that Grogu will be completely falling to the dark side. While he's middle-aged in human years, the little character is still a baby by his own species' progressions, and for the moment he has nobody to train him in the ways of the Force from either side.
What Grogu is right now is vulnerable, and that means he's succumbing to his fear. As Ahsoka said in "Chapter 13," the Child had to hide his powers as he was in hiding following Order 66, and he's afraid to use them by this point in his life - except for when he or a loved one is facing danger.
Grogu and Din have formed attachments to one another, and this can lead to dangerous things for a Force wielder if they lack discipline. Grogu Force-choked Cara Dune in "Chapter 7" while she was innocently arm-wrestling Mando, having perceived their friend as a threat to his father figure. Something similar transpired in his prison cell aboard Gideon's cruiser, and the baby will have to learn to calm himself and stay strong in the face of fear if he's to avoid slipping away into darkness.
As Howard said, we've seen characters on both sides of the spectrum do things that go against their tendencies. Anakin Skywalker was a good person who surrendered himself to fear, and as a result the heroic Jedi fell to the dark side and purged his own Order. But just when Vader was thought to be truly gone, Anakin re-emerged and saved his son, presumably destroying the Emperor once and for all and drawing his last breath on the light.
All this goes to show that Grogu has a complicated history, and his fate remains unclear. He's a kind-hearted, innocent baby with a strong bond to Mando that can't be broken at this point. Will he act out of fear to save his father? Yes. But fear is natural, and with proper guidance Grogu will be able to overcome his fears and lead a long life of good. He was very young when his time in the Jedi Temple ended, and he'll be very old when it's time for him to become one with the Force. The kid is impressionable and afraid now, but with time dedicated to connecting with the Force Grogu will grow beyond the darkness that holds him back.