Baby Yoda has brought Werner Herzog to tears and has been described at the true star of The Mandalorian. Yet Baby Yoda follows Star Wars' long history of introducing cute aliens for the kids to latch onto to profit off of in merchandising, as Jeremy Gordon points out. "The Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, the Porgs in The Last Jedi, Jar-Jar Binks (sort of) — it’s a dynamic old as the series itself," says Gordon. He adds: "Hence Baby Yoda, because… why not, if there’s a storytelling reason like he’s really powerful and unique, and the Mandalorian has to protect him? (To be painfully clear, this is not a literal baby version of Yoda, the wise Jedi Master from the Star Wars movies we know and love — his species has never been officially named, so 'Baby Yoda' is a colloquial nickname.) It’s a license to print money, given the Star Wars merchandising empire, and the upcoming holiday season, and the fact that he’s so freakin’ widdle and charming. But, and I am sorry to be a gigantic hater, he is widdle and charming by design, the product of a merciless capitalist machine bent on one goal: buy our sh*t. It’s the logical endpoint of a sinister company with decades of experience at tapping deeply into the human need to nurture something small and charming, literally designed in a lab to provoke devotion and love. Given The Mandalorian’s adult pretensions, it’s not even like anyone can credibly claim this is for the kids, like the Ewoks and the Porgs and Jar-Jar. It’s for their parents, who signed up for the service in order for the cartoons, and the nerds, who refuse to graduate into more adult pleasures and also really love merchandise. The Baby Yoda Funko Pop is surely in development."