We are now living in a post-Baby Yoda world. If you’ve somehow missed the introduction of Baby Yoda in the first episode of “The Mandalorian,” you’ve likely been disconnected from pop culture of the last few weeks. The little green guy has been a fixture on social media, in numerous gifs, memes, and videos, already becoming one of the most adored additions to the “Star Wars” universe.
And while Werner Herzog didn’t have much to say in the way of the creation of Baby Yoda, the filmmaker, who also has a role in the series, appears to be one of the folks fans can thank for keeping the little creature so damn adorable and perfect.
According to Vanity Fair, series producer and director Dave Filoni relayed a story from the set of “The Mandalorian” that not only proves that Herzog is a great filmmaker that knows what’s best in some situations, but also shows that one decision could have altered one of 2019’s biggest pop culture phenomenons.
Filoni said that during filming of “The Mandalorian,” specifically a scene that was shown in episode 3, where Herzog’s villainous character first encounters Baby Yoda, the crew decided to shoot a version featuring Baby Yoda as a puppet and then another that’s a blank slate, with the little character being added in as CGI later.
Herzog spoke up when he saw what they were doing.
“You are cowards,” he said. “Leave it.”
Obviously, Herzog’s orders alone didn’t completely change the mind of Lucasfilm, but you can’t help but see how someone of his pedigree might factor into the decision to make Baby Yoda a practical puppet versus completely CGI. And if you’ve seen the episodes of “The Mandalorian,” the scenes where Baby Yoda is a puppet are probably the best ones, as it’s not just reminiscent of old “Star Wars” but it also shows that practical effects are just always more pleasant to the eye.
And we have Werner Herzog to, partly, thank for that.