Mandalorian: the real name, background and future of baby Yoda

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Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett.

The alien who many fans dubbed Baby Yoda’s real name and his Jedi backstory from during the Clone Wars is revealed during The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, “Chapter 13: The Jedi”, with the Child’s moniker being unveiled as Grogu. As expected, “The Jedi” saw Mando and Baby Yoda finding Ahsoka Tano on the forest moon of Corvus, where she was continuing her search for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Ahsoka didn’t end up training Baby Yoda as Mando might have hoped, but she did nonetheless shed some fascinating new light on his background.

Introduced as a huge surprise at the end of The Mandalorian season 1 premiere, Grogu has been shrouded in mystery ever since. While the show has revealed certain aspects of his character, it’s still left some of the biggest questions about him unanswered.

Related: Star Wars Suggests Grogu & Luke’s First Meeting Still Hasn’t Been Shown

Among those was Grogu’s name and origin. Showrunner Jon Favreau had previously said he knew what the Child’s name is, but few might’ve expected it to be revealed so early. While the Child’s name has been revealed, there are still some unclear elements of his origin, including whether he has a connection with Yoda. The Child has since appeared in The Book of Boba Fett, with Grogu facing a major choice about his future that could spell his doom.

Baby Yoda’s Real Name is Grogu

Upon meeting Grogu in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, Ahsoka instantly forms a strong connection with the Child. Although Grogu is still incapable of speaking English (or Basic), he is apparently able to communicate thoughts with Ahsoka through their shared link to the Force. From “talking” to her, Ahsoka is able to reveal that Baby Yoda’s real name is Grogu. It’s a startling revelation, and not one many would have predicted. While it was clear that the Child’s real name obviously wasn’t Baby Yoda, it had still been expected that it might begin with a “Y”, in order to fit with Yoda and Yaddle. Of course, the species is likely much bigger than just those two characters, so breaking the tradition and making the Child’s name Grogu does make sense.

There’s no real basis for Grogu in Star Wars canon, but the peculiar name does fit with its general odd naming conventions, much like Yoda himself. But mostly it’s clear that it’s just supposed to be a name no one would guess, which is how it should be really, as it wouldn’t make sense for Baby Yoda’s real name to be familiar to audiences. The impact of Grogu’s name reveal has been clearly felt in The Book of Boba Fett, the Mandalorian spin-off series. Giving Grogu his own name, instead of being defined in relation to someone else, helped make him his own character.

Baby Yoda’s Clone Wars & Jedi Training Backstory

While Baby Yoda’s real name being Grogu is the biggest reveal from The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, the more important detail offered in “The Jedi” is his backstory. Before now, next to nothing was known about who the Child is or where he came from and, while much of it is still unclear, there are some major points of clarification here. As Ahsoka tells Din Djarin, Baby Yoda Grogu was raised on the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, where he was trained by several different Masters over the years. Then, at the end of the Clone Wars and following the Empire taking control of the galaxy, Baby Yoda was hidden away after someone rescued him from the Temple. Between that and the Mandalorian, Baby Yoda doesn’t remember much apart from feeling alone.

Related: How Boba Fett’s Luke And Grogu Scene Fits George Lucas’ Original Vision

These tell fans far more about who Grogu really is. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant was the home of the Jedi Order before the Empire’s rise, and where the Padawans were trained to become Jedi Knights. This means that, at least for a time, Baby Yoda was trained to be a Jedi – and, given he had several Masters, it’s possible he was even trained by Yoda himself, at least briefly, or other known Jedi in Star Wars. The reveal also raises the question of how Grogu survived Order 66, the systematic killing of Jedi ordered by Palpatine and carried out in part by Anakin Skywalker Since Baby Yoda is 50 years old, it means he was born around 41ABY – which then means he would have been raised and trained on Coruscant for 22 years, although clearly his species develops differently to humans.

Being at the Jedi Temple at this time, though, means he was trained to be a Jedi at the same time as Anakin Skywalker would have been – and also would most likely have been there when Anakin slaughtered the younglings after turning to the dark side. Star Wars canon has revealed several survivors of Order 66, and apparently Baby Yoda can now be added to that list, since he was somehow saved from Anakin’s attack. Exactly who rescued him from the Temple and hid him away is now one of the biggest questions for The Mandalorian to answer.

One possibility is that Shaak Ti is among those who helped smuggle Baby Yoda to safety, with the help of others, no doubt. Before her death. Shaak Ti recorded a message, saying not to let it be the end of the Jedi Order and to continue its legacy – which could be revealed to have been about Baby Yoda being the new hope. Alternatively, Jocasta Nu was a Jedi who survived the Purge and attempted to preserve the Order, so could have been involved. There’s little hard evidence, of course, and it could have been someone more unknown, but it may also fit with how The Mandalorian is approaching canon.

What Baby Yoda’s Grogu Name Reveal & Jedi Backstory Mean

In a way, The Mandalorian’s reveal changes everything and nothing. Grogu’s real name being used obviously means a lot to him on a personal level, based on how he looks at and responds to Din when he uses it; the bond between them is strengthened even further by that simple act, which turns the Child into much more of his own person and gives him a greater sense of identity. It could also set up more about his family, raising questions over who gave him the name in the first place. Knowing that Baby Yoda’s name is Grogu is a big deal in that it solves a mystery but fans and viewers still often use the name Baby Yoda casually. Baby Yoda is now too ingrained in pop culture for it to be entirely forgotten, but viewers and characters in the series seem to have primarily switched to using “Grogu.”

Related: Mandalorian’s Grogu/IG-11 Rumor Fixes 2 Problems – But May Be Ridiculous

The Clone Wars and Jedi Temple backstory is also crucial to Baby Yoda’s development. While so far his uses of the Force have seemed to be innate, this confirms that he was trained. It’s understandable, though, that having been hidden away in secret for so long (almost 30 years), that those abilities would have lain dormant, and now he is re-discovering them. That further suggests The Mandalorian has hardly even begun to scratch the surface of what Grogu’s powers are and could be; since he was trained by the Jedi and is so strong in the Force, then his potential is incredible if it can be harnessed correctly, and incredibly dangerous if he does fall into the wrong hands. At this point, then, Baby Yoda is one of the last known surviving beings to have been trained by the Jedi, which makes him even more important to the future.

What Happens to Grogu In Book of Boba Fett

The spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett also features some major developments in Grogu’s life. Grogu trains with Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka to harness his powers. Luke wants Grogu to become a Jedi but is worried about his emotional attachment to the Mandalorian, so he gives him a test, forcing him to choose between the Jedi lightsaber and a gift from Din. Grogu’s true name is critical to this dilemma. Grogu’s relationship with the Mandalorian is clearly emotional, but Din wasn’t able to even communicate enough to learn his name. Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka always refer to the child as Grogu, suggesting both that they recognize his individuality and are able to communicate with him on a non-verbal level. Thus, in The Book of Boba Fett Grogu is faced with a choice between the intellectual companionship of the Jedi and his emotional bond with Din Djarin.

Ultimately, Grogu chooses his life with the Mandalorian, reuniting with him before the final battle with the Pyke Syndicate on Tattooine. This means that Grogu will be in his familiar role as a companion for the upcoming The Mandalorian season 3, but the choice could have wider consequences of Grogu failing to fully develop his powers and use them for the side of good. However, we may still see Grogu with a lightsaber or interacting further with the Jedi in the future.

Is Grogu Yoda’s Son?

While Grogu’s name may not be literally Baby Yoda, he still could be related to Yoda. Grogu is clearly a member of Yoda’s unnamed species. One fan theory states that Grogu is Yoda’s son who he abandoned as part of his process of foregoing emotional attachments to become a Jedi. This would help to explain how Grogu was saved from Order 66. He also could have been descended from Yaddle, the female member of Yoda’s species that serves on the Jedi Council, or even be the child of Yoda and Yaddle.

Related: How Long After Grogu Does Luke Skywalker Begin Training Ben Solo?

Making Grogu Yoda’s son would introduce some complicated family dynamics to the series and fulfill the promise of the “Baby Yoda” moniker. However, it could contribute to the feeling that the central figures of the Star Wars universe are too closely connected, with the Skywalker and Palpatine families already having an outsized role in galactic history. Grogu being Yoda’s son from before he became a Jedi would be odd for the Star Wars timeline, meaning that Yoda was only actually a Jedi for a few decades of his long life. So while it’s possible that Grogu is Yoda’s son, it’s more likely that he’s simply another member of the same unnamed species.

What Happens to Grogu?

Grogu is established as having extreme potential but not a factor in the galaxy-shaking events of the sequel trilogy, which take place after The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian. This raises the possibility that something happened to him in the intervening decades. Some fans have speculated that Grogu may have been killed by Kylo Ren, who is said to have killed all of Luke Skywalker’s other students under the manipulation of Snoke. However, since Grogu left Luke’s tutelage in The Book of Boba Fett, he may not have been included in this group.

Another theory suggests an even darker fate, with Grogu’s blood used to create Snoke, based on the appearance of the Elie Praetorian Guard in teaser images for The Mandalorian season 3. On the other hand, Grogu has proved to be a hugely popular character, and it seems hard to believe that a company as invested in crowd-pleasing as Disney would give their cute child character such a grisly death. Whether called Grogu, Baby Yoda, or the Child, it’s clear that Grogu’s future will be a major question in future seasons of The Mandalorian and other Star Wars projects.

Kid Leia Is The New Baby Yoda In Obi-Wan Kenobi

Grogu might not be in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the Disney+ series still has its own adorable draw: young Princess Leia. The Star Wars franchise has always relied on small, endearing characters and creatures, from Episode 6’s Ewoks to the Porgs in Episode 8. To some extent, these cute figures are a means to sell merchandise, but they also add levity to the stories they appear in and help flesh out the fantastical landscape of Star Wars’ sci-fi world. This was certainly the case with “Baby Yoda,” and now kid Leia is bringing her own brand of lovable sass to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Throughout the series, she serves to soften Kenobi’s heart and rekindle his faith in the Force, a role not dissimilar from Grogu’s in The Mandalorian. Clearly, vulnerable but inspiring child figures like Leia and Grogu are a big draw for Disney’s Star Wars TV shows, which is why they are sure to keep appearing throughout the franchise.