I planned to do a joke illustration/comic of Baby Yoda opening a Christmas present that contained a lightsaber package that said, “For ages 300 and up.” But then I began to wonder, “What would be the age equivalent for Yoda’s species?” I figured it would make sense to do 300 for three for simplicity’s sake. I was content with this idea until I watched The Empire Strikes Back.
On opening week, I watched Rise of Skywalker. Afterwards, I thought it would be fun to watch all the movies in episode order. So far I’ve made it from Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi. During The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda mentions to Luke that he’d been teaching people to become Jedi for 800 years. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda says that he is about 900 years old. I then was reminded of a Film Theory video by The Flim Theorists about Baby Yoda being the last of the species because their maturing cycle is too long for effective reproduction. I started wondering what would Yoda’s aging cycle be like?
So, we know that he’s been teaching Jedi for 800 of his 900 years. This means that he must have been an adult (or close to adulthood) at 100 because it is doubtful he had a Padawan while still a youngling. As far as I know, they take on a Padawan soon after becoming a Jedi Knight. They’ve got to be mature enough to be one at this point. We also know that in The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda (regardless of clone or not) is 50 years old. So we have 50 years unaccounted for. I’m also going to assume Yoda was rounding when he said 800 because he also spent about 20 years in exile after the Republic fell (supposedly Luke and Leia were in their 20s). So Baby Yoda has (give or take) about 50 years to go from Baby Yoda to Adult Yoda.
Depending on when The Mandalorian takes place, we could see an adult or near adult “Yoda” in the next Star Wars movies. To me it sounds like Mandalorian takes place soon after Return of the Jedi. The First Order is barely a rumor and word about the Jedi returning hasn’t reached Mando–he has no clue what a Jedi is. According to the Internet (and we know how reliable that is), the Rey trilogy takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, so that is 30 years that Baby Yoda is growing. We could very well see Padawan Yoda.
Anyway, all this math brought me back to the Film Theory video. In it, MatPat talks about how defenseless babies are. Baby Yoda doesn’t seem completely defenseless; we’ve seen him use Force powers and bite. I then started thinking about animals. Many animals are born with defenses that they grow out of: spots to blend in or a smell that makes them “invisible” to predators. I thought how weird is it that people babies don’t have this. We don’t have camouflage that we grow out of as we age. Part of this is because we are predators and don’t need protection as much. But, it got me thinking that maybe the reason Yoda’s species is so good with the Force is because they have such a long aging cycle. Nature needed to balance out their long childhood with something so that they could reach adulthood and reproduce. Enter the Force.
This long childhood also allows them to practice more, thus becoming even better.
It then got me wondering if being a Force user is some kind of self-defense for babies. The Jedi are constantly going on about someone being too old and having to unlearn what they’ve learned. Maybe that’s the reason they start training so young: to get them using their talents before they age out of it. We see Baby Yoda using the Force to protect himself or the others in the group.
I then began asking myself do we have something as babies that we “grow out of”? I came up with *cue the SpongeBob meme* imagination. As little kids we see magic in the world but eventually grow out of it. However, some, such as artists and inventors, don’t quite lose all of it. And how many times have we seen it where kids seem to know things they shouldn’t. Maybe if we encourage kids to keep dreaming, we could evolve into Force users. Maybe that’s why no one seems to know Yoda’s species because they are evolved humans. Spooky.
Do you think we could see soon see an older Baby Yoda? Do you think he could be the star of the next trilogy or just a side character? Let’s talk in the comments below.
Until next wormhole… thanks for reading!
Until Jan. 1 many of my books will be on sale during the Smashwords End of Year Sale. Check out which are available here.