Baby Yoda was originally cuter in the original designs for The Mandalorian. However, Jon Favreau didn't want that to happen, so he fought against it for some very specific reasons. Baby Yoda, aka the Child, is the breakout star of the hit Disney+ series and he was a complete surprise. Not even the most hardcore Star Wars fan knew that the adorable little green dude was going to show up at the end of episode one. The rest is history after that.
Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni had a specific vision for The Mandalorian when they started collaborating on it. One of the guiding rules was based around the world that George Lucas had created and staying within it, which is easier said than done. On paper, it was very easy to make an infant version of the Yoda species and it was an automatic tendency to make him very cute. Favreau explains.
"All the drawings originally were very cute. Even with the merchandising, they were always trying to soften the rough edges on him. We really tried to look at how much we could ugly up all the different individual features."
While Jon Favreau says they tried to "ugly up" Baby Yoda, there aren't very many people who would consider the character to being even remotely close to ugly. But, Favreau had his reasons and it all goes back to what George Lucas accomplished with the first Star Wars trilogy. Luckily, Dave Filoni is an expert in things Lucas would or would not do. Favreau had this to say about including the Child in The Mandalorian.
"We wanted to make sure the Child wasn't just going to be a comic relief. What George [Lucas] had established with Star Wars was that no matter how fantastical these characters are, how weird they looked, the characters within the world always treated them as normal citizens of the world."
While Jon Favreau wants Baby Yoda to be treated as a "normal citizen of the world," that isn't possible in The Mandalorian as a lot of people want to get their hands on him. Obviously he has Force powers, but it's unclear as to what makes him so special. Season 2 on Disney+ will hopefully dig a little deeper as to why everybody is so obsessed with him and possibly even go into the species origin.
Going into the Yoda species origins is a bit of a controversial subject for some Star Wars fans who don't believe it should be shown in The Mandalorian. We've gone this long without knowing a whole lot about where the Yoda species comes from. We don't even know the name. It's unclear just how far Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will go when discussing the origins of the Child, which will ultimately tie back to the original Yoda in some way. The interview with Favreau was originally conducted by Vanity Fair.