Baby Yoda is still a thing. Like a pretty big thing.
The de facto star of Disney+’s The Mandalorian has (5) different related topics on KnowYourMeme.com: Baby Yoda itself, Baby Yoda Drinking Soup, Baby Yoda Turns on the Music, Baby Yoda Tattoo and the obviously questionable Baby Yobama (a Barack Obama/Baby Yoda face-swap). The Child seemingly peaked on Google trends December 4th — a couple of days after the episode in which Baby Yoda drank soup — with a perfect interest score of 100. The meme admittedly dipped a bit after that, but as The Mandalorian nears the end of its first season, Baby Yoda seems set to defy the usual life expectancy of most memes and ride off into 2020 as strong as ever.
The Mandalorian, as a whole, is an interesting litmus test of just how successful a giant entertainment conglomerate can be when it comes to wringing a piece of previously existing IP for all its worth. One might measure success in Disney+ views/subscriptions or award nominations — but, in 2019, maybe the measure is whether or not you can proffer up a bit of fan service and hope the Internet latches onto it, turns it into a meme and does all your best viral marketing for you, free of charge.
A quick search of “Baby Yoda” on Twitter reveals no shortage of accounts — both with and without blue checkmarks — that have changed their names or descriptions to reflect their devotion to the meme (a personal favorite, as Hanukkah approaches, Andy Friedman’s “Baby Yoda Maccabee”). Keep scrolling and people are making Baby Yoda cookies, knitting Baby Yoda ears to stick on the soft heads of actual newborns and making all kinds of bootleg merch. And of course, the ceaseless stream of good old-fashioned memes continues to pour forth:
gonna tell my kids this was baby yoda pic.twitter.com/flecc40nTK
— robert franco (@responsiblerob) December 17, 2019
remeber baby yoda? this is him now pic.twitter.com/OUIV6cZGZY
— tapa (@santapa_) December 17, 2019
Please stop voting for Baby Yoda. He’s not a song.
— triple j (@triplej) December 17, 2019
Baby Yoda has even forced its way into the conversation surrounding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the highly anticipated final installment of the franchise’s primary “Skywalker saga.” The movie, out December 20th, doesn’t even feature Baby Yoda, and yet the cast has been forced to field questions about the character as they go about their press duties. At the actual premiere of Rise of Skywalker Monday night, director J.J. Abrams had answer a question about whether or not Baby Yoda appeared in the movie.
— Variety (@Variety) December 17, 2019
People were so desperate for Baby Yoda at the Rise of Skywalker premiere, they literally photoshopped him onto the red carpet. But he was effectively there in spirit. The Mandalorian‘s human star, Pedro Pascal, was photographed with a Baby Yoda doll, and creator Jon Favreau was savvy enough to invite the Australian DJ Alison Wonderland after she included Baby Yoda in the visuals of one of her sets.
Disney, obviously, knows what side its bread is buttered on, too: Several different Baby Yoda merch items are available to purchase (or pre-order) from its store — just in time for the holidays. They didn’t need Baby Yoda, but maybe they knew we did.