Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched the SECOND episode of The Mandalorian yet, you should stop reading here. Seriously!
Between a few huge battles, a massive gunfight, and a world-bending twist, the first episode of The Mandalorian was fairly packed for its 39-minute runtime, so the show would’ve been well within its right to take its foot off the gas for a breather in Episode 2. And to an extent, it did—much of this episode was a slower pace, but we did get yet another massive reveal: that Baby Yoda appears to have control of the force, and might even already have full Jedi powers.
After being defeated in an early-episode battle with the Jawas, The Mandalorian’s ship is ransacked and all his stuff is stolen from the Jawas. The Jawas, however, are traders—they’ll give it back to him for a price. At first, their request is his Beskar, which of course is off limits. Instead his primary goal in the episode is to retrieve something called ‘The Egg.’ Once he has ‘The Egg’ in his possession, he’ll be able to trade it back for all the equipment, weapons, and gear that they’d ransacked from his ship earlier in the episode.
The resulting mission finds The Mandalorian in a cave, where he’s facing off against a giant horned beast, some sort of gatekeeper for ‘The Egg’. He holds his own long enough, but eventually is knocked down and nearly defeated—until Baby Yoda steps in. And that’s where our questions really start.
Suddenly, the Rhino-esque horned beast is frozen, and starts floating in the air; Baby Yoda’s arm raised and eyes closed. By the time the monster is dropped to the ground, it’s incapacitated, and The Mandlorian quickly stabs and kills it.
The question we’re left with for the rest of the episode and until episode 3, at least, centers on Yoda’s species; this Baby Yoda clearly already has command of the force—are members of Yoda’s species inherently gifted with Jedi powers?
To this point, every Jedi—or Sith—we’ve seen on screen, has assumed to gone through some level of training, from Anakin, to Luke, to Rey, to Obi-Wan. But with Baby Yoda, we’re left wondering if the powers, and the handle on the force, are inherent. Despite being 50 years old, this being is hardly coherent—there’s no way he could’ve been trained.
Yoda’s species having extremely strong Jedi powers is hardly new news, though: even outside of being the master to get Luke over the hump in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, there was also Yoda’s acrobatic fight scenes in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, where he had a remarkable lightsaber duel with both Count Dooku and Darth Sidious/Palpatine.
We’re brought in here on an essential question of human nature, whether it applies to Star Wars or not: nature or nurture. Every Jedi training we’ve ever before seen—even the prequel’s younglings—have been through a course of rigorous training. But Baby Yoda’s full power here, to lift an entire monster, is seemingly unprecedented. The power isn’t unfiltered, either—that he remains asleep in the floating cradle for the rest of the episode isn’t nothing.
It bears to question, too, whether something has happened with Baby Yoda in the possession of The Empire—that’s who The Mandalorian is retrieving him for, anyway. Could Baby Yoda’s Jedi powers be how The Empire eventually revived Palpatine, and rebirthed their ideas as The First Order? Those answers will hopefully be answered in the coming weeks, because right now we don’t know jack.
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