If you’re a lover of Baby Yoda, it turns out you may have famed filmmaker Werner Herzog to thank for it being so damn cute.
The legendary German doco maker has a key role in “The Mandalorian,” serving as the client that wants the little creature and hires the titular bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) to get it.
The creature has since become its own cultural event with gifs, memes, and videos galore. One of the big reasons for that is that for the most part he is a practical puppet on the set rather than being just another a CG creation.
Series producer and director Dave Filoni, speaking with Vanity Fair, says it was filming a scene in the third episode where Herzog’s villainous character first encounters Baby Yoda that changed the way they did everything.
Filoni says the crew decided to shoot a version featuring Baby Yoda as a puppet and then another that’s a blank slate with the little character being added in as CG later. When Herzog realised what they were doing with the CG stand-in shot he said: “You are cowards, leave it.”
It’s not clear how much Herzog’s order factored in to Lucasfilm’s decision, but it’s nice to think someone with his experience had some weight in the decision. You can see some behind-the-scenes vision of the character in a new video showrunner Jon Favreau released below: