Overall, The Mandalorian season two has managed to avoid a potential sophomore slump by connecting more than ever with the wider Star Wars universe. Boba Fett, Bo-Katan and Grand Admiral Thrawn are just some of the fanboy deep cuts which have become an integral part of the show, but while this has all made season two a richer experience, there’s something troubling about the way Grogu Baby Yoda has been portrayed this time round.
When The Child used a force-choke to protect Mando last year, most viewers just assumed that he didn’t know what he was doing. And when Grogu ate some of the last remaining eggs laid by a dying species, we all joked that he was just a naughty little critter.
But if we’re being honest with ourselves, Baby Yoda isn’t a baby at all. He’s been around for at least fifty years, which means that some of his questionable actions aren’t as mindless as you might think.
Midway through season two, Ahsoka Tano sensed a dark potential in The Child, and although we don’t buy that this is connected to Grogu’s love of Mando, it’s still a further cause for concern. And then, in the following episode, it looked like these concerns might have been finally realised when Moff Gideon captured the cute little muppet and put him in chains.
As the Dark Jedi enters his cell, Grogu lashes out and uses the Force against two stormtroopers, tapping into the darker energies which lurk within. As understandable as that might be — they took him from Mando! — using the Force in this way is a slippery slope.
Whether Baby Yoda can avoid the same fate as Darth Vader remains to be seen, but there’s one small Mandalorian Easter egg that hints the pair may share more in common than we would like.
When Grogu sat on the seeing stone and tapped into the Force, a group of blue butterflies appeared in the air around him. With a child-like curiosity, he even reached out for one as Mando and the others went on to fight Imperial forces below.
Cute, right? Well, it turns out that these blue butterflies are far more significant than they seem. As spotted by Redditor acautelado, this scene parallels an issue of the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic book series where Vader also meditates and communes with the Force.
At one point in issue #8, Vader floats above water in the middle of a storm, surrounded by the same blue butterflies which flew around Grogu. While there isn’t one definitive explanation for what these butterflies mean, fans theorise that they could represent the light side of the Force.
If so, this means that Baby Yoda was connected to positive energies during his time on that rock. That’s good news, right?
Well, the problem is that their appearance can also signal an internal conflict between these two opposing forces. When Vader saw the butterflies, it meant that the light side of the Force was trying to reach out to him, and unfortunately, we all know how that turned out.
It’s worth noting that these insects also popped up in the cartoon series Star Wars Roll Out, where a young Ben Solo developed an interest in blue butterflies too… And as we all know, he too turned to the Dark Side, just like Vader.
So was this just another deep-cut reference or does the appearance of these creatures hint that Grogu will follow in Vader’s and Kylo Ren’s footsteps?
We sure hope not. The Child’s feet are far too diddy for that, so let’s just hope Mando can help him veer back onto the right path before it’s too late.