Forget Grogu, a New Baby Could Rescue ‘The Mandalorian’ Saga

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grogu slave I cockpit

Credit: Lucasfilm

When The Mandalorian Season 2 ended — after Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (CGI Mark Hamill) swooped in with his X-Wing to save Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and his Dark Trooper squad — Star Wars fans were not only left reeling from all of the action, but astounded by the surprise confirmation of a spinoff series entitled The Book of Boba Fett.

Fennec Shand (left) and Boba Fett sat on Jabba's throne (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Now, the latest addition to the “Mando-Verse” — which stars Wen reprising her role and Temuera Morrison as the legendary Star Wars bounty hunter — is set to air its fifth episode on January 26, 2022, and many Star Wars fans still aren’t sure where they land on the Robert Rodriguez-led project.

temuera morrison as boba fett in book of boba fett trailer
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The first episode was maligned as “disappointingly short” and some viewers even felt that “nothing happened,” despite the 38-year-old mystery of how Fett escaped the Sarlacc pit from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) finally being solved.

Episode 2 fared better. It was much longer, for starters, and a number of fans online seemed to change lanes, with some even hailing The Book of Boba Fett as “more compelling than The Mandalorian.

book of boba fett biker gang
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Then, however, in the third installment, things somewhat derailed with the introduction of the divisive “mod gang.” This colorful group of street youths with Vespa-inspired speedsters led Fett on an uninspiring chase that has already been the subject of many memes.

This brings us to Episode 4, the latest installment in the seven-episode first season. Fans have their issues with this episode as well, but perhaps one of the most notable issues so far is that there is no major antagonist.

book of boba fett fennec shand (left) and boba fett (right) in jabba the hutt's palace
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Before The Book of Boba Fett debuted on December 29, 2021, rumors abounded that Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke) and Darth Maul’s Crimson Dawn crime syndicate — or perhaps even a live-action version of Star Wars: The Clone Wars fan-favorite Cad Bane (Corey Burton) — would serve as the show’s “big bad.”

Instead, so far, we have two Hutts (“the Twins”) who have decided that Jabba the Hutt’s old Tatooine stomping grounds aren’t even worth their time and the Pyke Syndicate, who even Forbes has deemed “goofy.”

pyke syndicate book of boba fett
Credit: Lucasfilm

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There is, however, one villainous Star Wars character who could potentially rescue The Book of Boba Fett‘s antagonist problem — Rotta the Huttlet, a tiny Hutt baby who appeared alongside Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) movie.

The Star Wars Databank notes:

Heir apparent to the Hutt empire, Jabba’s infant son was barely old enough to slither before his conniving and power-hungry great-uncle, Ziro, already had him marked for death at the time of the Clone Wars. Ziro arranged for Rotta to be Huttnapped as part of an elaborate scheme to discredit the Jedi Knights and prevent them from entering an alliance with the Hutts.

rotta the huttlet with ahsoka tano
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Rotta, as one article noted:

…was kidnapped in a plot to trick the Hutts into choosing a side in the galactic civil war. That’s where he earned the nicknames Stinky (because he smells) and Punky Muffin (because he’s a baby, and people say ridiculous stuff to and about babies). He was safely returned to his father by the Jedi, and that’s where things get interesting, because his father was none other than Jabba the Hutt.

jabba the hutt with rotta the huttlet
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The implication here, of course, is that Rotta is the actual, legitimate heir to Jabba’s throne — not the late Bib Fortuna (Michael Carter), not “the Twins,” and not Daimyo Boba Fett — so the evil little Huttlet’s appearance could actually make a lot of sense.

pedro pascal and dave filoni on mandalorian set
Credit: Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

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Furthermore, Dave Filoni’s involvement with The Mandalorian saga means there’s always the potential for animated Star Wars characters to make the leap to live-action — after all, before he joined Jon Favreau on Mando, Filoni’s bread and butter were Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Even now, after all of the live-action success he’s had, Filoni still created Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which featured an animated version of Wen’s Shand almost 30 years before The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett take place in the Star Wars timeline.

The Child in Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

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And, last but not least, lest we forget that “Baby Yoda” helped The Mandalorian skyrocket to an insane level of popularity and made Star Wars more culturally relevant than it has been since Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), there’s a clear precedent here for a baby character setting the stage for success.

What do you think? Are you ready for Rotta the Huttlet’s live-action debut?

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