It’s time to meet The Muppets on The Mandalorian?
The Muppets are no strangers to Star Wars. One of the best episodes of The Muppet Show featured a cameo from Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, and himself, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca. There’s also the fact that Muppet star Frank Oz has portrayed Jedi Master Yoda since Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). However, fans have just learned that there is one more connection between The Muppets and that Galaxy Far, Far Away.
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For decades, stop-motion animation and puppeteering were the way to go for non-human characters. Fans of Star Wars can see fantastic examples of this lost art form throughout the original trilogy, from Yoda (Oz) and the Tauntauns in Empire to Jabba and the Rancor in Star Wars: Episode IX – Return of the Jedi (1983). Though stop-motion has its drawbacks, puppetry was a much more authentic way to portray characters than the computer-generated images of the modern era.
For that reason, the showrunners of The Mandalorian brought it back! Despite a hefty price tag of around $5 million, audiences everywhere can agree it was worth it! The little Baby Yoda, as he was called, immediately stole the hearts of viewers around the world, and it was due in large part to his physical appearance as an actual moving puppet. Fans can tell from watching that it improved not only the viewer experience but the actors’ experience on set as well, being able to interact with it in person.
One might expect, therefore, that the connection to The Muppets would be through the puppeteer, which is only half-right. The puppeteer, and specialty costume maker, TaMara Carlson Woodard, shared the hilarious and adorable connection to the world’s most famous puppets in a recent interview with Empire Magazine, reported by CBR. According to Woodard, in the very early stages, she was shown a concept of the new character and came up with a name for him: Yermit!
“I was given a picture of Grogu without any clothes on — they were still trying to decide what he really looked like, what size he would be,” Woodard said. “I built a little body based off what I would want to hold, a little stuffed-animal version without a face — I called it ‘Yermit’, because it wasn’t Yoda, and it wasn’t Kermit.”
Sound logic, and now fans have another name for Grogu/Baby Yoda: Yermit! Despite being an object, a puppet, it makes the character all the more endearing to know that he has had a nickname from the start. Though, it would be very interesting to see that stuffed-animal version of the character and see how it compares to the stuffed animal Grogus that one can find in the parks!
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Fans can catch up with Grogu/Yermit in Season 3 of Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, which debuts on Disney+ on March 1, 2023, and stars Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, The Mandalorian, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, and Emily Swallow as The Armorer. According to the official logline of this Star Wars story, “The Mandalorian will cross paths with old allies and make new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together.”
What do you think about Grogu’s nickname? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!