'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 2: Baby Yoda's 'cuteness' may undermine the show's serious tone, is that bad?

The Peyton Reed directed episode of 'The Mandalorian' is clear pandering to all Baby Yoda fans out there, giving the little green cherub more screen time than he's ever got before


                            'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 2: Baby Yoda's 'cuteness' may undermine the show's serious tone, is that bad?
Still from 'The Mandalorian' (Disney+)

Spoilers for 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 2 'The Passenger'

'Star Wars' has always been able to bank on its more cutesy characters to raise the popularity of their stories - and more importantly, their merchandise. Whether it's the all time classic R2-D2 and his modern counterpart, BB-8, the debatable Ewoks, or the utter disaster that was Jar-Jar Binks, 'Star Wars' always tries to leave in a little something to appeal to younger viewers, and lovers of cute things. The Child - otherwise known as Baby Yoda - may just have outclassed them all. Within moments of the first episode, Baby Yoda was all anyone could talk about, even in a show that has as much going for it as 'The Mandalorian' does, and Disney has absolutely capitalized on this, with Mando Mondays featuring more and more Baby Yoda merch every week. But is all the Baby Yoda love starting to undermine the show itself?

The Peyton Reed directed episode of 'The Mandalorian' is clear pandering to all Baby Yoda fans out there, giving the little green cherub more screen time than he's ever got before, and hyping up the adorability of the 50-year-old baby. We get to see The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) undergoing one of the hardest parenting challenges - keeping the Child from popping things in his mouth that have no business being there. In fact, Baby Yoda's wandering hunger triggered a spider attack that was the episode's main focus - which is all well and good, as a major disaster caused by a seemingly harmless accident is a time-honored trope that is always worth a laugh.

It's Baby Yoda's devouring of the new passenger's eggs that leaves a sour taste in the mouth, if you'll excuse the expression. The Mandalorian's frog-like passenger has one mission - to deliver her eggs to her husband on the moon of Trask. This mission is so imiportant it forces the Razorcrest to move at sub-light speeds, as hyperspace somehow damages them. The distraught mother even hacks an old droid - bringing back the voice of Richard Ayoade in a quick cameo - to get the Mandalorian to understand just how important these eggs are to her. They're the last and only chance she'll ever get to have children. The fact that Baby Yoda keeps popping them into his mouth for a gag feels like the kind of humor that belongs to another show entirely.

It's a small thing in an episode that already has more humor than most, but it feels like it might be something worth keeping an eye out for. Though he's central to the plot this season, Baby Yoda has been used for nothing more than adorable shots that feel increasingly out of place in a series that sets the kind of tone that 'The Mandalorian' sets. As 'Star Wars' fans can attest, when the franchise pays a little too close attention to its cuter characters, there's always a danger in the rest of the story suffering for it.

The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs November 13, on Disney+. 

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