June 25, 2024

If you know Grogu, you’ve already fallen in love. child star of the mandalorian it took hold of our hearts and became one of the healthiest parts Star Wars the universe We had seen creatures like him before, but none quite like him Yoda (Frank Oz) and Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard) are certainly unique in their own way, surprising everyone with their lightsaber prowess and wisdom, being former Jedi Masters. Their differences with Grogu go beyond their ability to fight, however, the most obvious being the child’s luminous black eyes.


When we met Grogu, we were all surprised by our new green friend, a kind of “Baby Yoda”. While his youth meant he was physically different from his peers, most of his physical traits were already there, such as being short, having those cute big ears, and being Force-sensitive. But its eyes have always been one of its most beautiful features, also distinguishing it among its species. Why are they all black and so different from Yoda and Yaddle’s “human” eyes? There are reasons in the universe, but like everything Star Warsit all starts in the studio production.

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How ILM and ‘The Mandalorian’ avoided the Uncanny Valley

Grogu watching the fireworks on Boonta Eve in The Mandalorian
Image via Disney

The Uncanny Valley is an interesting production design concept. It was first introduced by a Japanese robotics teacher Masahiro Mori In the 1970s, the Uncanny Valley theory refers to the uncomfortable, sometimes frightening feeling of seeing a slightly humanoid object. also the human It’s about trying to make something as close to reality as possible, but not too much, otherwise there’s a risk of getting weird before you see the perfect. Grogu was a challenge for the Lucasfilm art department because it dances on the fine line between cute and amazing.

At Star Wars Celebration 2022, Lucasfilm director and design wizard Doug Chiang He gave a panel titled “Doug Chiang: Designing the Mandalorian.” where he spoke at length about the challenges of making that “little Yoda-like creature”, paying particular attention to the child’s eyes. According to him, designing Grogu was the most difficult part of their job, precisely because of how strange the character could be if not done well. Again, the challenge was to walk the “very fine line of not going too cute,” Chiang says, while also coming up with “something the fans would like.” And honestly, we love Grogu, but it was a long road to becoming what it is today. “John [Favreau] “He kept describing it as ‘pretty ugly’, something that wasn’t designed to be pretty,” says Chiang. This was the moment they realized that the eyes were the key to Grogu’s perfect look.

Din Djarin with Grogu in The Mandalorian Season 3 trailer
Image via Disney+

Early designs for the character showed him with human-like eyes, with well-defined pupils and white rims. They tried to make Grogu look like a dwarf, though, but settled on something like Yoda. However, the eyes were a challenge. “When it’s human eyes, you can see the white color of his eyes, it becomes very strange very quickly.” (One could also say the last one!). Chiang continues, “This is really weird because Yoda has human eyes and it looks great on him, but weirdly when we gave Grogu human eyes, he just looked creepy and psychotic.”

So maybe Grogu wasn’t trying to look like Yoda, but rather coming up with a specific design for himself. “Jon wanted them to be dog-like, with giant dark pupils,” Chiang continues, and luckily for us, that’s what we got: a psychotic dwarf samurai alternative from the concepts shown. “We were all circling something, we knew we were in the zone, but none of them were hitting the perfect note for Jon.”

The current design didn’t take long after that, though. He was a visual effects artist Christian Alzmann who cracked and first gave Grog his signature look. “Like a puppy dog, it looks white enough in the eyes to make it adorable,” Chiang added. “Seeing that tiny white gave her eyes a very charming and kind look, and then wearing it with her big sack really captured that ‘ugly cute’ factor.” So that’s how you make baby Yoda – or even better, Grogu.

Will Grogu end up looking more like Yoda?

Grogu in The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 13
Image via Disney+

We still don’t know much about Grogu’s species. In fact, we know very little, and even Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) he asks the child if he remembers anything from “home”. Boba Fett’s book. Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) is another being who met Yoda in the past and is incredibly curious about Grogu. Yoda and Yaddle’s species didn’t matter when they first appeared because they weren’t central characters, but Grogu’s identity is one of the main focuses. the mandalorianso we should get more information about him in the future.

What we do know is that there is a large age gap between the two individuals of this unknown species. When Yoda died Return of the Jedi, he was 900 years old. Grogu is much younger, being slightly older than 50 by season 3 the mandalorian. Some people were also trying to establish what the human equivalent would be, but in the end, IG-11 (Taika Waititi) mentions when meeting the little boy: species age differently. Grogu is learning to express himself now and still has a long way to go in terms of biological growth before he reaches his full potential and takes his final form.

What can be expected is that Grogu’s eyes will eventually adjust to adult proportions and look more like Yoda instead of the puppy eyes he currently has as a child. Right now, his black eyes are not only a biological feature, but they serve a narrative purpose, making him sympathetic to the audience and the characters. That’s what his surrogate father, Din Djarin (Peter Pascal), he’s attached to him in the first place, for example, and what he likes so much for other, even tougher characters, like Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and the gunsmith (Emily Swallow). But there’s no way of knowing exactly when that will happen, so we can sit back and enjoy the ride while it lasts. After all, kids grow up so fast…

the mandalorian It’s streaming on Disney+ with new episodes every Wednesday.

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