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Star Wars: The Mandalorian's Baby Yoda Was Nearly CGI Instead of a Puppet

In a surprising turn of events, the Disney+ streaming service has managed to accomplish the seemingly impossible: it has united the Star Wars fandom through the introduction of an adorable Yoda-like creature in The Mandalorian. The creature has appeared in every episode released thus far as the titular bounty hunter's unlikely sidekick.

The alien -- nicknamed "Baby Yoda" for its resemblance to one of the greater franchise's most famous Jedi -- is depicted in the series through the use of puppetry, animatronics and CGI. However, during production, Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni were unsure if a puppet would achieve the level of believability they were aiming for.

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Filoni recalled that he and Favreau were leaving their options open and attempted to shoot a scene twice -- once with the puppet, once without it -- so it could be added in digitally later on if need be. Both Favreau and Filoni were immediately discouraged from doing so by actor Werner Herzog, a legendary filmmaker who plays a mysterious Imperial figure in the series. Herzog apparently told them, "You are cowards," before adding, "Leave it."

Yoda himself was depicted in the original Star Wars trilogy using several detailed puppets. When the character returned in The Last Jedi, a balanced combination of puppetry and CGI was used, to the apparent pleasure of audiences.

Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte. The first three episodes are streaming now on Disney+.

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via Vanity Fair

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