It’s already pretty crazy to consider how Baby Yoda emerged from the secrecy of The Mandalorian‘s writers room to dominate the internet from day one after the launch of the Disney+ streaming service, but it turns out that there is a new wrinkle to the tale and apparently, we have Donald Glover and Beyonce to thank for The Child’s surprise pop culture takeover. In a new profile of the adorable creature and its importance to Disney’s plans for the future, The Hollywood Reporter revealed this tidbit:
Favreau had gotten the idea of keeping the character a secret from Donald Glover while working together on The Lion King. “We were talking about music and pop culture and he was saying that what people really like now is to be surprised, because it doesn’t happen that much,” Favreau says. “When Beyonce did an album, she would just put it online and everybody would react to it. Just putting it out there spurred a conversation that would become more viral and bring more genuine attention than any marketing.”
There’s no information on how Favreau was able to convince Disney to scratch the marketing of The Child from its fourth quarter offerings, which must have been like pulling alligator teeth, but it looks like the plan worked. Despite the cast and crew’s difficulty in withholding adorable spoilers from family and friends, Baby Yoda remained a secret and has become nigh ubiquitous via fan art, memes, and fan-made merch proving that we just can’t get enough of Baby Yoda — who, to the best of anyone’s knowledge right now, technically isn’t Yoda. But the sacrifice may wind up paying off for Disney in 2020: The deluge of Baby Yoda (or “The Child” as its known on the official merchandising) toys and clothing and who knows what else is on its way. Maybe Disney can repay Donald by giving him back his Deadpool cartoon.
Read the full Hollywood Reporter story here.