When ‘The Mandalorian’ Considered Replacing Baby Yoda’s Puppet With CGI, Werner Herzog Rebuked Them

The Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian is awesome, especially its most popular (and utterly adorable) character: the puppet officially called “The Child,” but affectionately referred to as “Baby Yoda.” If the fact that the first-ever live action Star Wars show features a 50-year-old “infant” version of the famous Jedi master isn’t enough, however, there’s also the matter of filmmaker and actor Werner Herzog‘s apparent love for the creature. In fact, the documentarian loves Baby Yoda so much that he rebuked Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni for their plans to replace it with CGI.

According to Vanity Fair, when Herzog saw Favreau and Filoni “removing the miniature creature from set during one of his scenes with the being,” he asked them why:

They were preparing to shoot a blank slate of the sequence as a backup in case they decided during postproduction that the puppet wasn’t convincing enough and a digital version had to be substituted.

Herzog, known for films about pushing the limits of human ability and endurance, could not hide his contempt.

“You are cowards,” he declared. “Leave it.”

As amazing as this story, which Filoni recounted at The Mandalorian‘s Los Angeles premiere a few weeks back, is, it pales in comparison to one episode three director Deborah Chow recalls. Speaking with the magazine, Chow, who’s set to direct the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor, said working with Herzog and the puppet made for “one of the weirdest moments I’ve ever had directing”:

“I was directing Werner with the puppet, and Werner had just fallen in love with the baby. Werner, I think, had forgotten it wasn’t actually a live creature, and started sort of… directing the baby.”

It’s as charming, but no less surreal. “Werner is talking to the baby as if it was a real thing. And I’m trying to direct Werner,” Chow said. “And I’m just like, How did I get here? How did my life end up like this?”

Leave it Herzog, a man who simply wanted to leave Parks and Recreation and go to Disney World, to protect the sanctity of an adorable, lifeless puppet in a Star Wars television show.

(Via Vanity Fair)