Baby Yoda

Say what you will about the overall quality of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian (I have plenty of gripes, but I’ll bite my tongue for now), but one thing we can all agree on is that the first live-action Star Wars show looks expensive as hell. And it turns out that Baby Yoda, First of His Name, King of the Internet, Subject of Memes, Breaker of Hearts, and Lord of Cuteness, has an extremely high price tag. If you’ve ever wondered, “Hey, how much is Baby Yoda worth?”, read on to learn the answer – straight from an actor who could have caused some serious damage to your favorite tiny, long-eared nerf herder.

You might know Adam Pally as one of the stars of the hilarious network comedy Happy Endings, from his small role idolizing Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, as the chaotic Peter Prentice on The Mindy Project, or from any number of the dozens of other film and TV projects he’s been a part of over the past ten-plus years. But right now, his biggest claim to fame might be that he’s the guy who got to punch Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian.

Pally appeared in the season one finale alongside Jason Sudeikis as a Scout Trooper, and during their scene, Pally’s trooper gets bitten by Baby Yoda and punches the pint-sized alien in retaliation. But after seeing the first take of the scene, showrunner Jon Favreau came down to set with a warning for his actor. As Pally explained during the Television Critics Association winter press tour (via Entertainment Weekly):

“I remember the first take that I did when I punched him. They called ‘Cut!’ and Jon, who was watching on a monitor in his office, he came down from this office and said, ‘I just want to let you know that this is the hero Yoda [the main prop used for close-ups] and it costs, like, $5 million. So while I want you to hit it, I just want you to know that.’ Because I think I took a big swing at it. And the next three takes I missed, because I was so nervous.”

Question: why on Earth would the filmmaking team use the hero version of Baby Yoda in this moment? The character is completely hidden under a bag at the time, so there’s no value in Pally’s trooper actually hitting the real thing. He could have punched a sack of potatoes and no one would have been the wiser. Maybe that scene was originally more involved and got edited down in the final version? Who knows. But at least now we can all go to sleep tonight knowing that a Baby Yoda puppet is more valuable than all the money we’ll ever make in our lives. Where’s Werner Herzog to talk me through this situation when I need him?

The Mandalorian season 2 will arrive on Disney+ sometime in Fall 2020.

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