Stay with us here, because this theory is pretty crazy. If Baby Yoda isn’t a clone, then what kind of “material” would the Client be extracting, and for what purpose? Well, we know that Yoda had an insanely high midi-chlorian count (only Anakin Skywalker’s was higher, if we recall correctly), so its stands to reason that even if BY is only loosely related to the late Jedi Master, the little guy’s count is probably in the same range. His “genetic material” then — perhaps even (shudder) his blood — might be of use to a Force-sensitive being whose connection to the Force has been lost or diminished, or who is very near death, or both.
Okay, you can see the picture right there, you know who we’re talking about. Is it possible that the “he” who ordered the Client to bring BY back alive is none other than Emperor Palpatine? The very same Big Bad who is going to be returning to vex our heroes in Rise of Skywalker? Could the little tyke, in fact, be the key to his big comeback?
It sure is a compelling theory, but frankly, we’ll be shocked if it’s true. Not because it doesn’t make narrative sense; it’d be awesome for The Mandalorian to tie in to Rise of Skywalker in such crazy-ass fashion. We just don’t think there’s any way that the two productions could have synced up well enough to make any crossover possible, let alone one that would be so important to the movie’s narrative.
Having said that, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. We know, thanks to director Colin Trevorrow (who was attached to Rise of Skywalker for some time, and will have a story credit on the film) that J.J. Abrams had the idea to bring Palpatine back into the Skywalker Saga sometime after September 2017, which is when Trevorrow departed the project. Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that The Mandalorian was in development in November of that year, and Jon Favreau was introduced as the series’ writer and showrunner in March 2018.
Favreau didn’t waste any time getting to work; by May of that year, he told multiple outlets that half of the scripts for the first season of The Mandalorian had been completed. This means that sometime between the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018, Favreau and Abrams would have to have gotten together and hammered out all of the shared story elements of their respective projects. Then, they would have needed to remain in contact, making sure that neither of them was stepping on the others’ toes — all while keeping the whole thing a total secret.
Again, this wouldn’t have been impossible, but it sure would have been difficult — and nobody would know this better than Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man movies and has appeared as Happy Hogan in the films of the intricately connected Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since. We’re going to go ahead and say that Baby Yoda is not likely to factor in to the story of Rise of Skywalker at all — but wrong we’ve been before, and pretty damn cool it would be.