Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, “Chapter 12: The Jedi.”
Baby Yoda’s real name and his Jedi backstory from during the Clone Wars is revealed during The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, “Chapter 12: The Jedi”, with the Child unveiled as being called Grogu. As expected, “The Jedi” saw Mando and Baby Yoda finding Ahsoka Tano on the forest moon of Corvus, where she was continuing her search for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Ahsoka didn’t end up training Baby Yoda as Mando might have hoped, but she did nonetheless shed some fascinating new light on his background.
Introduced as a huge surprise at the end of The Mandalorian season 1 premiere, Baby Yoda has been shrouded in mystery ever since. While the show has revealed certain aspects of his character, such as the fact he is clearly strong in the Force, has a high “m-count”, and loves to eat just ahout anything he can get his hands on (alive, dead, or unfertilized), it’s still left some of the biggest questions about him unanswered.
Among those is where Baby Yoda came from, and just what his name is. Showrunner Jon Favreau has previously said he knew what the Child’s name is, but few might’ve expected it to be revealed so early. Here’s what The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5 reveals about Baby Yoda’s name and backstory.
Upon meeting Baby Yoda in the Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, Ahsoka instantly forms a strong connection with the Child. Although Baby Yoda is still incapable of speaking English (or Basic), he is apparently able to communicate with Baby Yoda, likely through their shared link to the Force. From the noises he makes when talking to her, Ahsoka is able to reveal that Baby Yoda’s real name is Grogu. It’s a startling revelation, and not one many would have predicted. While it was clear that the Child’s real name obviously wasn’t Baby Yoda, it had still been expected that it might begin with a “Y”, in order to fit with Yoda and Yaddle. Of course, the species is likely much bigger than just those two characters, so breaking the tradition does make sense.
There’s no real basis for the name Grogu in Star Wars canon, but the peculiar name does fit with its general odd naming conventions, much like Yoda himself. Perhaps his parents were simply big fans of drinking grog, while the name also sounds a little bit like Dragon Ball’s Goku, which would fit with Baby Yoda’s incredible power levels. But mostly its clear that it’s just supposed to be a name no one would guess, which is how it should be really, as it wouldn’t make sense for Baby Yoda’s real name to be familiar to audiences.
While Baby Yoda’s real name is the biggest reveal from The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, the more important detail offered in “The Jedi” is his backstory. Before now, next to nothing was known about who Baby Yoda is or where he came from and, while much of it is still unclear, there are some major points of clarification here. As Ahsoka tells Din Djarin, Baby Yoda (or Grogu) was raised on the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, where he was trained by several different Masters over the years. Then, at the end of the Clone Wars and following the Empire taking control of the galaxy, Baby Yoda was hidden away after someone rescued him from the Temple. Between that and the Mandalorian, Baby Yoda doesn’t remember much apart from feeling alone.
These tell fans far more about who Baby Yoda/Grogu really is. the Jedi Temple on Coruscant was the home of the Jedi Order before the Empire’s rise, and where the Padawans were trained to become Jedi Knights. This means that, at least for a time, Baby Yoda was trained to be a Jedi – and, given he had several Masters, it’s possible he was even trained by Yoda himself, at least briefly, or other known Jedi in Star Wars. Since Baby Yoda is 50-years-old, it means he was born around 41ABY – which then means he would have been raised and trained on Coruscant for 22 years, although clearly his species develops differently to humans.
Being at the Jedi Temple at this time, though, means he was trained to be a Jedi at the same time as Anakin Skywalker would have been – and also been there when Anakin slaughtered the younglings after turning to the dark side. Star Wars canon has revealed several survivors of Order 66, and apparently Baby Yoda can now be added to that list, since he was somehow saved from Anakin’s attack. Exactly who rescued him from the Temple and hid him away is now one of the biggest questions for The Mandalorian to answer. One possibility is that Shaak Ti is the person who helped smuggle Baby Yoda to safety, with the help of others, no doubt, before her death. Shaak Ti recorded a message before she was killed during the attack on the Jedi Temple, saying not to let it be the end of the Jedi Order and to continue its legacy – which could be revealed to have been about Baby Yoda being the new hope. That’s purely circumstantial, of course, and it could have been someone more unknown, but it may also fit with how The Mandalorian is approaching canon.
In a way, The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda reveal changes everything and nothing. Knowing that he is called Grogu is a big deal in that it solves a mystery but, in terms of impact on the series itself, it’s unlikely that fans will actually start calling him it. Baby Yoda is now too ingrained in pop culture, so it’s arguable that the Grogu reveal has come a little too late for viewers to start using it regularly, although clearly Mando and others in the show will be using it from now on. Baby Yoda’s real name being used obviously means a lot to him on a personal level, based on how he looks at and responds to Din when he uses it; the bond between them is strengthened even further by that simple act, which turns the Child into much more of his own person and gives him a greater sense of identity. It could also set up more about his family, raising questions over who gave him the name in the first place.
The Clone Wars and Jedi Temple backstory is also crucial to Baby Yoda’s development. While so far his uses of the Force have seemed to be innate, this confirms that he was trained. It’s understandable, though, that having been hidden away in secret for so long (almost 30 years), that those abilities would have lain dormant, and now he is re-discovering them. That further suggests The Mandalorian has hardly even begun to scratch the surface of what Baby Yoda’s powers are and could be; since he was trained by the Jedi and is so strong in the Force, then his potential is incredible if it can be harnessed correctly, and incredibly dangerous if he does fall into the wrong hands. At this point, then, Baby Yoda is one of the last known surviving beings to have been trained by the Jedi, which makes him even more important to the future.
Revealing Baby Yoda’s real name also sets up much further exploration for who he really is. Mando is on a mission to find out more about him and fully reconnect him with his own kind, which will next take him to the Jedi Temple on the planet Tython. While the Temple on Coruscant was the Order’s base, the one on Tython is among those speculated that could be the first ever Jedi Temple, giving it an even greater connection to the Order and the Force. Tython has only briefly appeared in canon (first mentioned in a Doctor Aphra comic), but it has a bit more of a history in Star Wars Legends, which further fleshed out its connection to the Force and the Jedi Order, with the new Temple there replacing the one that had been on Coruscant. One of the ancient temples on the planet was Akar Kesh, the Temple of Balance, which sat atop a stone pillar. Since Ahsoka tells Mando to take Baby Yoda to the “seeing stone at the top of the mountain” so that he can “choose his path”, then it’s possible this is connected to the idea of balance. The Mandalorian has, after all, teased Baby Yoda’s connection to the dark side as much as the light, and this can reveal more about that.
Whether or not a Jedi will find Grogu on Tython, as Ahsoka hopes will happen, is unclear, as there aren’t many of them left at this point. She herself is searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn, which is linked to her quest to find Star Wars Rebels’ Ezra Bridger, likely ruling him out. Barring Force Ghosts, then that really just leaves Luke Skywalker as the Jedi to find Baby Yoda; it may be a long-shot, but at this point in the timeline Luke is searching for artifacts and knowledge about the Jedi, so going to Tython is not implausible. If Luke were to find him, the it’s also not beyond belief that he may train him, inducting him into his own new Jedi Order – which is still a few years away. Unfortunately, that would likely mean Grogu being killed by Kylo Ren when he turns against Luke, so it’s best to hope that isn’t what happens. The Mandalorian is all about Mando and Baby Yoda, and so while he may well tap more into the Force, he also feels more like a Mandalorian himself, perhaps better setting him up to become the second ever Mandalorian Jedi.