No, the 'baby Yoda' in The Mandalorian is not literally baby Yoda. We're just calling it that because it's fun shorthand... and some people are weirdly upset about it.
That person is right. According to the show's creator, Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian takes place around five years after Return Of The Jedi. Meaning, 5 years after Yoda dies. The Star Wars universe and its extended stories make a lot of promises about resurrecting the dead, but so far the best the dead can do is force ghosts and frankly, that's pathetic. It's like staring at a picture of the world's largest ball of twine instead of beholding its majesty in person, through dim eyes clouded with patriotic tears.
On the subject of the little guy's identity, all any of us can do is guess. Yoda's species isn't specified in either the current Disney canon, or the pre-Disney Legends canon. Only three Yodafolk have ever been shown on screen, maybe three or four more if you include some Star Wars video games, which we will not. Only the OG Yoda has had dialogue, unless you count Baby Yoda's childish cooing. The third one, Yaddle, is another Jedi -- you might remember her from 17 seconds of screen time in the prequels before she was killed off-screen. George Lucas regulated Yaddle to a couple of simple cutaway shots that raised more questions than they answered. In Baby Yoda, we finally get another shot at answers to a mystery decades in the making.
There might be a day where that baby gets named, and maybe it'll stick to the theme and be something like Yoni and we're all going to be terribly disappointed. Until then, we should keep our fingers crossed that it's actually Yoda and Yaddle's love child, if only so we can get finally get confirmation that Yoda gets nasty.
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