‘The Mandalorian’ actor reveals how much Baby Yoda’s robotic puppet costs
The rising star of The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda, is not actually alive, but rather a zero foot of rubber and machines, a puppet, in the simplest terms. The show was praised for using an old-fashioned live-action Baby Yoda puppet instead of CGI, though the show originally struggled with the concept and considered using a computer-generated Baby Yoda instead. . This led to the famous quote from Werner Herzog, a known Baby Yoda supporter, “Leave him, you cowards.”
They left him. While I wouldn’t expect any sort of behind-the-scenes footage of the crew removing Baby Yoda’s rubber facade and showing us exactly how it works inside, as that would kind of ruin the illusion, we have. now an idea of what it cost to make Baby Yoda feel alive and adorable through the use of this technology.
The figure comes from actor Adam Pally who spoke about his turn as a Scout Trooper on the series, where he plays one opposite Jason Sudeikis in the finale. The two became the show’s most hated characters when they took turns hitting Baby Yoda (hidden in a bag), but it turns out the puppet has been really in there, which led to the revelation of how much it costs. Here’s Pally on the TCA Winter Press Tour (via Comic):
“I remember the first take I made when I hit him,” Pally said. They called ‘cut’ and Jon, who was watching on a monitor in his office, came down and said, ‘I just want you to know he’s the hero and it costs around $ 5 million. I want you to hit it, but I want you to know it.
So anyone who complains that their $ 30 Plush Baby Yodas didn’t arrive in time for Christmas can now know that you can make your own for just $ 5 million, provided you have access to a team of kids. animatronics and special effects.
It’s hard to compare this to other famous puppets in the industry as I can’t find numbers for many of them, but the total budget for Star Wars: A New Hope was $ 11 million in 1977. And even adjusted for inflation, it’s still only $ 45 million today.
But times have changed, and everyone is willing to spend a lot more on expensive TV and movie properties, including The Mandalorian where $ 5 million to create an icon universally known as Baby Yoda seems like a steal. The report suggests this The Mandalorian costs $ 15 million per episode to produce, which works out to $ 120 million for the eight-episode season. So Baby Yoda is less than 5% of the total budget, which, given its size, seems okay. I wonder what he spends his salary on? Unlimited bone broth? A vault of shiny silver balls? Oh wait he’s not real and that’s what it costs to do it, not his paycheck.
Either way, I thought this was a fun detail I’ve never seen before, and I’ll be curious to see what else Baby Yoda can do in Season 2 next fall.