For months, it’s been a bit shocking to see the disconnect between the popularity of the Baby Yoda character from Star Wars: The Mandalorian and the sparse amount of official, licensed merchandise available. It seemed, based on initial impressions, that Disney was unprepared for the character’s wave of popularity.
But at the Disney+ Star Wars Product Showcase in Manhattan on February 20, it was revealed that the delay in Baby Yoda merchandise was purposeful. Series creator Jon Favreau wanted as few people to know as possible; putting massive toy orders into production, for example, would create too many possibilities for leaks.
“We sat down with Jon about two years out,” said Paul Southern, senior vice president for licensing and franchise at Lucasfilm. “He brings out this big box and says, ‘I’m going to show you The Child,’… And then we talked about the idea that we were going to do no development on the ground until after the show aired, and we talked around that for a little while… we came to terms with it, but it created some challenges for us.”