"The Mandalorian": Director Bryce Dallas Howard Talks Baby Yoda & The Sip That Sent Kermit Into Retirement

By now, we're sure you've had the chance to check out Disney+ and Jon Favreau's first live-action Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian (check out our reviews of the first three episodes here, here and here).

On Saturday, we learned that Gina Carano (Rebel Alliance-siding and all-around badass mercenary Cara Dune) was a big fan of episode director Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help). Dallas Howard stepped behind the camera to direct Carano in most-recent episode "Chapter 4: Sanctuary".

Turns out Dallas Howard was also a big fan of someone on set – and it's someone the world's become a big fan of:

the mandalorian

Yup… Baby Yoda.

Speaking with Variety about her experience directing an episode of the Disney+ series, Dallas Howard offered some insight into how the Mando-Dune fight scene would lead to the scene that launched a million memes and gifs:

"When we were shooting that fight just before, so much rested on Gina because Pedro at that point was on rehearsal for another show. It wasn't like I was working with Pedro on a day-to-day basis, so Gina was the face of the episode. Working with Mando's stunt double and body double it was exciting because Gina was able to do all that action and we could lean into it. That day was all about that brutal fight: Gina and Mando's stunt double were just destroying each other. And then it gets to Baby sipping his soup and everything else goes away, all these amazing feats of athleticism and martial arts, and all this stuff just becomes Baby with soup and all we wanted to do was a zillion takes of how Baby was going to drink his soup. Would he drink it with one hand? With two hands? Sipping it a lot? Sipping it a little bit?"

Since "The House of Mouse" has been clamping down on memes and gifs with the adorable one in them, here's a look at the gif we're talking about.

We're still left wondering if series star Pedro Pascal was supposed to reveal his character's name – but that's what he did in the following press video made available before the series' premiere – beginning at the 2:30 mark.


Is it just us, or does he say his character's name is "Dinn J'Aryn" or "Dyn Jarren" (don't kill me on the spelling)?

Viewers were given a first-look at Ming-Na Wen's (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) brutal assassin Fennec Shand. Thanks to the fine folks at Vanity Fair and a great profile they presented on Wen and the series, fans were given the preivew via an official image (both below). Wen also gave fans clues as to what to expect from Shand and as well as what it's like to work in the Star Wars universe (and make sure to check out the full article here):

the mandalorian

● On the "animalistic" nature of the name:

"We got our inspiration really from the name. The idea of a fennec fox came to mind. She's tricky, and yet she's able to maneuver and survive, and be stealthy—so very graceful and agile. I just love that whole image with the name."

● Like any self-respecting assassin, Shand has a backstory to tell… just don't think you're getting it any time soon:

"It will evolve, it will change. I mean, I think that's what's so wonderful about creating a new character. I think she has a good sense of humor about it all as well, which is also fun. You can't really pinpoint which direction she's going to go."

● Wen's connection to the Star Wars universe goes back years and was very personal to her:

"It's definitely a film that has had such an impact in so many people's lives, including my own. As an Asian kid in Pittsburgh, and especially in Mount Lebanon, sometimes you feel very alone and very isolated. And I think for me, with Star Wars, I connected so much with Luke having these dreams and wanting something bigger and better than being a little farmer in Tatooine. Just that image of him looking at the binary suns and wishing for more, it always stays with me."

● Wen also had a major influence on Shand's final look:

"At first, the idea was maybe just have her hair be loose, unkempt kind of thing. And I thought, Well, she's going to be wearing a helmet and she's this stealth assassin. How great would it be if her hair has a bit of the fennec fox architecture to it? So the hairstylist came up with this great braiding system, that just gives an idea of these triangular points. Like her ears."

With that look comes some promised major fire power:

"She has quite a few weapons because she's a very skilled fighter. Just her body is a weapon in and of itself. And she does carry…a big, big gun. A big boy."

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. "The Mandalorian" is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

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Here's a look at the recently-released character profile key art for the series:

"The Mandalorian" Opens with "Dramatic Star Wars-Universe Spoiler"; Nixes Advance Screeners
The Mandalorian / Disney+
"The Mandalorian" Opens with "Dramatic Star Wars-Universe Spoiler"; Nixes Advance Screeners
The Mandalorian / Disney+

the mandalorian
The Mandalorian/Disney+

Set between the events in Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the drama from showrunner Favreau (The Lion King) and Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars) takes place after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order and follows a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Ming-Na Wen, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, Taika Waititi, Bill Burr, and Mark Boone Jr. star.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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