What does a baby yoda meme have to do with you suddenly cooing over babies? You can trace it back to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
November 2019 was a magical month for “Star Wars” and Western movie fans alike, as it was the month that the much-awaited “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian” was released. Its story took place years after the end of the original trilogy and followed a nameless lone bounty hunter known only as “The Mandalorian,” as he takes a job to retrieve his mark, only to choose to go on the run to protect it.
The show was a huge hit, as its first season was certified fresh on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 93 percent. For the first time in years, “Star Wars” fans were united in their love for a new release in their beloved franchise, something that hasn’t happened since the Clone Wars series came out in the early 2000s.
Fans, non-fans, and critics loved it for its deep samurai-western plot and the expansion of the lore of the series’ beloved bounty hunter tribe called Mandalorians. It was close enough to the source material to make it familiar to fans, but its story was original and captivating enough to reel in even the most casual of viewers. Plus, its series format means that viewers don’t have to go to the theater during the pandemic to enjoy the story. It’s a win for everyone.
Although the success of the series can be attributed largely to the legendary main character, played by the equally legendary actor Pedro Pascal, there’s another significant reason that fans love the show. You’ve probably guessed it by now — it’s Baby Yoda.
The Baby Yoda Fever
The hype for Baby Yoda (known in the official story as “The Child”) happened after the show was released. The child wasn’t even shown in the trailers. However, Baby Yoda made an appearance immediately in the first episode. When people started binging it on Disney+, a perfect storm of social media posts, searches, and memes all about Baby Yoda dominated the rest of 2019.
The term “Baby Yoda” was the number one top trending Google search in America for 2019, according to the search engine’s “Year in Search” report for that year. Even in 2020, people are still fascinated about The Child. There are thousands of searches for “baby yoda meme.” There are more than 2,000 searches for “baby yoda christmas meme” as well.
If you look at the “people also ask” section on The Child’s Google results, you’ll see the query “Is Baby Yoda actually Yoda?” After all, they do look like the old Jedi Master and they’re quite adept at using the force. If you’re still confused about that, the answer is no. Master Yoda died and became a Force Ghost in the original trilogy, years before The Mandalorian met The Child. This suggests, however, that the old Jedi master has other members of his species still alive and kicking in a galaxy far, far away.
The Ever-Popular Baby Yoda Memes
The most popular memes of The Child include pictures of them looking up at “The Mandalorian” in episode two after eating a frog, drinking a beverage from a cup too large for them, and even the scene where they’re beside “The Mandalorian” as the latter snipes a bunch of Jawas into oblivion.
Each meme format comes with relatable captions.
The first one often involves relatable stories of childhood, like watching their dad put batteries in their Gameboy or holding their dad’s tools while he works on something.
The second involves people Photoshopping different drinks and snacks into the picture, so it looks like Baby Yoda is holding them.
And the third, well, mostly involves gun violence in video games.
These memes haven’t gone out of style yet.
And they’ve done a lot of work in hyping up and promoting the show. It makes you wonder if traditional advertising methods still work. If you want a Baby Yoda meme template that you can edit and post yourself, Know Your Meme, the premier database for all hilarious pictures and videos on the internet, has you covered.
If you don’t want to deal with the task of photo editing and use a meme generator instead, head over to Imgflip. You can create your relatable Baby Yoda Meme for yourself without the hassle.
What’s the Deal With the Baby Yoda Meme?
You can’t blame people for being absolutely in love with Baby Yoda. The Child is, indeed, adorable. So cute that The Mandalorian decided to go against his clients’ wishes and decides to protect The Child instead of turning it in. But good ol’ Mando probably has a deeper reason for it. Your love for Baby Yoda and other cute memes like kittens, Doge, Baby Nut, may hold a deeper meaning, too. It’s called “baby fever” and scientists have been debating whether or not it’s real.
Not to be mistaken with an infant having an actual fever, baby fever is a term for the longing that some people claim to experience to have a child of their own. This is often preceded by seeing a cute baby, even if it is from a fictional species. Researchers from Kansas State University studied this phenomenon for over a decade. They found that baby fever can indeed happen to anyone, regardless of sex or gender.
The researchers analyzed three different theories as to why people feel baby fever:
- Byproduct view — Studies have found that you find Baby Yoda cute because they remind you of a human infant. After all, they share the same irresistible qualities: round heads, puffy cheeks, and big eyes. They activate a desire within you to protect and care for the cute critter you’re gushing over.
- Sociocultural view — When you see a cute creature and it reminds you of a baby, you may get pressured by society to have a child of your own, especially if you’re a woman. Researchers stated that this is because of traditional gender roles.
- Adaptionist view — The researchers also found that baby fever could also trigger an emotional signal to other parts of the body that it might be a good time to bear a child. They tested these theories by performing studies to understand peoples’ desires to have a child. The sociocultural theory didn’t hold much importance for the respondents. Instead, there were three factors that predicted how much they wanted to bear a baby.
- Positive exposure — Good memories like cuddling babies and holding their hands made people want to bear a child.
- Negative exposure — Bad memories associated with having a kid like babies having tantrums and crying and changing dirty diapers made people not want to have a baby.
- Trade-offs — The consequences of having a kid like spending more money and sacrificing one’s social life, made people think twice about bearing a child.
The researchers found that there were people who were high on the positive aspects of having a baby. As such, the mere sight of a cute baby animal or human infant triggered their baby fever.
There were also respondents who were transfixed on the negative aspects and were convinced that they didn’t want to have a kid. Moreover, those who focused on the tradeoffs had mixed feelings as to whether they wanted a child or not, but they lean more towards the “not wanting” side. After all, bearing and taking care of a kid is expensive and you don’t really get much money in return.
The authors, who published their findings in 2011, plan on finding out if there were specific hormones that triggered this phenomenon and how they worked.
Based on these results, Anakin Skywalker definitely isn’t a part of the baby fever club.
The way you react to Baby Yoda and other cute memes is due to centuries of evolution. You want to protect and care for them like your own kid. Getting a case of baby fever from them, however, may depend on your perception and past experiences with infants.
If you had mostly positive experiences and views of children, you may focus on those feelings when you see cute creatures, making you want to have a kid of your own. And if you had negative experiences or feelings with babies or think that they’re not worth the money and stress, then you may just see Baby Yoda as a mere plot device in a show you like.