- Jon Favreau, the creator of “The Mandalorian” and director of “The Lion King,” told The Hollywood Reporter that it was Donald Glover who inspired him to keep Baby Yoda a secret until “The Mandalorian” debuted.
- Favreau said Glover told him audiences like “to be surprised, because it doesn’t happen that much.”
- Because of the secrecy, some official Baby Yoda merchandise is available to preorder but won’t be delivered until the spring.
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You can blame the actor and musician Donald Glover for the lack of Baby Yoda merchandise this holiday season.
Jon Favreau, the creator of “The Mandalorian” creator and director of “The Lion King,” told The Hollywood Reporter that it was Glover who inspired him to keep Baby Yoda a secret until the first “Mandalorian” episode debuted on Disney Plus last month.
During filming for this year’s blockbuster “Lion King” remake, Glover (who voiced Simba in the movie) told Favreau that audiences liked surprises.
“We were talking about music and pop culture, and he was saying that what people really like now is to be surprised, because it doesn’t happen that much,” Favreau said. “When Beyoncé did an album, she would just put it online and everybody would react to it. Just putting it out there spurred a conversation that would become more viral and bring more genuine attention than any marketing.”
Glover also played a young Lando Calrissian in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” so he’s no stranger to the “Star Wars” franchise.
Baby Yoda has become an internet sensation over the past month, but toys weren’t available for the character because of that secrecy. Some toys, such as Funko Pop figures and a plush from Mattel, are available to preorder but won’t be delivered until the spring.
Favreau has said the intention was to not spoil the series ahead of the premiere.
“The way the cat usually gets out of the bag with that stuff is merchandising and toy catalogues and things like that,” he told Entertainment Tonight.
But it seems like the move worked. “The Mandalorian” is the biggest series in the world, based on demand data from Parrot Analytics. And the “Star Wars” series recently dethroned “Stranger Things” as the most in-demand series in the US after a 21-week streak.