Baby Yoda, Werner Herzog, and a Lesson in Courage

Screenshot: Lucasfilm/Disney+

So few among us have exerted true bravery: Seeing an indisputable wrong and working hard to right it, even when the issue at hand appears to be unsolvable. Let this Werner Herzog story become an inspiration to you: according to Vanity Fair, when the German filmmaker was on set for The Mandalorian and shooting a scene with Baby Yoda, he noticed showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni attempting to remove the puppet. Herzog was absolutely not having it, and hissed, “You are cowards. Leave it.”

And just like that, now I have the line I’m going to drop when friends and family start clearing the Thanksgiving dinner table too early.

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In case you’ve been offline for the past few weeks (I am jealous), Baby Yoda has become a viral obsession for fans enamored with its cute, Gremlin-before-getting-wet design. No one, however, loves him like Herzog. Earlier this month, while on the the Disney+ show’s fan premiere for The Mandalorian, Herzog was asked if he saw Baby Yoda on set, and he answered in the most Herzog fashion possible: “I’ve seen it on the set, and it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful. I saw two technicians operating it remote. One was for the eyes and the mouth, and the other one was for other facial expressions. It’s a phenomenal technical achievement and beyond the technological achievement, it’s heartbreaking.”

He paused, “On the set, it looked absolutely convincing. It made you cry when you saw it.”

Ironically, I nearly cried when I saw that clip.

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Maria Sherman

Senior Writer, Jezebel