The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau has revealed how the design for Baby Yoda was inspired by a virtual reality project he had been working on for years.
He also unveiled the bizarre concept art that was created in order to perfect the look of the adorable critter, who has since taken the internet by storm.
Favreau discussed the origins of The Child on the latest episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, which focuses on the practical effects deployed in the Disney+ series.
The filmmaker said everyone involved “had a vision for what a bad version of [Baby Yoda] was”, but that the script just described it as a baby of Yoda’s species, with no other visual information.
He said: “The look of the big ears, we had inherited that from Yoda, and I had already been preoccupied with the look of big eyes and using ears for motion because I had been working on a VR project called Gnomes and Goblins for many years.
“And so, the idea of the face not being that expressive, but everything was about the eyes looking at you and the ears moving, was something that I had wanted to try.”
Favreau added that numerous drawings and designs were then created, with various problems, until a “weird” design formed the bedrock of what eventually made it to the screen.
He added: “Some of them were too cute, some of them were too ugly, some of them were the wrong proportions.
“Dave and I started zeroing in on what it was and then finally, it was one image that Chris Alzmann did that had him wrapped up in what looked like a piece of a flight jacket or something, we didn't know.
“His eyes were a little weird and he looked a little out of it. We found it charming and that became the rallying image that we said 'this is good'.”
The episode also featured a contribution from Mandalorian star Werner Herzog, who praised the “phenomenal” work of the team who brought Baby Yoda to life using “old school” effects.
He said: “There's no boundaries and what you can do here with new technologies is simply extraordinary, very much to my liking.”
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is currently airing weekly on Disney+, discussing various elements from behind the scenes of the ambitious Star Wars show.
Meanwhile, season two of The Mandalorian is set to debut later this year, avoiding the coronavirus delay that has scuppered many projects.
Pedro Pascal will return in the title role, alongside Baby Yoda, with Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez added to the starry list of directors.