Star Wars Celebration: Baby Yoda With Human Eyes Called “Creepy and Psychotic” by Designer

The big panel of the night at Star Wars Celebration was Doug Chiang: Designing The Mandalorian, featuring the VP & Executive Creative Director for Star Wars at Lucasfilm, who also served as Design Supervisor on the first season of The Mandalorian and Production Designer on the second, showing off all kinds of making-of art and behind-the-scenes. Naturally, at a certain point, Chiang spoke about the design process for Grogu, best known around the world as Baby Yoda. Chiang called it the “trickiest design” of the series, saying they spent a lot of time working on the “very fine line of not going too cute” but also something fans would love.

“Finally we came back to something that was more Yoda-like, this seemed to be the direction that worked the best,” Chiang said. “We were all circling something, we knew we were in the zone, but none of these were hitting the perfect note for Jon (Favreau). Jon kept describing him as ‘ugly-cute,’ something that’s not designed to be cute. It turned out that the eyes were the key, Jon wanted them to be dog-like with giant, dark pupils; and note human like, when they’re human eyes, when you can see the whites and the color of his eyes, it gets very strange very fast. And this is really curious because Yoda has human eyes, and it looks great for him, but oddly when we gave Grogu human eyes he just looked creepy and psychotic.”

Chiang added, “Like a puppy dog, there’s just enough white in his eyes visible to make him look adorable. Seeing that tiny bit of white gave his eyes a very charming, sympathetic look. Then dressing him in this oversized sake completely captured that ugly-cute factor.”

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The big panel of the night at Star Wars Celebration was Doug Chiang: Designing The Mandalorian, featuring the VP & Executive Creative Director for Star Wars at Lucasfilm, who also served as Design Supervisor on the first season of The Mandalorian and Production Designer on the second, showing off all kinds of making-of art and…

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