If you know Grog, you’ve already fallen in love with him. star child The Mandalorian took our hearts by storm and became one of the most rewarding parts star Wars Universe. We’ve seen creatures like him before, but none enough How is he. Yoda (Frank Oz) and Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard) are certainly distinctive in their own way, surprising everyone with their lightsaber skills and wisdom as if they were the Jedi Masters of yesteryear. However, their disagreements with Grog go far beyond the fact that they can fight, the most prominent being the baby’s beady black eyes.

When we first met Grog, we all marveled at our new little green friend, a sort of “Baby Yoda”. While his youth meant that he was physically different from his peers, most of the physical traits were already present, such as short stature, cute big ears, and Force sensitivity. But his eyes have always been one of his cutest qualities, and also what sets him apart from his kind. Why are they all black and so different from the more “human” eyes of Yoda and Yaddle? There are reasons in the universe, but like everything in star Warsit all starts in the production studio.


How ILM and The Mandalorian Escaped the Uncanny Valley

Grog watching fireworks during Boonta Eve in The Mandalorian
Image via Disney

The Uncanny Valley is an interesting production design concept. First introduced by a Japanese professor of robotics. Masahiro Mori in 1970, the Uncanny Valley theory refers to the unpleasant, sometimes eerie feeling when you see a humanoid object that looks a little too much Human. It consists of trying to make something as close to reality as possible, but not too much, otherwise it may look strange before looking perfect. Grog was a challenge for Lucasfilm’s art department because he dances on the fine line that separates the cute from the supernatural.

At Star Wars Celebration 2022, Lucasfilm executive and design master Doug Chang presented a panel titled “The Making of the Mandalorian” by Doug Chang, in which he detailed the challenges of creating this “little Yoda-like creature”, with particular attention to the eyes of a child. According to him, designing Grog was the hardest part of their job, precisely because of how weird the character could look if not done right. Again, the challenge was to walk “a very fine line without being too cute,” says Chan, while also coming up with something “that the fans will like.” And indeed, we love Grog, but he had a long way to go before he became what he is today. “John [Favreau] went on to describe him as “ugly cute,” something that wasn’t made to be cute,” Chan says. This was the moment when they realized that the eyes are the key to Grog’s perfect appearance.

Dean Djarin with Grogu in The Mandalorian season 3 trailer
Image via Disney+

Early character designs depicted him with human eyes, with a well-defined pupil and whites around it. They even tried to make Grog look like a dwarf, but settled on something more like Yoda. However, the eyes were a problem. “When it’s human eyes, you can see the white color of his eyes, it gets very weird very quickly.” (One might even say supernatural!). Chan continues, “It’s really curious because Yoda has human eyes and they fit him perfectly, but oddly enough, when we gave Grog human eyes, he just looked creepy and psychopathic.”

So maybe it wasn’t about trying to make Grog look like Yoda, but about coming up with a specific design for himself. “John wanted them to be like dogs, with huge dark pupils,” Chan continues, and luckily for us, this is what we got – an alternative being the psychotic Samurai Dwarf of the concepts shown. “We were all circling something, we knew we were in the zone, but none of them hit the perfect note for John.”

However, the current design was not long in coming after that. It was the visual effects artist Christian Alzmann who cracked it and was the first to give Grog his signature look. “Like a puppy, there is enough white in his eyes to make him look adorable,” Chung concludes. “Seeing that tiny bit of white made his eyes look very charming and sympathetic, and then when he put it in his huge bag, he completely captured that ‘ugly cute’ factor.” So, this is how you make baby Yoda, or even better, Grog.

Will Grog end up looking more like Yoda?

Grog in The Mandalorian Season 2 Chapter 13
Image via Disney+

We still know little about the Grog races. In fact, we know almost nothing, and even Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) asks the child himself if he remembers anything from “home” in Boba Fett book. Ahsoka Tano (English)Rosario Dawson) is another being who met Yoda in the past and is extremely interested in Grog. The looks of Yoda and Yaddle didn’t matter when they first appeared because they weren’t central characters, but Grogu’s personality is one of the central plots of the game. The Mandalorianso we should get more information about it in the future.

What we do know is that there is a huge age difference between two individuals of this unknown species. When Yoda died Return of the Jedihe was 900 years old. Grog is much younger, in his early 50s by the time of Season 3. The Mandalorian. Some even tried to establish what would be the human equivalent, but in the end it all comes down to the fact that the IG-11 (Taika Waititi) mentions when meeting the little guy: species age differently. Grog is just now learning to express himself and still has a long way to go in terms of biological growth before he can reach his full potential and take on his final form.

What can be expected is that, eventually, Grog’s eyes will adjust to his adult proportions and take on a more Yoda-like appearance instead of the puppy eyes he currently has as a child. Now his black eyes are not only a biological feature, but also serve a narrative purpose, making him sympathetic to the audience and characters. Here’s what his surrogate father, Din Djarin, did (Pedro Pascal), bonding with him in the first place, for example, and which makes him so easily likable to other characters, even tougher like Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Gunsmith (Emily Swallow). But there is no way to know exactly when that will happen, so we might as well just sit back and enjoy the ride while it lasts. Because kids grow up so fast…

The Mandalorian streaming on Disney+ with new episodes every Wednesday.