At this time, we do not know the name of Grogu’s species. However, Yoda and Yaddle are also members of that same species. Yoda’s species is not named in the original trilogy or the early expanded universe.
Yaddle’s appearance in The Phantom Menace confirmed that there were more members of Yoda’s species, but it still did not give a name. While Grogu first appeared as “the child” in The Mandalorian, Lucusfilm still did not name their species.
Although the name of Yoda’s species might come out at some point, he first appeared over 40 years ago. At this point, Lucasfilm seems content to leave one of the biggest mysteries in Star Wars unsolved. And perhaps that is exactly what George Lucas intended.
From the Original Trilogy to the Prequel Trilogy and The Mandalorian, here are the key points about what we know about Yoda’s unnamed species.
What Is the Name of Yaddle, Grogu, and Yoda’s Species?
Although there is no official name for it yet, Yoda, Yaddle, and Grogu’s species is usually called “Yoda’s species.” Yoda and Grogu appear to be male members of the species, while Yaddle presents as female.
With the popularity of The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, there has been a rise in questions about Grogu’s species. However, Lucasfilm still has not named the species for Grogu, Yoda, and Yaddle.
The Origins of Yoda and His Species
George Lucas created the character of Yoda while developing The Empire Strikes Back. After killing off Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, Lucas wanted a mysterious and unassuming character as Luke Skywalker’s teacher in the sequel.
In Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, author Laurent Bouzereau says the character is intended to be “very childlike even though he’s an old man. He at first should be repulsive and slimy but then should become kind and wise.”
Early versions of the story call the character “Bunden Debannen,” “Minch,” and “Minch Yoda.”
Although his species is not named in the script or final movie, he is referred to as an elf in the novelization by Donald F. Glut. However, this is likely meant to describe the character to readers instead of naming his species.
The Star Wars Databank lists his species as “unknown,” but many resources use the name “Yoda’s species.”
George Lucas supposedly intended Yoda to be a powerful but mysterious being, choosing not to name his species. Prior to the Prequel Trilogy, writers for the Star Wars Expanded Universe were reportedly discouraged from exploring anything regarding Yoda’s species, origins, or backstory.
George Lucas jokingly referred to Yoda as the love child of Kermit and Miss Piggy in the “From Puppets to Pixel” documentary from the Attack of the Clones DVD release.
In an interview from around the time of Revenge of the Sith, Lucas said the following:
“I never really figured out where he came from, what his species is called… he’s a mystery character. He’s a magical character. He has no background. He comes and he goes. He’s the subversive secret mysterious stranger that enters the film and then exits at the end.”
Star Wars fans sometimes refer to Yoda’s species as the “short-statured tridactyl” or just “tridactyl” because he has three digits per limb. This is at least partially inaccurate because, canonically, Yoda has four toes per foot, three in front and one on the heel. However, he was depicted with three, four, and even five toes at various times.
Creating Yaddle and Introducing More of Yoda’s Species
George Lucas introduced Yaddle, a female member of Yoda’s species, in The Phantom Menace. The character began as a concept sketch as a younger version of Yoda.
However, she mysteriously disappeared for the rest of the Prequel Trilogy. Later, The Tales of the Jedi reintroduced the character and explored her fate.
While Yaddle’s appearance did little to clarify the name of their species, it seems to have had an impact on the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Four other members of Yoda’s species appeared in what is now the Star Wars Legends canon.
An unknown member of Yoda’s species appeared in the 1998 novella Dark Forces: Rebel Agent by William C. Dietz. Released more than a year before The Phantom Menace, it is possible that this unnamed character predates Yaddle’s creation.
A Jedi Master named Minch appeared in the 2003 comic short story “Heart of Darkness” by Paul Lee in the Darkhorse comic Star Wars Tales 16. Although Darkhorse claimed the character was Yoda, referring to an early name for the character, Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee clarified the story was not canon. The 2008 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia later established Minch as a separate character.
The male Jedi Master Vandar Tokare later appeared in the 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Tokare also appeared in several Knights of the Old Republic comics, the Knights of the Old Republic II video game, and Star Wars: The Old Republic video game and related stories.
Oteg, another male Jedi Master of Grogu and Yoda’s species, appeared in Star Wars: The Old Republic in 2011.
With the exception of Yaddle, none of these other members of Yoda and Grogu’s species are considered canon today.
Introducing Baby Yoda, AKA Din Grogu
2019’s The Mandalorian introduced “the child,” another member of Yoda’s species. Affectionately called Baby Yoda by the fandom, the child quickly became a phenomenon. The series made him canonically the third member of this unnamed species after Yoda and Yaddle.
Despite taking place five years after Return of the Jedi, some fans mistakenly thought the character was a younger version of Jedi Master Yoda. Other fan theories were that Baby Yoda was the child of Yoda, Yaddle, or both.
Season Two later clarified the character’s name as Grogu, but it still offered no information about the character’s species. While training with Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett, we see a flashback of Grogu at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant during Order 66.
Season Three of The Mandalorian further expands on the character, showing scenes of his rescue and escape during the fall of the Galactic Republic. At the end of the season, Din Djarin takes Grogu as his adoptive child and apprentice.
The Armoror calls him by his new name, Din Grogu. While Grogu is now Mandalorian by creed, this has no impact on his species.
Thus far, show creator and executive producer Jon Favreau has held to the existing precedent of not explaining Yoda’s backstory or species. Choosing the Mandalorians over the Jedi could signal that Favreau and the creative team plan to hold with the precedent moving forward.
Key Features of Grogu, Yaddle, and Yoda’s Species
To date, all members of Yoda’s species are small in stature with green skin and long pointed ears. Despite inconsistencies, the species canonically has three fingers on each hand and four toes on each foot.
All known examples of the species have at least some hair on their heads. It does not appear they can grow facial hair.
They also appear to be extremely powerful Force users. Yoda and Yaddle fact off against powerful Sith lords and Grogu has impressive control of the Force despite having very little training.
Long Life Span and Aging Process
The species is known for living an extremely long time, with Yoda living to 900 years old. Yoda was definitely considered old, but it is unclear exactly how long his species can live.
Yaddle was killed in a duel with Count Dooku when she was around 475 years old. She appeared to be a grown adult at the time.
Due to their long life span, they may have a unique aging process. Grogu is introduced at age 50, despite appearing and acting as a young child.
However, this could contradict what little we know about Yoda’s early life. The canon reference book Star Wars: Timelines indicates that Yoda became a Jedi Knight around 100 years old.
Also, the aging process of Yoda’s species could be non-linear or vary from being to being.
Despite Yoda’s backward speech pattern, it is unclear if this is a characteristic of his species or something unique to him. All three examples of the species appear to speak differently.
Yoda’s odd syntax originated in The Empire Strikes Back screenplay. Frank Oz told The Guardian in 2021 that he asked George Lucas if he could use an even more extreme cadence, creating his unique way of talking.
Voiced by actress and The Mandalorian director Bryce Dallas Howard in Tales of the Jedi, Yaddle’s speech pattern is very traditional.
So far, Grogu only speaks in baby-like coos and mumbles. Since there is no clear understanding of the speech pattern of Yoda’s species, Grogu could end up talking like Yoda, Yaddle, or something totally different.
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