He’s been known by many names: the Asset, the Child, Baby Yoda. Someday, though, everyone in the galaxy far, far away might know him as Mandalore’s ruler. That might sound like a bold prediction, especially when you remember how much Mandalorians hate Force users. But anything and everything seems possible for young Grogu, who has already lived an incredible life. Who exactly is The Mandalorian‘s little star? Where did he come from and what do Imperial officers want with him? Here’s everything we know about Grogu’s adventures in Star Wars history and what might await him in the future.
Where and When Was Grogu Born?
We don’t know where Grogu was born or even his home planet. He is only the third member of his species—alongside Yoda and Yaddle—to appear in the Star Wars franchise. Based on what we know about Yoda, Grogu could live to be 900 years old. And all three members of this unnamed, mysterious species are also Force users. Yaddle sat on the Jedi Council alongside Yoda during the end of the Galactic Republic. Otherwise we know very little about these short, green, big-eared beings.
We don’t know anything about Grogu’s parents, either. More importantly, we don’t even know if he has parents. One popular fan theory says Grogu is a clone of Yoda. While there is circumstantial evidence to support that possibility, Grogu’s age would seem to contradict that idea. The Jedi Council didn’t even know about Kamino’s clone army until Attack of the Clones set in 22 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope). Unless someone with sinister motives had a Yoda clone made without Jedi’s knowledge… It seems unlikely Yoda would let himself be cloned.
Din Djarin’s surrogate son was born in 41 BBY. Despite being a toddler-like child, Grogu is already 50. Thanks to The Mandalorian we now know his species’ long lifespan also means they age very slowly.
What Is the Connection Between Grogu and Anakin Skywalker?
Grogu’s birth year might reveal much more than just how slowly his species ages. It’s the exact same year Shmi Skywalker gave birth to Anakin, the so-called Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. Coincidence? That’s definitely a possibility, but Jon Favreau and Lucasfilm could have picked any other year to set Grogu’s fictional birthday. Maybe they simply liked the poetry of that connection. Whatever the reason, the idea there’s meaning behind them opting for 41 BBY can’t be dismissed entirely.
Considering how powerful Anakin was, how strong with the Force Grogu appears, and the fact Anakin ultimately didn’t bring balance to the Force (as the Star Wars sequels show), it’s enough to wonder if the famed prophecy of the Chosen One actually speaks of Grogu.
When Did Grogu Go to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant?
The Jedi took Force-sensitive children into the Order as infants so they wouldn’t have any memories of where they came from. (Anakin’s admission as a child was the exception.) Obi-Wan Kenobi showed that didn’t stop them from retaining some connection to their families, but that doesn’t change that Grogu was likely very young when he arrived at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The Star Wars prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars animated series showed just how much training younglings received. They began learning the ways of the Jedi as soon as they could. Considering his slow aging process, in actual years Grogu might have been much older than other Padawans when they arrived. But relatively speaking he was almost certainly still equivalent to an infant or very young toddler.
Who Saved Grogu From Order 66?
Jedi Master Luke Skywalker helped unlock some of Grogu’s repressed memories during their time together on The Book of Bba Fett. That’s how we first learned Grogu survived Order 66 at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. It wasn’t until “Chapter 20” of The Mandalorian that we saw which Jedi actually rescued Grogu from the attack.
After other Jedi fell in battle with clone troopers protecting Grogu, Ahmed Best’s Kelleran Beq was the one who ultimately got the Padawan off the planet. A Naboo Royal Security Force had a ship ready and waiting to for any Jedi survivors, and those guards stayed behind so Kelleran and Grogu could flee. However, we still don’t know who helped organize the rescue and where Kelleran took Grogu after they left Coruscant. We do have some theories, though.
When Did Din Djarin Find Grogu?
The Mandalorian began around 9 or 10 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). That’s when the bounty hunter Din Djarin accepted a mission from a former Imperial officer to retrieve a valuable asset. Although Din originally handed “The Child” over for a large payment of Beskar steel ( the sacred metal Mandalorians use to make their armor), he then kidnapped Grogu back out of honor.
The exact amount of time they’ve spent together is unclear, but seems to be anywhere from one to two years in the Star Wars timeline.
Is Grogu a Mandalorian?
Grogu is a Mandalorian the same way Din Djarin is. Neither was born on Mandalore, their peoples’ home planet. Rather, they are both Foundlings, orphans discovered and raised by Mandalorians “in the way” of those famed warriors. Din is—or “was” since he’s currently exiled from the group—a member of the Watch. It’s a clan of zealots who follow the most ancient and controversial tenants of Mandalore.
Mandalorians organize themselves by clans, and the Armorer named Din and Grogu their own two-person clan represented by the skull of a mudhorn. That became their sigil after Grogu used the Force to defeat the beast and save Din.
Why Does the Empire Want Grogu?
Palpatine died five years before The Mandalorian began, but Moff Gideon still works for him. The man who oversaw the Great Purge of Mandalore is now in charge of the clone program we know will one day create both Snoke and a clone body for the Emperor. Gideon and his head scientist, Dr. Pershing (who wears the cloning symbol of Kamino on his sleeve) believed the key to the program was Grogu’s midi-chlorian rich blood. They used it before, but Pershing was only able to extract so much without killing “the Asset.” (Pershing seemed to value Grogu’s life for reasons that go beyond his work, but after having his memories erased while in service to the New Republic, we don’t know what to expect from Pershing anymore.) Regardless of his chief scientist’s status, Gideon continues to search for Grogu to resume his project.
Gideon and Grogu’s history also raises more questions than it answers. How long did Gideon have Grogu? How did Grogu escape the Empire’s clutches in the first place? Did Palpatine’s forces “rescue” the Padawan during Order 66 because they knew how powerful his blood is? Or did Palpatine have Grogu cloned from Yoda years earlier for just that reason?
If the little guy’s blood really does prove to be the key to bringing back a Sith as strong as Palpatine, or to the creation of Snoke, it would point to Grogu being even more powerful in the Force than anyone, even Luke Skywalker, might realize. Obi-Wan Kenobi showed Palpatine was already keeping Force users bodies around to start his self-cloning project long before Darth Vader killed him.
Why Did Grogu Leave Ahsoka Tano and Luke Skywalker?
Despite his personal affections, Din Djarin set out to return Grogu to his own “people,” the Jedi. Ahsoka Tano refused to take the Child in because she no longer considers herself a Jedi. But Luke Skywalker took Grogu on as a Padawan after answering the call Grogu sent from Tython’s ancient Jedi Temple.
Much like Anakin, Grogu was too emotionally connected to his parent to totally commit to his Jedi training. Grogu chose to leave Luke and the Jedi behind when presented with the opportunity. Luke told Grogu he could stay and continue learning with him, or he could accept the gift of a Beskar steel chainmail shirt Din left for him and reunite with the Mandalorian.
During The Book of Boba Fett‘s season one finale R2-D2 flew Grogu to reunite with Din on Tatooine. Grogu’s arrival also saved his surrogate dad’s life, as Grogu used the Force to stop an out of control rancor. The two ended the season by leaving the planet in Din’s new ship, a modified Naboo N-1 starfighter.
Is Grogu Already a Jedi?
Grogu’s time with Luke Skywalker was brief, but it revealed a lot. In addition to everything we learned from Grogu’s Order 66 flashback, Luke also shared a telling revelation about his first Padawan with Ahsoka Tano. “It’s more like he’s remembering than I’m actually teaching him anything,” said Luke.
He might have chosen his Mando dad over the life of a Jedi, but that might not matter. Grogu could already know everything he needs to be a Jedi. If that’s true he might fulfill a very different prophecy about a legendary hero. The few surviving Mandalorians remain scattered throughout the galaxy. They need a Mand’alor to unite them. And their most celebrated ruler ever was Tarre Vizsla, creator of the Darksaber and the only Mandalorian Jedi we know about. A Jedi Foundling is exactly the type of hero those warriors might need.
A bold prediction, for sure. But from everything else we know about Grogu’s amazing life already it’s one we wouldn’t bet against.
Originally published on February 7, 2023.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.