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The Mandalorian: Grogu's evolution from defenseless baby to fierce warrior

Our little boy has grown up

Grogu using the force
Image credit: Disney

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Everyone's favorite baby Yoda, Grogu, really stepped up in the most recent season of The Mandalorian streaming on Disney+. He came to his father's rescue on several occasions, and displayed his Jedi skills during the battle on Mandalore.

Despite looking the same over the past three seasons, and as adorable as ever, Grogu has gone through a journey of significant development, evolving from a defenseless baby in his space carriage to a formidable warrior taking on crimson armored elite guards. The developments at the end of season 3 mark a new stage for the Child, and his growth so far is enough to make any dad, or viewer, proud.

Grogu the helpless baby of The Mandalorian

the mandalorian -- grogu chapter 1
Image credit: Photo: Lucasfilm

When Din Djarin is tasked to retrieve a 50-year-old target and discovers that his target is a big-eared green baby, it comes as a bit of a surprise. Fans immediately made the connection between The Child and the Jedi Master Yoda, as they almost certainly shared a species. It would make sense too, as Luke Skywalker's mentor and instructor lived to be almost 900. So what would be middle aged in human years could still be the infant stages for their species.

Grogu traveled in a shielded hovering pram that he could hide in when danger arose. Like any toddler, he required a lot of supervision and protection. It seemed like the entire galaxy was after the little guy. From bounty hunters to ex-Imperials, he was one in demand baby. However, wherever he went, the Mandalorian was by his side ensuring his safety. When Mando couldn't watch over Grogu, the old adage of 'it takes a village to raise a child' rang true. The Child had a revolving door of babysitters to keep a watchful eye on him - including a repurposed bounty hunting droid, a backwater starship mechanic, a Frog Lady, and more.

Despite looking so vulnerable, we caught glimpses, from time to time, of his full potential. The main reason Grogu was highly sought after was due to his connection to The Force. It didn't take long to see what he was capable of. In 'Chapter 2: The Child,' he levitated a huge-rhinoceros type beast known as a Mudhorn, allowing his guardian to kill it. He also demonstrated healing powers by removing the poison from Greef Karga's arm in 'Chapter 7: The Reckoning.' However, Grogu didn't have firm control of his abilities and would regularly expend himself requiring ample recovery afterwards.

Grogu goes back to school in The Book of Boba Fett

the book of boba fett -- grogu and rancor
Image credit: Photo: Lucasfilm

Season 2 of The Mandalorian finds Djarin searching for the Jedi so he can reunite Grogu with his people. In the thrilling finale during the rescue of the Child from Moff Gideon, things look grim when Dark Troopers are closing in on our hero and his companions. At the last minute, Luke Skywalker comes to their rescue making short work of the droids and taking Grogu with him to be his first pupil, and simultaneously breaking hearts everywhere, as Grogu leaves his adopted father behind.

Under the tutelage of the Jedi Master, much of what Grogu previously learned at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant returns. He is able to channel The Force more easily and tap into it to enhance his agile acrobatics. His leaping in the air throughout the swamp in 'Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger' while evading a Marksman-H training remote is reminiscent of Yoda in his battle with Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.

But Grogu's training comes to a halt when forced to make a difficult choice between becoming a Jedi or returning to Djarin. The little guy grew close to his guardian during their adventures and selects the latter. But that doesn't mean his time with the Jedi was a waste. He puts his newly relearned skills to good use in 'Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor,' when Grogu becomes the knight in shining beskar armor as he rides in on a chariot and helps incapacitate one of the Skorpenek droids. He also uses The Force to calm the rampaging rancor while it terrorizes Mon Espa. Both times it's to save Djarin's life.

Grogu moves up to apprentice in The Mandalorian

the mandalorian -- grogu chapter 24
Image credit: Photo: Lucasfilm

In the most recent season of The Mandalorian, Grogu is noticeably more vocal. He can't quite string any words together, and it's more babbling than anything. Still, it's further progression in his development. Grogu's progress escalates when he starts using his IG-12 mini-mecha in 'Chapter 23: Spies,' since the mecha can actually talk. Sure, it only says "yes" or "no," but nothing indicates growing up like the minute a baby starts talking back and giving attitude to their dad. Infantile tantrums aside, the kid does have a level of maturity when he plays peacemaker between Paz Vizsla and Axe Woves. He's seen too much bloodshed in his relatively short life.

Seeing all this growth, Din Djarin is impressed with Grogu's progress. Probably due to the multiple times that Grogu has saved his life, the Mandalorian is comfortable enough to have his son compete with other kids in combat training in 'Chapter 20: The Foundling.' It's hard for the youngling to be so open with his powers (considering that's how he survived this whole time), but he does score an emphatic victory over his opponent. There's even added bonus points for besting Paz Vizsla's son.

But training is one thing compared to real-life situations. Grogu combines everything he has learned so far during the war for Mandalore in the season 3 finale. Once again, Grogu rescues his dad, this time from Moff Gideon's guards. They exhibit their great teamwork combining their strength to defeat three Praetorian Guards. Grogu skillfully evades every strike and uses strategic Force pushes so Djarin can gain the upper hand. When they finally confront Moff Gideon along with Bo-Katan Kryze, the diminutive fighter forms a Force bubble that shields the trio as the ex-Imperial is consumed in flames.

At the end of this adventure, Djarin makes his adoption of Grogu official, as the rest of the Mandalorians look on. It is now Din Djarin's sole responsibility to raise his son in the ways of his people. At the end of the ceremony, the youngling is christened Din Grogu, Mandalorian apprentice. The new name and title mark the start of a new stage in young Grogu's life, and Din Djarin's too.

Former Imperials and other enemies of the New Republic better beware, because there's a new bounty hunting team (with one still in training) on your tails.


For Star Wars' The Mandalorian & Grogu movie to be a success, Lucasfilm must break their winning formula

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Gary Catig

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