Fans of Star Wars and Mandalorian will rejoice to know one of their favorite characters is on board the history Crew 1 mission. In a live video telecast of SpaceX's Crew Dragon mission, a little Baby Yoda could be spotted in the capsule, floating about the astronauts.
The video telecast was aimed at confirming the crew’s capsule was in orbit in a microgravity environment and the Baby Yoda was being used as a zero-gravity indicator.
As the astronauts are safely strapped into their seats as the Crew Dragon separates from the Falcon 9 Rocket, the baby Yoda toy bobs around in the air in zero gravity. In the video, two commentators notice how there will be further talks about the baby Yoda doll for sure. Taking plush toys on-board as a zero-gravity indicator is not a new or unique practice, however, and many other plushies like Dinosaur or Snoopy the dog have made spaceflights before.
The launch of Crew 1 is one of the biggest launches in modern history. Not only is it the first spacecraft to launch from American Soil in decades but the first flight by private entities (Elon Musk’s SpaceX). The crew consists of three American astronauts, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker from NASA and one Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. This is the first commercial flight ferrying crew and materials to the International Space Station (where it docked late at night on Monday).
As for the little stowaway caught on camera in the Crew Dragon capsule, Baby Yoda become a kind of cultural icon after the Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ in 2019. Yoda has been an icon for decades thanks to Lucas Film’s Star Wars series (from 1977’s original trilogy and the franchise continues even today).
The new show, Mandalorian, deals with events that happen five years after the 1983 film ‘Return of the Jedi.’ In this series, The Child’s rescue (a baby Yoda and no not the actual Yoda as a child but a member of his species), is a central plot of the show. The Child became a pop-culture phenomenon as soon as it premiered; appearing on merchandise and memes and everyone related to the Star-Wars fandom went fawning over the character.
However, recently fans have called out the show for Baby Yoda’s alleged ‘genocidal tendencies,’ where he consumes unfertilized eggs of another species.