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Baby Yoda was nearly a lot less cute (and a lot more horrifying)

Baby Yoda
(Image credit: Disney)

Artists certainly nailed what the world wanted from a toddler-sized Yoda when they created Baby Yoda for The Mandalorian last year. We, and the rest of the galaxy, can't get enough of those endearing eyes, super-long ears and oversized space jacket. But newly-released concept art reveals that the mini-Yoda wasn't always intended to capture our hearts with sheer adorability.

In fact, one early mock up of Baby Yoda shows that Disney could have gone in quite a different direction, leading us to believe that in an alternate universe there lies a Baby Yoda who is, in short, TERRIFYING. Let's take a closer look at the design, which definitely wouldn't make our list of top 3D art...

Actual Baby Yoda

Take a moment to soak up those chubby cheeks (Image credit: Disney)

It was vital the character of Baby Yoda was perfect (see him above) – they were dealing with one of the most iconic characters in film history, after all. And, as John Favreau discloses during the newest episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (try Disney Plus for free to get involved), getting the final design just right – cute, but not too cute – was a long process that involved viewing hundreds of concept drawings. 

These drawings swung wildly, one way or the other: too cute or too ugly. And the version below gives the final character a totally different feel. A pretty horrifying one, actually. 

Baby Yoda

Just. Not. Okay. (Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Though there are echoes of the final Baby Yoda within this design, the small and rounded eyes, cavernous ears and stomach-turning curly hair are at odds with the enchanting depiction that made it out of the studio. Though the face is squidgier, the toddler actually looks older, and those plump cheeks are not ones we want to squeeze. Unlike the final version, the features don't pull us in and we find ourselves wanting to look away – not a great feeling to have when faced with the coolest small being in the universe.

Seeing the different renditions together as above feels like spending time with a bunch of Yoda's siblings – all of which have wildly different personalities. (Including Danny Yo-Vito, according to Twitter user Blanked_Space.)

Fans everywhere are overwhelmingly appalled at what could have been, with expressions of gratitude pouring in for the appearance of the final render. Judging by the response to Sonic the Hedgehog's design misfire last year, Disney did well to get it right. 

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