Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Here is Baby Jabba, weak pretender to Baby Yodas throne
Screenshot: CBS Miami (YouTube)

Baby Yoda, as much as his stubborn internet ubiquity tempts us to believe otherwise, is a marvel of heart-melting puppet design. In the space of only a few months since he first toddled onto the screen, the big-eyed, floppy-eared, snub-nosed creature has wormed his way into the nerve centers of modern culture. He has become the world’s collective green child. He is the best thing to come out of Star Wars since the little bat kid from the first movie’s cantina scene.

It’s only natural that Boda’s dominance will be challenged. Some suggested that the Porgs might be better. They were wrong. The Rise Of Skywalker introduced Babu Frik as the next big thing in captivating alien puppets. Babu Frik, though, is powerless next to Baby Yoda. And now, Baby Jabba—a new, unofficial take on another classic Star Wars creature—has surfaced as a possible replacement. It, too, we must make clear, is nothing more than an idle distraction from the main event.

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Here, look:

While we’re in no way calling artist Leonardo Viti’s talent into question, the idea that this trash slug in any way measures up to Baby Yoda is ridiculous. For one thing, the hateful little Hutt, for all his adorable pudge, still looks like something fostered by sewer rats, raised on a steady diet of used needles and clumps of filthy wet wipes. The drool collecting at the corners of his beak-like mouth conjures the smell of the puddles left behind on sidewalks after sacks of leaking garbage have been collected on a humid summer’s day. The glassy black eyes are likely meant to conjure up sweet Boda’s own, but the implied warmth of Lil’ Yoda’s puppyish intelligence is replaced here only with the dim prehistoric cunning of a predatory reptile.

A rotating view of the tiny monster, provided by Viti as a way to fully display his impressively-detailed 3D model, only reinforces that it is an alien to be feared, not admired.

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No, Baby Jabba is no competitor. He is a nasty, unlovable beast. The only place he can stand a chance against Baby Yoda is in the Etsy marketplace, where even the litigious Disney corporation is sure to leave unofficial reproductions of his likeness alone.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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