Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jason Sudeikis is sorry/not sorry about punching Baby Yoda in the face

Conan O’Brien, Jason Sudeikis
Conan O’Brien, Jason Sudeikis
Screenshot: Conan

On Monday’s Conan, Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis explained how teaching good and evil through the Star Wars lens is pretty eye-opening when those eyes belong to his six-year-old son, Otis. Sudeikis is figuring that quarantine lockdown is the perfect time to catch his children up with the classics of his own childhood, including E.T. and the Star Wars ennealogy, which has provided the former Saturday Night Live star with something of an unexpected challenge when it comes to introducing the concept of your favorite character becoming a world-destroying, child-murdering terror-monster.

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See, Sudeikis made the toughest choice any parent can make in determining that story order (rather than release order) is the way to let his kids experience the whole Star Wars universe. (Yes, there is debate on this topic, but that’s why parenting is a tough job.) And, to be fair, the fact that Otis was just the right age to identify with adorable, tow-headed little Annakin Skywalker might have been the deciding factor in Sudeikis’ decision to start with the variously derided prequels. The Phantom Menace is geared decidedly toward the young(lings), after all, which, as Sudeikis told Conan, made it dicey once Haden Christiansen took over the Annakin role and headed down the road to Darth Vader-dom. And forget the kids, once that Palpatine jerk started whispering in Annakin’s ear, their insidiously evil dynamic, at least according to Sudeikis, made watching our universe’s nightly news a bit more comprehensible to him. “Oh yeah, Palpatine’s a son of a bitch,” Sudeikis recalled realizing, “He would absolutely be getting rid of mailboxes right now. I see what this slick MF-er is trying to pull.”

Thankfully for uncomfortably disillusioning father-son talks, Sudeikis plans to stop the Star Wars (for now) after The Rise Of Skywalker, which will save him having to explain to Otis and currently too-young for this Daisy why daddy hauled off and punched America’s most marketable recent Star Wars sweetheart right in his impossibly adorable kisser on The Mandalorian. At least that’s presumably where Sudeikis’ speeder bike-riding stormtrooper appears to sock Baby Yoda when the Imperial functionary gets tired of the captive Baby Yoda’s chattering and cooing and thumps the unseen creature where he squirms in Sudeikis’ Empire-issued laptop bag. Noting that it was a “dream come true” to be asked to do his buddy-cop cameo alongside Adam Pally as “Redemption”’s pair of bumbling, baby-socking Imperial functionaries (especially since Otis got to visit a real, live Star Wars set), Sudeikis yet had to cope with the internet suddenly finding out that he was mean to a puppet during a brief job he did several months earlier.

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Explaining how he was chilling with Otis at home one lazy weekend when partner and Booksmart director Olivia Wilde informed him he was trending for all the wrong reasons, Sudeikis told O’Brien that he had to hyper-hump his way back into the headspace of an abusive authoritarian lackey. After running through all the possibilities (“Am I dead? Did I die? Am I cancelled?”) Sudeikis had to come to grips with the fact that he was receiving hate-tweets because he (and Pally) went “Great Santini-style” on America’s favorite little goblin. “I think that’s a career-killer,” deadpanned Conan, to which Sudeikis suggested a CGI defense, since nobody ever saw Bike Scout Trooper #1's face when he did the unthinkable. “I know what Jim Gaffigan is going through,” joked Sudeikis of his moment of fanatic-fueled, disproportionate internet infamy.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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