He’s adorable. He’s green (well, bluish-green, anyway). And he rarely seems to eat. Even when he’s older and decidedly greener, the only thing we see him eat is Dagobah stew. When he does chow down, is his food giving him that color? Or is it simply due to genetic cuteness? In the panel “What Would Baby Yoda Eat?” Science Track director and moderator Stephan Granade and science specialists Bethany Brookshire, D.N. Lee, Stephani Page, and Tina Saey tried to solve the mystery Saturday at 8PM on the Science Track YouTube channel. Typical of the scientifically minded, the panelists began with things they had observed and tried to draw hypotheses from this admittedly scarce information.
First: Baby Yoda (aka “The Child” on The Mandalorian) is, well, a baby. He has a lot of growing to do, and 800 to 900 years ahead of him. Since bones decay with age, he’s got to build some majorly strong bones for them to last that long, Saey pointed out, so he needs lots of calcium. Green milk, anyone?
Second: Baby Yoda has spikey teeth, Lee noted, so he must be a carnivore. But what kind of meat would Yoda eat on Dagobah? Brookshire proposed fish, since there’s plenty of water on Dagobah. She also said that we don’t know anything about Yoda’s home world, but his species could be mesopredators, both predator and prey. Their coloring might be evolutionary camouflage.
Third: Yoda made stew on Dagoba. But what did he put in it? He spat out the ration bar and said Luke wouldn’t grow by eating that stuff, Saey noted, so the bars probably didn’t have the right nutrients for Yoda’s species. Lee joked that Yoda was, in fact, living in a stew at the time (Dagobah). The components of his stewpot must have been water soluble, Brookshire said, so perhaps he needed to break down the fiber to access nutrients. After all, stew makes everything more nutritionally available. It’s a great food for Jedi, Lee quipped, because they can throw the scraps into the pot and go do Jedi stuff while its cooking. No wonder it was the first cooked food.
From there the conversation jumped to Dagobah being so full of life that it may have shielded Yoda’s use of the force from Empire baddies, which led to questions on the caloric burn of using the force. Is that why Yoda is so tired at the end of his life? And what’s with all the megafauna with no visible food source? Wampas eat Tauntauns, okay, but otherwise Hoth appears to be a barren ice planet. So what do Tauntauns eat? And the Sarlacc—why does it take 1,000 years to digest its food? So many questions, so little time. Maybe we’ll find out the answers next Dragon Con.