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J.J. Abrams Rules Out Baby Yoda Appearing in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

Perhaps a Baby Yoda appearance would've resulted in more positive first reactions to the film.

"The Mandalorian"

“The Mandalorian”

Disney+

Based on the divisive first reactions to “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” it appears the final entry in the Skywalker saga could have used a dose of Baby Yoda. Speaking to Variety on the red carpet at “The Rise of Skywalker” world premiere, director and co-writer J.J. Abrams spoiled that Baby Yoda does not make an appearance in the new “Star Wars” movie. Many “Star Wars” fans have wondered how the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” might connect to “The Rise of Skywalker,” but the answer is not Baby Yoda.

“Baby Yoda is not in this movie,” Abrams told Variety’s awards columnist Marc Malkin. “But he’s the cutest thing in the history of time. How do you deny Baby Yoda? You cannot.”

Baby Yoda has become the breakout character of “The Mandalorian.” The creature’s widespread popularity has turned the Disney+ series into a hit for the streaming service despite mixed reviews. That Disney debuted “The Mandalorian” nearly two months before “The Rise of Skywalker’s” theatrical release led many to believe the series would somehow tie into the new “Star Wars” movie.

The connection between the two projects was seemingly teased further when Disney moved up this week’s new episode of “The Mandalorian” from Friday to Wednesday, so that it airs a couple days ahead of “Rise of Skywalker” opening nationwide. Whether or not there is a connection between the “Star Wars” properties remains to be seen, but Abrams confirms it won’t be Baby Yoda related. Some “Star Wars” fans noticed the Mandalorian’s spaceship is included in one shot in “The Rise of Skywalker” trailer that features an armada of spaceships. Abrams denied Baby Yoda’s involvement in “The Rise of Skywalker” but did talk more about possible connections between the franchises.

Disney is opening “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in theaters nationwide December 20. Watch the director answer the Baby Yoda question in the video below. A new “Mandalorian” debuts Wednesday with a Rise of Skywalker”-related special look.

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