Science Explains Why We Love Baby Yoda

If you’re any self-respecting Star Wars fan (or just someone up-to-date with current trends in the pop culture), then you know the internet is ablaze with the face of Baby Yoda from the new Star Wars live-action show The Mandalorian, which follows a lone gunfighter throughout his many adventures.

X-wing-like ears, saucer-size eyes that look so innocent and helpless and three-digit mitts are enough to make someone squirm with delight, all while their hearts are being melted by the alien baby’s adorableness.

But why is this so? Well, according to science, we don’t have much say. And we’re pretty much programmed to feel this way whenever we see Baby Yoda, or anything else that we consider as cute for that matter.

“Little Baby Yoda is not a natural animal. He was selected. He, basically, was more than even domesticated for the traits that we hold dear,” Alan Beck, a professor of animal ecology at Purdue University, said.

In fact, studies and research on the power of cuteness have been made as early as the 1940s, when ethologist and zoologist Konrad Lorenz proposed the “baby schema,” which is a cluster of physical characteristics that inspire people to give care. Among these characteristics are wide eyes and a round head, both of which Baby Yoda has. And seeing Disney, the company that owns the Star Wars franchise, transformed Mickey Mouse in the past to make him look more appealing and childlike ( bigger head and eyes), it’s hard to say that it wasn’t the intention at all.

They know what they’re doing. We are sort of hardwired to respond to these sorts of features,” Daniel Blumstein, a professor at UCLA’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, said.

“'Oh, isn’t that cute,' we say when we see a Baby Yoda, or when we see a puppy, or when we see a baby of any other species, where we might not have that same feeling when we see an adult of another species,” he added.

So the next time you see that lovable, green alien baby on screen, know that it’s your motherly instincts kicking in, even if you’re a man.

yoda-922520_960_720 We all think Baby Yoda is adorable, and science can explain why. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)