Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” has taken over social media — mostly because of the viral Baby Yoda meme. And it’s that internet sensation that spurred two local artists to plaster the character’s likeness across the Atlanta Beltline.
Pals Chris Veal and Nels G. spent the first day of 2020 painting up a storm after inspiration struck over the hit “Star Wars” series.
The wall-spanning artwork features the character, whose species is the same as Yoda’s, munching on the letters of Nels G.’s name. Another Baby Yoda separates Nels G.’s moniker from Veal’s. That version stares off blankly, his big, brown eyes shinning.
“Been wanting to paint this little dude for a while. Perfect way to spend newyears,” Veal, a longtime “Star Wars” fan who was inspired by the new series, wrote on Instagram.
He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Nels G. had already been planning to paint the character and Veal decided to join him. The piece took five hours to finish on New Year’s Day.
“I just hope people enjoy the work,” Veal told the AJC. “Maybe take some pics with it. Maybe some young artist will think it's cool and work at being an artist.”
Nels G. remarked on his page that he created the piece with “my talented homie @caveal.”
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As for Baby Yoda, viewers of the series began calling the creature by the now-viral name after seeing the character toward the end of the series premiere. Despite the fan-generated name, however, “Mandalorian” creator and showrunner Jon Favreau dispelled the claim that the creature, referred to in the series as “the child,” is the offspring of the iconic “Star Wars” character.
"The series timeline takes place after 'Return of the Jedi,'" he told USA Today. "And fans of the original trilogy will remember that Yoda not only passes away but actually disappears. So Yoda exists as a Force Ghost."
So he’s not the Jedi Master’s child, but are they at least related? Favreau wouldn’t confirm or deny whether or not the character is related to Yoda.
"I can't say. But there are a lot of theories about that,” he said.
And what about the nickname of Baby Yoda? Taika Waititi, who voices nurse droid IG-11 on the series, told New York Times columnist Kyle Buchanan at the Golden Globes Sunday, “He’s not named Baby Yoda!”
“There is a name yet to be revealed, and Taika knows it but won’t hint,” Buchanan tweeted. Waititi told him, “I’ll wait for Favreau to give that away.'”