A common theme in the Star Wars franchise is the apprentice becoming the villain. We’ve seen it countless times before not only with Anakin becoming Darth Vader, but also with Luke and Kylo Ren, and even Qui-Gon Jinn’s second apprentice, Xanatos – as much as Disney now says that the original Expanded Universe is not canon. That said, what if that Padawan lacks a proper master for much of his life? And to make matters worse, what if he was raised in conditions that not only nurtured an improper use of the Force but also required it? That’s the story of Star Wars‘ Grogu so far.
The adorable “Baby Yoda” Grogu has effectively stolen the show from the Mandalorian bounty hunter we’re all supposed to care about. The two seasons of The Mandalorian have been an arduous journey of growth for both Mando and the Child, but what if this otherwise wholesome journey could end in tragedy someday?
As we all know, Grogu has the innate potential to become one of the most powerful Jedi the Galaxy has ever known. His mastery of the Force is unlike anything we’ve seen from a Force-user so far in the Saga, especially for his relatively young age. He’s also one of the youngest Force-users in the mainline Star Wars series, which makes him prone to corruption from external forces.
It’s not like Grogu is all that innocent, either.
The Child has displayed some worrisome signs of corruption at some points in the series. One of the most prominent moments when it seemed like Grogu’s future might not be all that innocent happened in the show’s seventh episode. When Mando and Cara Dune were playfully arm wrestling, the Child suddenly began Force choking the Mandalorian’s rival. It wasn’t a one-time deal, either: Grogu uses the technique once more in one of the final episodes of the show’s second season against two Stormtroopers.
For some Star Wars fans, it could be argued that Grogu is still just an infant and that his violent tendencies could be mere instincts, but there are still so many questions left unanswered about Gorgu’s past to easily overlook these outbursts of Force prowess.
Some other Star Wars fan theories argue that the Emperor, Darth Sidious, knew of Grogu’s existence before the events of the Original Trilogy. Grogu has roughly the same age as Anakin by the events of The Mandalorian, so it’s likely that the Emperor at least could have known of the Child’s abilities before he died in Episode VI.
If Palpatine knew about Grogu, knowing the scheming nature of the Sith Lord, it would be reasonable to believe that the Child underwent some experimentation under Sidious’ tutelage, even if, so far, there has been no indication of the two ever crossing paths.
As it stands now, the best we can say is that The Child is a blank slate.
His childish innocence could as easily be corrupted as it could become the Galaxy’s strongest asset of the Light Side of the Force. His absence in the Sequel Trilogy hints at two vastly dissimilar possibilities: he’s either one of the Jedi that perished at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple (highly unlikely due to his age and Luke’s training,) or he has returned to live with his adoptive father in some distant corner of the Galaxy.
With Luke and Ahsoka leading him into Jedi adulthood, we hope that Grogu will turn out to be one of the good guys in the future of Star Wars. But, the Dark Side is known to corrupt even the strongest characters – meaning that the story of the adorable Child might not be set in stone just yet.
What do you think, could Grogu turn to the Dark Side?