Baby Yoda Inspires Speculation; Noor and Spana Oblige
The latest episode of the Star Wars saga, Disney+’s The Mandalorian, has introduced a brand-new character with no backstory: Baby Yoda. Naturally, the internet is abuzz. Is he, she, it (?) Yoda’s offspring? Baby Yoda is 50 years old, but what does that mean for its species? Baby Yoda uses The Force so its ability seems inborn. Does the power grow as it ages? How much does it have to train it? Popular Mechanics asked Biology’s Eric Spana and Mohamed Noor for their views.
Spana noted that Baby Yoda is still putting things in its mouth, like small chrome knobs and frogs. Therefore, “developmentally, Baby Yoda seems like a human one-year-old.” This lengthy maturation could mean that the species has many more cortical neurons than humans.
Noor speculated that Baby Yoda’s use of The Force could indicate a cognitive milestone that arrived suddenly and completely as the necessary cortical connections were made. In a similar way his daughter went from saying “Day-day” to “David” in one leap.
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