Friends, I come to you today with a real pickle that’s been bothering me ever since The Mandalorian premiered last month—the math on Yoda (and Baby Yoda) doesn’t add up when you compare their ages and development stages. I’ll explain.
Yoda died at 900 years old, which we witnessed in Return of the Jedi (unless you’re one of those people who prides themselves on not having seen movies that are considered a touchstone of pop culture, which in that case, please go watch Blade, one of the great classics of humanity, before you proceed here.) He intimated that he was old as dirt with the line, “When 900 years old you reach, look this good you will not” and then proceeded to die, presumably of natural causes, and not something awesome like pissing off a swamp monster on Dagobah. The point is, we can surmise from this that 900 years old is not a premature death for his species.
Using 900 is “old age” for the species—let’s do some basic math and deem 450 years old as middle-aged. To tie this to human development, if you take that the average life expectancy for a male was 70 years old, in 1980, when Yoda was first introduced, we can use that age as a benchmark; that 900 years old for Yoda is approximately 70 for human males. From there, we can say that it takes Yoda’s species to age approximately 13 years for every 1-year of human development. Meaning—for every year of development a human has, it would take Yoda 13 years to get to the same level of development. Kind of like how people like to say 1 year in human years is 7 years in dog years. Make sense?
Here’s where Baby Yoda comes in—he is 50 years old, which we were told in the first episode of The Mandalorian. Using the math above, his development stage should be at approximately a 4-year old human child’s, and yet? Baby Yoda’s development stage is clearly that of an 18-month old human at best. Even getting loosey-goosey with the math, and equating Baby Yoda to a human 2-year old (which is generous,) it would mean that Baby Yoda is progressing at 25 years for every 1-year of human development. That’s almost double the rate of Yoda.
Turning this around, using the Baby Yoda equation of 25 years for every 1 human year, Yoda would have been approximately 36 years old in human terms at his death at 900—in prime “oh snap, a swamp monster got me after all!” territory. Something is amiss, here.
Sure, you could argue that the Yoda species doesn’t develop at a steady rate—but if I know the person making that argument, they shouldn’t even be reading this far, because they needed to go watch Blade before they could continue.
Anyway, I’m not a biologist or even the reincarnated soul of Charles Darwin. I’m just a person on the internet probably doing some flawed math and bringing it to your attention. It doesn’t mean I’m not right, though. (It might mean I’m not right. I didn’t pay too close attention in Math, tbh.)
The real point of this story is—we apparently have years to enjoy Baby Yoda before he goes through puberty and starts to resemble the Yoda we knew from the original trilogy, and for that I’m grateful.