The secrets behind the voice of Baby Yoda have been revealed. Star Wars sound editors David Acord and Matthew Wood gave away some of their audio tricks in a new interview celebrating their Academy Award nominations for The Rise of Skywalker. As usual, the sounds used in the movies and The Mandalorian aren’t typical and they are well-thought out. Lucasfilm is known for their sound design and it’s something that the crew does not take lightly.
Baby Yoda has quickly become one of the most popular Star Wars characters. Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian introduced the little guy and now everybody wants to know more about him. While we don’t know his origins just yet, or even his real name, David Acord and Matthew Wood have given us some insight into what makes his voice. The series has only featured a handful of noises from Baby Yoda, but fans have fallen in love with him and his little voice.
Originally, David Acord took a trip to visit some animals in order to make some recordings for The Mandalorian. “I was recording animals at this wildlife rescue outside of San Diego,” says the sound editor. “Two of the animals I recorded had this really cute, almost childlike quality to them. One was a bat-eared fox and one is a kinkajou.” These are the origins of the Baby Yoda voice, though things changed quite a bit. Acord had this to say.
“Then Jon Favreau thought that they needed to be more human-sounding or something a little more relatable. We dialed way back on the animal part, and now that’s just there for little grunts and coos and purring. We used some real baby vocals for when [The Child] gets really fussy and that kind of thing. Then I have some of my own vocal in there, too, for more of the articulated vocalizations, pitched way up. So it’s a combination of things.”
David Acord could not delve any further into the secrets behind Baby Yoda, but one can imagine we’ll be hearing a lot more from the character when The Mandalorian season 2 premieres in the fall. It will be interesting to see if they evolve the voice into possibly introducing words. The Child is 50-years old, so he should be saying a few words by now, though his silence is also what makes him even more alluring.
Along with Baby Yoda’s voice, David Acord and Matthew Wood also talked about breakout character Babu Frik from The Rise of Skywalker, who is played by Shirley Henderson (Moaning Mrytle from the Harry Potter franchise). Henderson voiced and was also the puppeteer for the character, which she did live on the set, creating the voice and language as she went along. Everything is from her voice and all of the movement is also from her, making for a unified performance. There have been certain factions of Star Wars fans arguing about Baby Yoda and Babu Frik in terms of who is the cooler character, though we all know which is the cooler one. The interview with Acord and Woods was originally conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.