Rarely have Internet users been so uninhibited with a spoiler with Baby Yoda Mando 20 This Is The Way Shirt. In the final minutes of the first episode of The Mandalorian, the first Star Wars series aired on Disney, social networks were flooded with GIFs, images and memes dedicated to a new and unexpected character, Baby Yoda. The little being instantly became the sensation of the series, and beyond. A gamble at first sight successful for Disney: the idea of taking over a cult character from the saga and making him a little being so cute that he “broke the heart” of Werner Herzog seemed, from the outset, promised to the buzz. So it was all the more surprising that a Vulture journalist realized that Disney seemed to remove all the GIFs from the character on Giphy, the reference platform for animated images. This isn’t the first time a big company has aggressively defended its copyright, but Disney appeared to be missing out on a huge free marketing campaign.
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A few days later, another twist: Giphy issues a statement claiming responsibility: “There has been confusion around some content and we have temporarily removed the GIFs in question, while we study the situation. Our apologies to Disney.” In other words, Disney and its lawyers would have nothing to do with it. Error on Giphy’s part or Disney’s backtracking, we’ll probably never know. On the other hand, another piece of information about Baby Yoda suggests that the imbroglio around the character’s GIFs might not be related to a copyright story, but to spoilers and small stuffed animals.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jon Favreau, the Mandalorian showrunner, said he explicitly asked Disney to wait before marketing Baby Yoda toys and derivatives. He wanted the character to be universally discovered during the first broadcast of the episode – the leaks caused by figurines are indeed recurrent.
It’s a special effort for Star Wars, a franchise that revolutionized the toy market and remains famous for turning absolutely everything on the screen into millions of spin-offs. Now, it’s hard to imagine a better stuffed material than Baby Yoda. While the toys will still be available before Christmas (not crazy), it seems that Disney has taken unprecedented steps for The Mandalorian to avoid leaks. Perhaps even if Giphy panicked, seeing images proliferating on his platform that the world’s biggest entertainment company didn’t want to see come out.
One of the main collateral effects of the arrival on the screens of the new installment of the Star Wars saga (The Force Awakens) is that countless people will start talking backwards in the coming days and weeks. Several clues confirm the impending nature of this massive grammatical twist with Baby Yoda Mando 20 This Is The Way Hoodie. The Philosophy Magazine supplement devoted to this intergalactic epic was already titled: “The myth you will understand”. On the side of La Poste, the same tendency to reverse with a series of greeting cards with the slogan “This greeting card you will receive, in 2016 the strength you will have”.
This type of formulation is inspired by the famous Yoda (a greenish-skinned warrior frequenting swamps), who, in order to teach, makes an inordinate use of this particular style figure called the anastrophe. A bit like Nadine de Rothschild who would have her head upside down, the old sage has in his bag a whole collection of upside-down life tips, applicable to most situations. About the management of the electric panel: “The dark side of the force, dread you must”; from openness to difference: “Good relationship with the Wookies, I maintain”; of the necessary knowledge of the organization chart: “Luke, when I am no longer, the last of the Jedi you will be”; the limits of rationalism: “To your intuitions you must be proud” …
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Consistent with a reversal of the terms of the sentence, the anastrophe replaces the classic subject/Verbe/Object sequence (“I/repair/clutch of the Millennium Falcon.”) by Object/Subject/Word (“The millennium falcon clutch/I/repair.”). Anastrophe is based on a relatively rare structure, which would be used by some Native American languages of the Amazon, such as apurin, xavunnte or warao. This confusing formulation could have the virtue of drawing the attention of the interlocutor to certain parts of the sentence (a bit like the anaphore used by François Hollande to get elected: “I president…”) and to reveal itself to more performative use (but hey, all this remains to be proven with test tubes). To say, like Yoda, “when 900 years like me you will have, less fit you will be”, thus helps to underline the canonical age of the speaker and to subtly invite the recipient of the message to raise his big buttocks to leave his place on the bus.
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Realizing that we are actually under the influence not of force but of marketing, we can therefore bet on a future epidemic of Yoda speaking. Let us imagine for a moment what it would look like if we all started talking like that. At the bakery: “A three-seeded bread I would like…” The baker: “Tranché, do you need it?” You: “Yes. And 100 grams of sweets with that, put me on.” Through these grandiloquent turns of phrases, the most mundane daily life would then take on the appearance of an initiation quest at the edges of galaxies. He said, “The trash can, get out I have to!” She: “Yes darling, but the bottles for the glass container don’t forget you have to.” He: “Luckily as Chewbacca hairy I am, because a cold not to put a droid out it does.”
In his book So Spoke Yoda (Michel Lafon), the philosopher Ollivier Pourriol tries to unravel the particular reasons for this form of speech. One of the ideas he puts forward, by making Luke Skywalker speak through an imaginary dialogue, is that oral expression has a generic intensity, linked to its singularity and fleetingness. Because the verbal moment can be interrupted at any time because of the imperatives of combat or the fall on your venerable skull of an X-wing carburetor, it is therefore necessary that strategic information be transmitted as quickly as possible:
“A sentence that is said can be interrupted at any time by death, or the need to fight. So you always have to start with the most important thing. In the event of an accident, we say “women and children first,” right? That is the same thing. When Yoda speaks, he says every word as if he were to be the last. Whereas, when he writes, safe, withdrawn on Dagobah, he has all his time.” In the same chapter, Luke points out that the anastrophe does not apply to the written form: “Writing backwards would end up annoying, by appearing like a tic.” Han Solo, on the other hand, has a completely different apprehension of this linguistic coquettishness, sometimes very impenetrable:
“I didn’t get it all. But from what I understand, he didn’t want to be understood. In fact, that’s why he was talking backwards. You don’t have to look any further.” It is therefore difficult, even with a lightsaber, to decide the debate of philosophy of language that underlies this treatise of choral skepticism with Shakespearean accents. Is Yoda a cognitician? Some kind of Baby Yoda Mando 20 This Is The Way Shirt? Or simply a rubber puppet whose hard-hitting gimmicks have been able to find their audience, testifying to the increasingly strong seismic aftershocks that the industry cultivates on the margins of pop culture and at the heart of our minds? To conclude, I will abstain…