Director J.J. Abrams calls The Mandalorian's breakout character the "cutest thing in the history of time"

By Gabrielle Chung
December 17, 2019 12:46 AM

Don’t expect to see Baby Yoda on the silver screen any time soon.

While The Mandalorian‘s breakout star is a part of the Star Wars universe, the character will not be making a cameo in the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker, according to director J.J. Abrams. The 53-year-old filmmaker confirmed the news to Variety during the film’s premiere in Los Angeles Monday.

“Baby Yoda is not in the movie,” he said.

Though Abrams did not include the new Star Wars sensation in The Rise of Skywalker, he admitted he does has a soft spot for the creature only known as “The Child” on The Mandalorian. When asked how he felt when he first saw the character on the series, Abrams said he thought Baby Yoda was “cutest thing in the history of time.”

“How can you deny Baby Yoda?” he continued of the character’s adorable appearance. “You can’t.”

Baby Yoda has taken over social media ever since The Mandalorian premiered on the new Disney+ streaming platform in November.

The 50-year-old “infant” has spawned variety of memes, tattoos, toys, and even a petition for a new emoji.

Abrams was announced to direct The Rise of Skywalker — the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy — in September 2017 following the departure of Colin Trevorrow. He previously helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens and executive produced The Last Jedi, which was directed by Rian Johnson.

J.J. Abrams; Baby Yoda
Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images; Lucasfilm

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement at the time.

Earlier this year, Abrams opened up about the task of guiding the last installment of the nine-part “Skywalker saga,” which began with 1977’s Star Wars.

“The responsibility is enormous,” he said at the time, promising this Episode IX would be “thrilling and funny and moving and shocking and frightening.”

According to actress Daisy Ripley, The Rise of Skywalker will focus on her character Rey’s relationship with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). During the Disney D23 Expo in August, in which new footage of the highly-anticipated film was released, she told PEOPLE, “It’s, I think, a very satisfying story. Because also, leaving [The Last Jedi] I was like, ‘Oh I guess we’ve mined that relationship.’ No, no, we’ve mined it some more.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters Dec. 20.