While Baby Yoda outperformed political contestants on social media on Star Wars spinoff TV … [+]
The second season of the hit Disney + series The Mandalorian won’t release until October 30th, but “The Child” – better known as “Baby Yoda” – is once again in the spotlight. While Baby Yoda outperformed political contestants on social media when the Star Wars spin-off TV series debuted on the streaming service last December, the fictional character is a Facebook sensation to help build morale among those who fight Oregon’s forest fires.
This is the kind of positive PR that money couldn’t buy.
It started when five-year-old carver Healey was out shopping with grandmother Sasha Tinning to donate supplies for those fighting the flames in their home state when the couple discovered a baby toy Yoda. The couple decided that the “cute little guy” as they described the child should be sent to the firefighters.
Carver went a step further and wrote a note, “Here’s a friend for you in case you get lonely.”
Baby Yoda may not have Jedi powers, and he certainly can’t use the power to put out the flames, but in many ways the officially licensed toy goes a long way in raising awareness of the plight in the Pacific Northwest.
Baby Yoda was sent to the fire brigades to keep up morale and now the toy is traveling with these first responders to various hotspots across Oregon.
Tyler Eubanks, who organized the fundraiser and sent the toys to the firefighters, even started a Facebook page called “Baby Yoda Figths Fires” (@babyyodafightfires), which has nearly 50,000 likes and around 52,000 followers. It made it possible for Baby Yoda to become a storyteller, while the gender-neutral character even made some friends along the way.
Similar to a “Flat Stanley”, the title character of the children’s book from 1964 by the author Jeff Brown, which enables paper clippings to experience adventures far away from home; The Baby Yoda toy actually helps create a certain normalcy among the firefighters, but it also helps publicize the devastating fires.
Since the Facebook page was created on September 15, Baby Yoda has occupied the radio, monitored computers, had a cup of morning coffee, and most importantly, took part in lift-and-ride opportunities on the ground and in the air.
Oregon and Beyond
While Baby Yoda did not make the leap to the speed of light or did not go to infinity and beyond, the power in this Baby Yoda is strong.
Earlier this month, Baby Yoda was seen assisting the crews of the Colorado Division of Fire’s multi-mission aircraft during a surveillance flight while mapping the Williams Fork, Middle Fork, Cameron Peak and Mullen fires in Colorado and Wyoming.
The five-year-old carver’s simple act of kindness has also become a media sensation and has been featured on CNN, CBS News, NBC News, the Today Show, Washington Post and Cnet, among others. It was also a trend on Twitter, where the fire fighting teams also posted photos of the toys that are making the rounds.
In a tweet from the Olympia Fire Dept. (@OlyFireDept) the character was used to encourage everyone to test their smoke alarms and put in new batteries when daylight saving time ends.
Whether it is to raise the mood, raise awareness, or bring a smile to someone’s face during these troubled times, it seems that the power of Baby Yoda is pretty strong.