One would think our society must be in a really good place and have nothing more pressing to worry about… given that there’s a current social media uproar about a Star Wars TV character eating eggs. Oh, yes. Baby Yoda has finally done something “sinister” to break the spell he cast over fans of The Mandalorian.
For those unfamiliar with the show, The Mandalorian is a Star Wars spinoff in which a bounty hunter who is originally tasked with capturing and collecting a reward for Baby Yoda finds he has an affection for the small creature. Most fans of the show have more or less confessed they’d give their life for this adorable fictional character, but the affection was quickly tossed aside after last week’s episode, The Passenger.
In the episode, a “Frog Lady” is the last of her species and is being escorted by the Mandalorian with a canister of her eggs which are the last hope of keeping her species alive. Baby Yoda, who has all of the cute and comedic qualities of a child throughout the series, is seen innocently (given that he doesn’t know his wrongdoing) snacking on the eggs periodically. Then the internet blew up.
“How could Baby Yoda be part of such a cruel joke!?”, Twitter warriors cried. In fairness, most of the outraged fans seem more angry on behalf of the Frog Lady and her species than anything else. The fact that they seem legitimately angry about making light of “genocide,” however, gets into the absurd. And not just because this is a fantasy show about aliens.
We are looking at a group of people who are horrified about a lovable little alien eating alien eggs… yet have no problem with real-life human beings killing our own fertilized offspring in abortions. Say, for a moment, that The Mandalorian was not fiction. Baby Yoda wasn’t eating children; he was eating unfertilized eggs, which are only half of what’s needed to create a living organism (evidently, both in Star Wars and in real life). A Lucasfilm executive even pointed this out himself. To call it “genocide” suggests that he was killing living, whole, unique “Frog Lady” offspring.
Though an offshoot given its fantastical nature, this issue is reminiscent of something we see all the time in the pro-life movement. Many members of the Students for Life team have conversed with abortion supporters who bluntly suggest, “If I scratch skin cells off the back of my hand, am I committing genocide?” or “Are blow jobs cannibalism, then?” It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the biology behind when life begins.
A Science Lesson
Egg and sperm are haploid cells. They are half of what’s needed to reproduce. On their own, they are cells in an adult body. But when they join, a new organism is created. This new organism is whole (everything about it comes together immediately, i.e. DNA), unique (no others like it have ever existed or will ever exist again), living (it is developing & growing from the first moment), and self-directed (the mother’s body is not telling it what to do, but rather providing nourishment and an environment in which the new organism does its independent growing).
Killing eggs or sperm isn’t ending human life. Killing it anytime after fertilization does end a human life. Everything that makes us human is present from the very beginning. The only thing we ALL have in common is our biological humanity. Maybe we should spend a little less time worrying about what Baby Yoda is up to and a little more time learning about what’s happening to our own species every day.