It’s those ears. Definitely… the ears. Mm…yes…and those eyes. Parmesan is the feline whose ears and eyes have taken Twitter by storm. More than 374,000 likes (and counting) have earned Parmesan star status. She’s a beautiful dark gray cat with green eyes. She enjoys playing and peeking out from inside towels. But her claim to Twitter fame is her resemblance to Baby Yoda from Star Wars: The Mandalorian. The Disney+ series is a fan favorite and its pretty apparent that they’ve come to see the similarities between Parmesan and Baby Yoda.
Parmesan points her ears straight to the side while she’s hunting and she likes to hide in towels. The towels look much like Baby Yoda’s robe. Her large, pointed ears sit like Baby Yoda’s do- at right angles to her head. Her green eyes are large, too. Compare both features to Baby Yoda and it’s easy to see why all the excitement is out there. There are plenty of Baby Yoda memes on the Internet, and according to Time Magazine, Parmesan’s owner Matt and his girlfriend Bella Meza “fell in love” with Baby Yoda after seeing them.
Matt and Bella haven’t watched The Mandalorian series yet. They are also familiar with the craze over Baby Yoda only because of memes. The Star Wars fandom has plenty of those everywhere on social media. It was Bella who snapped the photo of Parmesan when she realized the cat “looks like Baby Yoda”. Bella and Matt had been playing Nintendo Switch when the moment happened. Meza started laughing and “took the picture as quickly as she could”. Once she posted Parmesan’s photo on Twitter, the Star Wars fandom quickly let the world know that they agreed.
Writing for Comic Book, Kofi Outlaw’s news article describes Baby Yoda as “the undisputed King of Memes” due to the “secret reveal” when The Mandalorian series premiered. Baby Yoda quickly became a pop-culture icon. Outlaw describes the popularity of “cute cat pictures” on the Internet as one thing which could match the iconic status of Baby Yoda. It’s no surprise that Parmesan’s likeness to Baby Yoda would go viral on social media.
Parmesan has only lived with Matt since July. Matt adopted Parmesan from a friend who had a litter of kittens needing homes. Four days ago, his girlfriend Bella posted on Twitter that Parmesan still needs to be vaccinated, spayed, and chipped. She asked for recommendations of places in Phoenix, Arizona so that Parmesan can have those procedures done. An adorable video of Parmesan meowing was added to Twitter feed. Parmesan has adorable white mitten paws and a white chest which aren’t seen in her look-alike Baby Yoda photos. She also has a very sweet and soft meow.
In an aside, Bella invited Twitter users to “check out Sandpiper” which is her boyfriend’s band on Apple Music and Spotify:3. Sandpiper plays progressive metalcore and is based in Phoenix as well. Spotify users can listen to three album samples. Bella compared Parmesan’s soft meow video to the heavier music of Sandpiper in a deft nod to the band.
Following the viral posting of Parmesan’s “musical” meows and look-alike photo, fans have been posting their own Twitter photos of their own “Star Wars” cats. There are plenty of photos of other cats with decidedly large ears which come close to matching Parmesan’s unique angular ones. Others posted claiming likenesses to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Dobby, and Jabba the Hut. Not willing to take a second seat, dog owners whose pooches have bulging eyes and side-pointed ears have cropped up on Twitter, too. It’s a huge celebration of cats, kittens, dogs, and handcrafted likenesses of Baby Yoda. As @aaronhoyland so aptly posted on December 9; “Pet me, you should.”
Andy Moser identified the root of all the excitement when he wrote for Mashable about the “freaking adorable” Baby Yoda memes. Moser noted that the new character in Disney’s new live-action Star Wars series has filled a void in the collective hearts of Star Wars fans. In the film, Return of the Jedi, (set in a time earlier than The Mandalorian) Yodi died. As a species, Moser reminds readers, Yoda is mysterious and until The Mandalorian hit the new streaming platform Disney+, there hasn’t been another green alien like Yoda in existence. But Yoda was “beloved”, asserts Moser. This new Baby Yoda seems to have captured the collective imagination of all Yoda fans everywhere.
Not only that, but Mashable’s Chris Taylor describes The Mandalorian as “visually stunning” and “cinematic” thanks to the work of showrunner Jon Favreau. Taylor also notes that first looks have left critics “gushing “ over the show. Fans are, too. They prove it every time they enjoy making connections between cute kitties who resemble Baby Yoda.
With Disney’s new streaming service, marketing around the globe is certain. Hasbro is making a Baby Yoda line of toys and products. Retail websites are offering Baby Yoda merchandise of all sorts, including apparel, toys and plush toys. Unfortunately, Hasbro told CNN Business that these were withheld from sales until after the series debuted and won’t be available until “sometime in 2020”. For this reason, many have come to speculate that the current interest in Baby Yoda memes has grown so quickly while fans wait eagerly for the toys.
Fans must beware black market Baby Yoda products. There are plenty of those for sale on websites such as Etsy. Yahoo Entertainment has warned buyers that officially approved merchandise has been absent, but there are companies like Mattel, Funko, and Buffalo Games are filling the desire with vinyl collectibles available for pre-order. Plush cuddle Baby Yoda toys should be in stores by February; made by Mattel.
Fans are searching the Internet for anything they can find related to Baby Yoda. They want to enjoy a part of him…right here on Earth, as has been said. Waiting for toys to arrive next year will be hard for many. But they’ll be able to hold their kitties and share photos of all those who are lucky to have Baby Yoda ears and eyes. Parmesan the Baby Yoda look-alike cat is helping everyone enjoy all things Yoda. Those of the Star Wars fandom know it’s true: With Parmesan, The Force is.