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Baby Yoda breaks the Internet, steals hearts

LOS ANGELES :  Baby Yoda may stand only a few inches tall, communicating with high-pitched squeaks and mischievous gestures, but the adorable green creature has loomed large online, causing a global social media meltdown.

The cute, wide-eyed tyke, unveiled three weeks ago in the premiere of Disney's live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, has stolen millions of hearts worldwide.

One parody account, @BabyYodaBaby, has amassed over 120,000 followers with paraphrased Yoda quotes such as, "Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. Cuteness leads to snuggling".

Countless screengrabs, short video clips and other memes of the tiny creature nonchalantly sipping from a cup, fiddling with spaceship control switches and generally causing a nuisance have gone viral.

News stories mentioning Baby Yoda had 2.28 million interactions on Facebook and Twitter in the first two weeks of the show alone, according to NewsWhip data.

Baby Yoda toys available for pre-order now appear prominently on Disney's online store, and T-shirts, mugs and bags are trending online.

Few details have been revealed in the show so far about the character itself, portrayed by an animatronic puppet and referred to only as "the Child" despite being 50 years old.

Its online nickname stems from its obvious resemblance to Yoda from the original Star Wars trilogy. But as The Mandalorian is set years after those films, it appears to be a new character. - AFP

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