THE MANDALORIAN Accused Of Stealing Baby Yoda Design By GREMLINS Director Joe Dante

Gremlins director Joe Dante has lashed out at The Mandalorian, claiming he believes the Star Wars series blatantly ripped off Gizmo when dreaming up Baby Yoda! Find his comments in full after the jump...

Disney+ launched in 2019 with The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars TV show. Fans were instantly transfixed by the adventures of the title bounty hunter, though it was the jaw-dropping cliffhanger ending that generated the most discussion. 

The target Din Djarin had been set to track down turned out to be a creature fans instantly dubbed "Baby Yoda." We'd later learn that The Child's name was Grogu, though that original moniker has stuck. While Grogu isn't a young Yoda clone (as many fans first theorised), he does resemble the legendary Jedi Master, and also happens to be ridiculously cute. However, Gremlins director Joe Dante isn't a fan. 

During a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle (via SFFGazette.com), Dante shared his take on the similarities between Grogu and the Mogwai Gizmo, making it clear he believes the team working on The Mandalorian ripped off the design seen in the 1984 classic.

"I think the longevity of [the Gremlins films] is really key to this one character [Gizmo], who is essentially like a baby," Dante said. "Which brings me, of course, to the subject of Baby Yoda, who is completely stolen and is just out-and-out copied. Shamelessly, I would think."

It's worth noting that Yoda first appeared in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, and Grogu is essentially just a shrunken-down version. There are some similarities to Gizmo, and it's certainly possible that the Mogwai crossed the minds of those who designed the character, but to say The Child is a blatant rip-off seems like a stretch.

Like the Star Wars franchise, Gremlins is heading to the small screen with the upcoming animated series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, on HBO Max.

As for Grogu, we still haven't learned who saved him from the Jedi Temple or where he was during the events of the sequel trilogy. After The Book of Boba Fett, it's obviously been confirmed that he wasn't at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Training Academy when that was attacked by Supreme Leader Snoke, so there are no doubt many more stories to be told with Gizmo The Child.

As for The Mandalorian, that's set to return to HBO Max sometime in February 2023.

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