Gremlins director Joe Dante has hit out at The Mandalorian for “shamelessly” copying Gizmo to create Baby Yoda.
The filmmaker is set to return to the franchise as a consultant on forthcoming HBO Max series Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai, and recently reflected on the characters’ legacy.
“I think the longevity of [the films] is really key to this one character [Gizmo], who is essentially like a baby,” Dante told the San Francisco Chronicle.
He went on to criticise the Star Wars spinoff series which introduced Baby Yoda, whose real name is Grogu and is often referred to as The Child.
Dante added: “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.”
Disney+ and Lucasfilm have not responded to Dante’s comments.
Baby Yoda was first introduced in the Disney+ series in 2019. The character also had links to Rosario Dawson’s character Ahsoka, who will soon be appearing in her own spinoff series.
Discussing a set piece in which Ahsoka kills a number of masked enemies with her trademark double white lightsabers in one of The Mandalorian episodes, NME wrote: “In a year without blockbusters, it’s easily the most badass bit of action movie chic that we’ve had in months – and Dawson (Sin City, Death Proof) gives Ahsoka all the seasoned samurai gravitas she deserves.”