Gremlins director claims Baby Yoda was 'stolen' from his film

Grogu display
(Image credit: Jody Cortes/Getty Images)

The director of Gremlins has a bone to pick with Baby Yoda.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, director Joe Dante claimed the beloved Star Wars character is a rip-off of Gizmo, the central creature from his film Gremlins.

Speaking about the legacy of the 1984 movie, Dante reflected that its longevity is "really key to this one character," Gizmo, "who is essentially like a baby," at which point he suggested this was the inspiration for Grogu, a.ka. Baby Yoda, on the Star Wars show The Mandalorian.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"Which brings me, of course, to the subject of Baby Yoda, who is completely stolen and is just out-and-out copied," Dante said. "Shamelessly, I would think."

It wasn't clear whether Dante was joking, as the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that he made the remark with a "wry smile." But many were quick to point out that Grogu is meant to be a childlike version of Yoda, a character introduced in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back before Gremlins.

But Dante wasn't the first to compare the two creatures. Gremlins star Zach Galligan noted in a 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly he had been bombarded on social media with memes about the similarity — and debating which one is the cuter little guy.

"Well, I'm going to say my buddy is cuter," Galligan said. "He's fuzzier and, to me, fuzzy is cuter."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us