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.
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"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."
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