In 2019, Star Wars fans fell in love with “The Mandalorian” and one of the show’s standout characters, Grogu — popularly known as Baby Yoda or the Child — who resembles legendary Jedi Master Yoda. But is it possible Grogu looks like another adorable 1980’s alien as well?
In a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle published on Wednesday, July 15, “Gremlins” director Joe Dante revealed he believes Baby Yoda was “shamelessly” based on the movie’s main character Gizmo.
Speaking about the success of his family-friendly horror film and its sequel “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” Dante told the newspaper, “I think the longevity of (the films) is really key to this one character (Gizmo), who is essentially like a baby.”
The 75-year-old filmmaker then 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.”
Grogu and Gizmo do share some similarities such as their large eyes and elongated ears. However, Gizmo is covered in brown and white fur while Baby Yoda is green.
Dante will help continue “Gremlins” and Gizmo’s legacy with the new HBO Max animated series called “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai,” starring Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong and Matthew Rhys.
The director is a consultant on the show and also directed an episode.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle that the “Gremlins” movies continue to resonate with viewers because, “They’re somewhat different than the run-of-the-mill movie.”
Dante explained, “They’re offbeat in a way that I think is one of the reasons that they’re still popular.”
Audiences first met Gizmo, voiced by Howie Mandel, in 1984 as a furry creature called a mogwai. In “Gremlins,” Gizmo is given to a young boy named Billy (Zach Galligan) who learns that his new pet cannot be exposed to light, cannot touch water and cannot be fed after midnight. After Gizmo accidentally gets wet, he spawns evil monsters known as gremlins.
Yoda was first introduced in the “Star Wars” universe in the 1980 film “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Grogu and Yoda belong to the same species, but they are technically not related. Also, despite his childlike appearance, Grogu is an adult when he is discovered in “The Mandalorian.”
After Dante’s remarks, social media users debated who would win in a battle between the two fictional characters.
“Baby yoda vs gizmo smackdown who yall got?” one person tweeted.
Many pointed out that Dante is wrong because Yoda was created before Gizmo.
“That’s a weird way to admit that Gizmo (1984) was a “shameless” copy of Yoda (1980),” another user wrote.
Others just appreciated the drama.
One social media user said, “I don’t care about this nor do I want to but I hope this turns into a big feud.”