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Final Verdict: Grogu Did Not Rip Off Gizmo

Grogu, the adorable little “Baby Yoda” from the hit Disney Plus series: “The Mandalorian” has been accused of plagiarism by legendary horror comedy director Joe Dante.

Dante, who helmed both installments of Gremlins, is apparently seething.  He is accusing Disney of blatant plagiarism of Gizmo, the classic movie’s protagonist.

While the similarities are there, it is much more likely that Gizmo was influenced by the “Star Wars” franchise, and not the other way around.

With all due respect to Mr. Dante, and I do enjoy most of his work (“Small Soldiers” is an underrated classic.)  He is out of line with this accusation.  Here are the facts.

  • Grogu is clearly a descendant of Yoda.  Yoda first made his appearance in 1980 in “The Empire Strikes Back”.  This is a full four years before Gizmo hit the screen in 1984 with “Gremlins”.
  • Yoda’s appearance was in 1980. However, George Lucas had the whole series planned out well before that. Including Yoda’s design.
  • Studios were very cooperative with each other’s properties for a long time.
  • Yoda made an appearance in ET
  • ET made an appearance in the “Star Wars” Prequel Trilogy
  • Club “Obi-Wan” was in the opening scene of “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”

A long time ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away… ET was a member of the Galactic Senate.

This brings me to “Gremlins”.  Yes, Joe Dante was the director.  However, the executive producer of the film was  Steven Spielberg, who had hidden all sorts of Easter Eggs in the film. 

Is it not out of the realm of possibility for Mr. Spielberg to give a shoutout to his friend George Lucas, and tell the animatronics department to make Gizmo look like a furry Yoda.

So, let us finally put this ridiculous argument to bed.  I find Grogu not guilty on all charges, and award him not only at least one more season in “The Mandalorian”, but millions of dollars in merchandising sales.

Gremlins 3 is sentenced to development Hell for at least three more years.

Thank you for reading!  When I am not writing, I enjoy time with my family. Including my wife Barbara, my two year old daughter Frankie, My Hound Marbles, and My Ferret, Ms. Farrah Pawcett.

For more insightful discussion, and fresh geeky takes, check out our YouTube page. You can also follow me on twitter at GeekNNAmbrose.


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