Gremlins Director Calls Out Star Wars For Ripping Off Gizmo Design

By Britta DeVore | Published


Well, we’ve finally done it. We’ve discovered the person who wants to punch Baby Yoda in the face. Although the rest of the world can’t help but love the little troublemaker, known for his time in the Star Wars universe on the series, The Mandalorian, Joe Dante, the director of ‘80s classic films Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch says that he’s a direct rip off of his leading Mogwai character, Gizmo. While Hollywood has seen its fair share of accidental intellectual steals, the Gremlins director believes that those behind the Star Wars offshoot “shamelessly” took Gizmo’s look.

In an interview with Datebook, Dante said that he believed that Gremlins has held onto its status as a household name because of the cute and cuddly Lil Gizmo, something he that he alleges those in the Star Wars studios must have recognized when they were in the beginning stages of The Mandalorian. Referring to his furry creation as “essentially like a baby,” Dante immediately draws the comparison to Baby Yoda. And to be fair, we can see where he’s coming from. Baby Yoda is just so gosh darn cute and looks like a being that you want to take care of, even if he puts your life in constant danger. Taking it a step farther, Dante said that it’s his belief that the tiny green dude was “completely stolen” from his own intellectual property. 

As we said, we can see where the Gremlins director is coming from, but let’s not forget another group of cute and cuddly characters from another Star Wars-based movie: the Ewoks. First appearing in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, one whole year before Gremlins hit screens, the furry little creatures stole the hearts of Star Wars lovers everywhere. While some were clearly grown-ups (although still very cute!), there were smaller ones who were presumably children and babies. It could be easy enough for Lucasfilms to flip the script on Dante and say that he stole their intellectual property by creating baby-like, furry little beings. 

What it comes down to is that people love their tiny creatures with cute faces. It’s just part of being human! Whether it’s Gremlins or Star Wars, we don’t care, just give us our mischievous but adorable and sometimes furry characters to warm our cold, black hearts!

The saving grace here is that both franchises aren’t hurting for money. Maybe if Dante was down on his luck and washed up, he’d be bitter, but the legendary sci-fi and horror director is anything but. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, a spinoff animated production based around the original films, will hit HBO Max this fall, telling another chapter in the world of the first they’re sour, then they’re sweet characters. Like Gremlins, Star Wars obviously also has plenty more content where that came from, still riding high off the success of their latest series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. With the brain power coming from the minds behind the two franchises, we’re expecting cute and cuddly, baby-like characters for many years to come.