Filmmaker Joe Dante, whose 1984 and 1990 horror-comedy Gremlins movies popularized the eponymous creatures, recently told the San Francisco Chronicle (via IndieWire) that Baby Yoda is an unoriginal dupe of the Gremlins star known as Gizmo.
“I think the longevity of [the film] is really key to this one character (Gizmo), who is essentially like a baby,” Dante told the publication. “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.”
But how do the beloved creatures actually compare?
For one, as Dante points out, both Baby Yoda and Gizmo are, well, baby-like. Baby Yoda, also known as Grogu and The Child, is a force-sensitive, 50-year-old infant of the same species as Yoda. Gizmo, also referred to as “Giz” in the films, is a Mogwai (like a Gremlin, but smaller and not vicious), and although his age isn’t specified, his pure-hearted kindness contributes to the “baby”-like quality Dante describes.
It’s also hard to ignore the resemblance between the two characters, per images on Disney Wiki and Heroes Wiki: Although Baby Yoda boasts a greenish hue while Gizmo sports brown-and-white fur, they’re both small in stature, with large eyes and prominent, similarly shaped ears.
Additionally, both creatures are heroic in their respective shows, though Baby Yoda has more powers at his disposal, which include the Force, Telekinesis, Force Choke, Force Grip, Force Barrier, Force Healing and Extended Longevity. Gizmo has a talent for handling weapons and tinkering with electrical devices — which ultimately helps him destroy the evil Gremlins in the films.
While the plots of The Mandalorian series and the Gremlins films don’t have much in common at all (aside from the ever-popular and effective good versus evil conflict), Dante’s accusation about Baby Yoda himself doesn’t appear completely unfounded, according to the character and plot overviews on both of the fan sites.
But we haven’t seen the last of Baby Yoda or Gizmo. The animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, which Dante served as a consultant on, is coming to HBO Max this fall, and The Mandalorian will return for its third season, though Disney+ has yet to announce its release date.