If you’re like me, as a kid, you checked out a lot of Star Wars books from the library in the ’80s and ’90s. I’m not talking about the novelizations of the films, or even the tie-in novels though. I’m talking about the big art books now. In books like The Art of the Empire Strikes Back, and The Art of Return of the Jedi, you could see all sorts of bonkers iterations of Star Wars creatures and spaceships that didn’t quite make it onto the screen. So, let’s talk about one of those monsters from your childhood actually making it to the screen in The Mandalorian.
Spoilers for The Mandalorian Chapter 10, “The Passenger.”
If you were into those kinds Star Wars of books as a kid, and you’re maybe a little bit behind of the contemporary Star Wars cartoon, Rebels, you may have recognized a certain giant spider that attacked Mando, Baby Yoda, the Frog Lady, and her eggs in the latest episode of The Mandalorian. That giant spider was first created by legendary Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, and the original idea was to have it on the planet Dagobah, and face-off against Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. Since then, “real” Star Wars canon has named this spider the Krykna, and it first appeared in the Star Wars Rebels episode, “The Mystery of Chopper Base.” That said, this is this monster’s first appearance in live-action Star Wars.
Following the first episode of The Mandalorian Season 2, the appearance of the giant Kyrkna spider actually makes this season a back-to-back unseen monsters tour. Last week, Mando took on a Krayt Dragon, a Tatooine
Dune rip-off sand monster that was previously only referenced by its bones in A New Hope, and Obi-Wan Kenobi imitating its howl in the same movie.
So, if you were going to try and predict the next several episodes of The Mandalorian, you might want to start thinking about monsters and creatures that have only been talked about but never seen in Star Wars. Remember when Han Solo said Luke looked like he could “pull the ears off a Gundark?” Hopefully, we’ll see one of those things next, or if we’re lucky, Mando and Baby Yoda will get put in charge of a herd of actual nerfs.
The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+ now. New episodes drop on Fridays.