'The Mandalorian': Where You've Seen a Krayt Dragon in 'Star Wars' Before

The Mandalorian has no shortage of compelling villains and terrifying monsters. Season 2 of the show kicked off with quite a formidable foe for Mando: a krayt dragon.

While Star Wars fans were amazed by the sheer size and ferocity of the beast, what they may not know is that this isn’t the first time it’s been referenced in the Star Wars universe. The krayt dragon has quite a long history in Star Wars that goes all the way back to the original trilogy. Let’s take a closer look at where you’ve seen the krayt dragon in Star Wars before. 

The role of Tatooine in the Star Wars universe

Tatooine is the starting point of the Star Wars universe. It’s where the droids R2-D2 and C-3P0 crash land with the Rebels’ plans to destroy the Death Star in A New Hope. It’s also where they meet up with Luke Skywalker for the first time.

The series returns there when Boba Fett brings Han Solo’s frozen-in-carbonite body to Jabba the Hutt. Luke, Leia, and company rescue Han from Jabba’s clutches. 

In the prequels, Tatooine is revealed to be the home planet of young Anakin Skywalker. He later returns to help his mother, only to realize he was too late. In the culmination of the prequels, Obi-Wan Kenobi brings an infant Luke to stay with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. 

In the sequels, Tatooine is where Rey buries the lightsabers of Luke and Leia. It’s a fitting end — the series begins and ends on the same important planet. That doesn’t mean it was the end of Tatooine in the Star Wars universe, however. It also plays a big role in The Mandalorian

How the krayt dragon figured into ‘The Mandalorian’

In season one of The Mandalorian, Mando travels to Tatooine for one episode. He’d later make an important return to the sandy world. In the season two premiere, Mando visits a remote outpost on Tatooine after he receives word of another Mandalorian on the planet.

The man turns out to be Cobb Vanth, the marshal of a small town who bought Mandalorian armor off of some Jawas (the armor itself strongly resembles the set that belongs to Boba Fett). Vanth and Mando strike a deal: Vanth will give up the armor if Mando can help him slay the krayt dragon. 

The krayt dragon is revealed to be a massive, subterranean creature capable of swallowing a massive animal like a bantha whole. Mando and Vanth are able to vanquish the large beast with the help of Vanth’s townspeople and the Tusken Raiders. 

The krayt dragon serves as much more than fodder for an enthralling episode of The Mandalorian. It also plays a role in A New Hope. And while you may not have seen one before in the same form as it appears in show, it did make an appearance. 

Where you’ve seen the krayt dragon in ‘Star Wars’ before

You may not have realized where you’ve seen the krayt dragon before, but anyone who has seen A New Hope has definitely seen the remnants of one. While Threepio walks across the Tatooine desert in the first act, a massive skeleton appears in the background. That skeleton belongs to a krayt dragon. 

A Star Wars fan on Reddit posted a picture of this skeleton, with some more information behind it: 

“The Diplodocus skeleton from the 1975 Disney comedy ‘One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing’ was taken to the Tunisian desert by the A New Hope crew, marking the first appearance of the Krayt Dragon.”

This is another example of how The Mandalorian continues to develop its own mythos while still including nods to the original films. This is a great way to integrate the show into the Star Wars universe without being too overt. 

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