The Mandalorian Used Another Iconic Star Wars Monster For Season 2 Reference

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Mandalorian Sarlaac

Season 2 of The Mandalorian on Disney+ managed to avoid a sophomore slump by expanding its cast with some unforgettable cameos and its scope with the introduction of new planets and creatures. 

The series has also managed to continue telling a fresh, new story with Mando and Grogu (Baby Yoda) while also seamlessly interweaving elements from past Star Wars projects. 

In fact, part of the fun for fans is hunting for Easter Eggs or tributes to Star Wars stories that have come before, and even though Season 2 concluded back in December, there are a few references that were left uncovered.


VFX company Image Engine has revealed that an iconic Star Wars monster from Return of the Jedi inspired an equally terrifying creature in The Mandalorian's second season.

In Episode 2 titled "The Passenger," Mando, Grogu, and the Frog Lady are stranded on the icy planet of Maldo Kreis.

And it's here that the trio encounters a 30-foot tall "Mother Spider," her eggs, and baby spiders in a very James Cameron-esque Aliens sequence. 

After a chase, the "Mother Spider" attacks the glass cockpit of the Razor Crest revealing her creepy, concentric circles of teeth. 


And while both disgusting and unsettling, the spider's mouth is surprisingly a callback to an original trilogy creature who actually preferred sand to snow. 

According to concept artist Rob Jensen, “We used reference from the leatherback turtle, the velvet worm and the proboscis worm—and of course the Sarlacc Pit monster from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi."

Return of the Jedi Sarlaac Pit

The similarities between the mouth of the Sarlaac Pit from Tatooine and the Mother Spider from Maldo Kreis are indeed there. And while many fans may not have caught the reference, subconsciously those similarities contribute to a believable universe (or in this case, a galaxy).


The Mother Spider from "The Passenger" is actually inspired by two Star Wars creatures.

Upon the episode's release on Disney+, Star Wars fans pointed out the spider was inspired by Ralph McQuarrie's unused concept art for The Empire Strikes Back and how they resemble the Krykna spiders from Star Wars Rebels.

Ralph McQuarrie Spiders
Via Lucasfilm

The very fact that the artists designing the Star Wars monsters of today reference existing Star Wars creatures and even unused concept art shows that they too are fans and appreciate the design work that came before. 

While many argue against fan service in new films and series, The Mandalorian is proof that fan service can actually benefit the story when it's done right. 

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.