This post contains spoilers for first episode of The Mandalorian Season Two. This is the way.
The Mandalorian is back, and we’re going Krayt Dragon hunting, space cowboy! Yeee-hawww! In the first episode of Season Two, Mando, Baby Yoda, and his new friend Cobb Vanth—aka Earth cowboy Timothy Olyphant—team up with a crew of Tusken Raiders to help kill a Krayt Dragon that’s terrorizing the small Tatooine community of Mos Pelgo. It’s no easy business either, pardner. Because this space worm is hard to kill, and it takes them pretty much the entirety of the first episode (plus some heavy-duty explosives) to take it down. And, for most casual fans, it might seem strange to dedicate so much time to a beast we haven’t yet seen before in the Star Wars franchise.
Not so fast, though, you Womp Rat, because the Krayt Dragon actually connects all the way back to the very first Star Wars movie. In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker gets attacked by a group of Tusken Raiders. Thankfully, old Ben Kenobi shows up and scares them away with a very spooky monster call. It’s never fully explained in the film—or any of the films for that matter—exactly what sort of sound scattered those Raiders so fast. But, in some of the early, non-canon Star Wars auxiliary material, it was later explained that the noise Ben Kenobi made was the sound of a Krayt Dragon. Though it’s no longer canon, in the 1991 Star Wars book Heir to the Empire, Luke Skywalker uses the same tactic on another alien beast.
The Star Wars wiki describes the Krayt Dragon as:
Krayt dragons were giant carnivorous reptiles that came in two subspecies: the smaller and more common canyon krayt, and the larger greater krayt. Due to their large size and ferocity, they were the apex predators of Tatooine. Their bodies produced krayt venom, which helped the dragons as an acid in pre-digestion of their food. If a krayt dragon felt threatened, it could project the venom from its mouth, instantly dissolving any organic tissue that the venom came into contact with.
It also adds that “their cry was enough to ward off the fierce sand nomads known as the Tusken Raiders.”
What’s funny is that there is some debate about what sound Kenobi was actually making, because the audio from that original scene was changed from the theatrical release to the latest Blu-Ray version of the movie. You can actually hear the different sounds in the clip below (and if you really want to go full space archeologist, you can compare it to the sound in The Mandalorian episode):
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So, anyway, fast forward more than four decades since audiences first heard Kenobi’s Krayt Dragon call in A New Hope, and we finally get to see one in action in this episode of The Mandalorian.
Matt is the Culture Editor at Esquire where he covers music, movies, books, and TV—with an emphasis on all things Star Wars, Marvel, and Game of Thrones.
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