Fans first caught a glimpse of the otherworldly krayt dragon back in Star Wars: A New Hope, but we didn't see the beast in action until the Season Two premiere of The Mandalorian, with Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak reminding fans on Twitter that the skeleton used on the set of the original film was repurposed from the 1975 Disney film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. Not only was the Diplodocus prop borrowed for A New Hope, but it remained in the Tunisian desert for more than two decades until the crew of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones unearthed the prop.
"The Diplodocus skeleton from the 1975 Disney comedy One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing was taken to the Tunisian desert by the crew of [A New Hope], that film marking the first live-action appearance of the Krayt dragon, in juvenile skeletal form, at least," Szostak confirmed on Twitter.
The Diplodocus skeleton from the 1975 Disney comedy One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing was taken to the Tunisian desert by the crew of #ANewHope, that film marking the first live-action appearance of the Krayt dragon, in juvenile skeletal form, at least. #StarWars #TheMandalorian pic.twitter.com/R0cDNCrp6R— Phil Szostak (@PhilSzostak) November 1, 2020
In a subsequent tweet, Szostak confirmed, "David West Reynolds and Michael Ryan found the fiberglass bones in Tunisia in 1995, as did the crew of Attack of the Clones in 2000."
As is the nature of Star Wars, following the release of the original trilogy of movies, what was previously known as the "Expanded Universe" of Star Wars stories were developed, giving fans books, comics, and video games all exploring the further corners of the galaxy far, far away. While these stories, which would go on to be referred to as the "Legends" corner of the franchise when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, featured various encounters and imaginings of what the living krayt dragon would look like based on this skeleton, it wasn't until this Season Two premiere that we finally saw the creature in action.
While some fans might have recognized the name of the creature when it appeared in the series, it appeared at a scale which even impressed those aware of the beast, as we learned that the skeleton we saw all those years ago in A New Hope, for as massive as it was, was only a juvenile.
New episodes of The Mandalorian land on Disney+ on Fridays.