It's no secret that Star Wars takes its cues for its otherworldly beasts based on what we find here on Earth. Typically this takes the form of larger versions of animals with some creative embellishments, such as asteroid dwelling space slugs and giant pigs with huge butts; but sometimes it's making a humanoid version of an animal, like the walrus in a coat Ponda Baba or straight-up fish guy Admiral Ackbar. Recently though the inspiration goes back a little further, picking up long extinct animals and plucking them directly into that galaxy far, far away, with one of these beasts having made their franchise debut very recently.
In the second episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+, the titular character finds himself at the mercy of some Jawas. The result of his bartering with them ends in him having to hunt something on the planet and deliver its hairy egg to the hungry hooded critters. That beast in question is none other than The Mudhorn, what some would describe as a rhinoceros like creature with a horn that can really do some damage. As pointed out by Star Wars fans over on the "Nature is Metal" subreddit, the Mudhorn's inspiration actually comes from a an ancestor of the rhino, the ancient "Elasmotherium" aka "The Siberian Unicorn. Check out the photo of it below compared to the Mudhorn.
This is an Elasmotherium, or Siberian unicorn. They existed as early as 29,000 years ago. Imagine being an early human and seeing this guy daily. from r/natureismetal
"That’s the thing Mando had to steal the egg from," /u/Findorckillorc said in the Reddit post.
According to My Modern Met, the Elasmotherium roamed the Earth from as far back as 2.6 million years ago to as a recently as 29,000 years ago. First given its name in 1808, the remains of these ancient beasts have been found across Eastern Europe and all the way into China, with a large concentration of them found in the Russia/China bordering Kazakhstan. Unlike the Mudhorn in Star Wars though, the Elasmotherium did not lay giant hairy eggs fit for consumption by junk scavengers.
The second season of The Mandalorian has already been confirmed by Favreau, with the showrunner announcing earlier this week that the next batch of episodes will premiere in the fall of 2020. Whether a Mudhorn or another prehistoric-inspired animal will appear remains to be seen.
We're going to have to wait just a little while to see what happens to Din Djarin, Cara Dune, Greef Karga, and Baby Yoda, but at least we know when we can expect to see them all again. In the meantime, Disney+ is releasing brand new episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to keep the adventure going.
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