Following the release of the first episode of Season 2 of The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm Creative Art Manager Phil Szostak revealed new details about the episode’s fearsome monster, the Krayt Dragon.
Szostak took to Twitter, where he engaged in an impromptu question and answer session after sharing early concept art of the Krayt Dragon from Lucasfilm Executive Creative Director Doug Chiang.
Chiang had previously revealed the concept art on his Instagram page where he wrote, “The mighty Krayt Dragon from The Mandalorian! Early design from nearly a year ago. Had a lot of fun on this one!”
After sharing the concept art, Szostak was then asked a number of questions from fans about the Krayt Dragon.
In response to one question he revealed that the Krayt Dragon was one of the first things the team designed for Season 2, and in fact revealed the design was done “back in January of 2019.”
In response to another user, Szostak revealed the design was influenced by Terryl Whitlatch’s designs from The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide.
Szostak stated, “It is and digging around for that sort of reference and passing it along to the designers is a big part of my job. Terryl worked closely with Doug on the prequels and her work was a big influence on Chapter 9.”
One user asked about the Krayt Dragon bones seen towards the beginning of the original Star Wars film. Szostak claims those bones are from “a juvenile Krayt Dragon.”
He doubled down that the skeleton was a juvenile Krayt Dragon in a subsequent tweet.
Szostak wrote, “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 went on to claim that these bones also influenced the design of the Krayt Dragon seen in Chapter 9 of The Mandalorian.
He wrote, “We definitely kept the Krayt dragon bones seen in Ep4 in mind when designing the Krayt for Mando. We also looked at tons of dragons throughout cinematic history both to see what worked and what didn’t and to make sure we did something new.”
In a follow-up to that statement, Szostak also denied that the design team has “a company mandate to ‘make sure and do something new’ when it comes to adapting these designs to the new Disney Star Wars canon.”
He elaborated, “And my ‘something new’ comment was in regards to previous cinematic dragons, like I said, not previous Star Wars designs.”
Szostak would also confirm that the Krayt Dragon from The Mandalorian Chapter 9 does indeed have legs, despite the episode not showing them.
Szostak stated, “The Krayt Dragon in Chapter 9 did have legs, yes. Many of them, in fact. They are what propel it through the sand so were integral to its design.”
Szostak would also answer a question regarding whether the old distinction between the Greater Krayt Dragon and the Canyon Krayt Dragon are gone.
He stated, “All we can say was that what we saw in Chapter 9 was a Krayt dragon. Lore to follow in sourcebooks, databank entries, etc.”
In response to a similar question, Szostak would provide a similar answer. However, he also revealed that “the art department just deals with the design side of things.”
He then added, “Lore and backstory stuff comes later, in source books, databank entries, etc.”
If you want to get nitpicky, that statement seems to contradict his previous comments regarding the Krayt Dragon bones seen in the original Star Wars movie.
He seems to be definitively declaring that those bones are a juvenile Krayt Dragon in the posts seen above, but then when pressed on making lore comments about The Mandalorian, he deflects to databank and sourcebooks to come in the future.
As for the actual Krayt Dragon seen in The Mandalorian, Szostak doubled down on the fact that the beast has legs and teased there is concept art including oil clay sculpts by Tony McVey that reveal the monster’s legs.
Szostak explained, “I’m sure at some point that concept art will be released. Tony McVey did some amazing oil clay sculpts of both the head and entire body of the Krayt dragon.”
He added, “BTW, to assume that we would turn the dragon into a worm is not giving Doug Chiang & our team enough credit, guys.”
Szostak’s final comment on here, doesn’t make any sense either. As seen in The Mandalorian Chapter 9, the monster simply looks like a giant sand worm with head features that resemble a dragon. No legs are seen throughout the episode, and appendages aren’t even shown when the Tusken Raiders are digging through the beast’s corpse.
I think it’s a fair assumption for most people to believe the beast was a worm, given that’s what they actually saw on screen. The only thing that would tip them off that the beast might have legs is that the episode referred to it as a Krayt Dragon, a beast known to have legs in Star Wars lore.
What do you make of this new information regarding the Krayt Dragon as seen in The Mandalorian Chapter 9?