The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2 uses previously scrapped Empire Strikes Back concept art for new creature

The Mandalorian season 2 spiders
(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

The Mandalorian season 2 has already re-introduced one element from the original trilogy (unless you’ve been hiding under a space rock, that’s Boba Fett), so how about another? Some of the scariest creatures in Star Wars history made their live-action bow this week – and their origins reside in unused concept art from The Empire Strikes Back.

Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2 follow…

Spiders, spiders everywhere. If you suffer from arachnophobia, this week’s Mandalorian episode might have been a seriously tough watch. The creatures lay dormant in a cave on the icy planet where Mando and company crash landed this week. That is, until a certain Baby Yoda's appetite woke them all up.

While it’s not the first time arachnids have cropped up in a galaxy far, far away, it’s unlikely many will be a deeper cut than this. The spiders can be traced back to a piece of Empire Strikes Back concept art from Ralph McQuarrie, for a "knobby white spider", which you can see below.

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Interestingly, those spiders influenced another species – the krykna – who were later introduced in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. Mando’s brand of creepy crawly, though, seem to be far closer in design to the original artwork, making this yet another neat nod to the original trilogy in The Mandalorian season 2.

Last week saw one alien species return from Return of the Jedi, while the prequels also got a shoutout in the form of Anakin’s podracer parts showing up once more in Tatooine. The Disney Plus series has, once again, proven to be a love letter to the fans – with history hiding in every single episode. And even in the spiders.

Find out when the next episode is due to arrive with The Mandalorian season 2 release schedule.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.