The Simpsons Cut A Mandalorian Moment From Its First Star Wars Short

When Disney bought 21st Century Fox and most of its assorted properties, that included nearly everything produced by 20th Century Fox, across both  film and television. That made Disney+ the home of both "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons," so of course the House of Mouse took advantage of that opportunity by bringing the two beloved properties together exclusively through the streaming service.

"The Force Awakens from Its Nap" was an animated short from the creators of "The Simpsons" that used "Star Wars" characters and iconography for little adventures featuring the cast of the beloved animated sitcom, which has now been running for over two decades. Clocking in around three minutes long, the short finds Maggie taken to a new preschool: Jabba's Hut Jedi Preschool. Amidst an assortment of cheeky "Star Wars" references and Easter eggs, Maggie is trying to get back her pacifier after its taken away by General Grievous (or at least a similar droid), before she gets a little help from BB-8.

Within the school, you'll see characters like Ahsoka Tano (putting a kid in time out by way of temporarily carbon freezing them) and Lando Calrissian (monitoring a Cloud City nap time area). However, there was almost a cameo by the titular character from "The Mandalorian," which ended up getting cut. So what would Din Djarin have been doing in Springfield?

The Simpsons would have locked in Mando as Space Dad

Speaking with CNN, "The Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean revealed that the Mandalorian would have made a cameo in "The Force Awakens from Its Nap," but the scene featuring him ended up being axed from the short:

"There was a scene where we had the parents picking up the kids, and the Mandalorian was one of them. What happened was once we hit on it as a story between Maggie and BB-8, we just eliminated everything that wasn't pertinent to that story."

In the final version, we don't see parents picking up the kids at the end of the day, so the Mandalorian cameo just didn't make sense. However, when you see Marge dropping off Maggie at Jabba's Hut Jedi Preschool, you will spot a few Mandalorian-themed Easter eggs.

As you can see above, along with a bunch of other fun "Star Wars" nods, there are two jetpacks hanging on the wall like backpacks. One of them certainly belongs to Mando, and the other one is meant to be Jango Fett's jetpack. Furthermore, in the scene right after that, there's a little kid in full Mandalorian armor waiting for a Jedi to make him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a lightsaber. If you're wondering why Jango Fett's jetpack made it on the wall over Boba Fett, it would seem to be because the little Mandalorian tyke is made to look like the infamous bounty hunter — complete with the longer missile in the center of his jetpack. 

The one thing you won't see, however, is Grogu, or Baby Yoda, as he's still commonly referred to. Even though it would make perfect sense for him to be in preschool with Maggie, Jean and "The Simpsons" weren't allowed to use him.

Disney didn't want to overexpose Baby Yoda

As Jean explained back in 2021, "Grogu is the most popular character created anywhere in fiction in the last year, and you don't want to overexpose him." Instead, "They let us do a little tribute to him but not a big reference, which I think is great."

The tribute to Grogu comes after Maggie is seemingly defeated by another toddler who looks like Darth Maul. After a battle where Maggie stretches out her pacifier into a weapon that clashes with the kid's red double-bladed lightsaber, the Sith child Force pushes her into a book shelf and leaves her buried in debris. But Maggie suddenly rises out of the rubble with the Force, and she's sprouted pointy yellow ears, looking like Grogu and Yoda. 

Considering how overexposed (yet beloved) Grogu has since become, thanks to Disney's endless merchandising of the character, it seems silly to think that they were once being so protective of the character. But this was back in 2021, and though the little guy was popular, he was only just beginning his journey to pop culture dominance. 

In the end, Lucasfilm must have reconsidered, because a second "Star Wars" short film featuring Maggie was released in 2023, entitled "Rogue Not Quite One," and that short prominently features the Mandalorian with a tiny cameo from Grogu, although you never see the little guy's face. 

Both of the "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons" shorts are available to stream on Disney+.