In its over 30-year existence, The Simpsons have been able to directly or indirectly reference virtually everything pop culture within the series' run. So it's surprising how the franchise never got around to crossing over with Star Wars officially despite both being under the same Fox umbrella for over 20 years with its latest short The Force Awakens from Its Nap, the latest short on Disney+ released on "Star Wars" Day on May 4. The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean spoke with CNN about how the project came together and how The Mandalorian cameo ended up cut from the release.
"We wrote the first draft around January 28. It was me, Michael Price and Joel Cohen, and David Silverman directed. And we really worked nonstop from late January right till the end of last week," Jean said. "You may think, 'Wow, three minutes. How could you take so long?' You know, it takes a long time to make something look casual." The short focuses on Maggie Simpson, the youngest member of the family who finds herself in Jabba the Hutt's preschool alongside baby Wookies and droids alike before staving off the Dark side to get her pacifier back in the near 4-minute short.
They tread lightly when it came to the Disney+ flagship series The Mandalorian. "Grogu is the most popular character created anywhere in fiction in the last year, and you don't want to overexpose him," Jean said. "They let us do a little tribute to him but not a big reference, which I think is great. 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." For more on Jean talking about how he looks forward to playing in the Star Wars sandbox again, you can head to CNN. The Mandalorian streams on Disney+ and The Simpsons airs on Fox.