That comparison first appeared in the Attack of the Clones shooting script during a scene with Anakin and Watto.

Watto calls Anakin a "little womp rat" before remarking that he "sure sprouted." What did he mean?

Is Watto literally calling him a dwarf, or is it a term of endearment on Tatooine?

Edit: I'm referring to the way Watto used womp rat.

Edit 2 - exact dialogue:

WATTO (continuing in English) You are Annie! It is you! You little womp rat!

WATTO gives ANAKIN a big hug.

WATTO (continuing) Ya sure sprouted! Weehoo! A Jedi! Waddya know? Hey, maybe you couldda help me wit some deadbeats who owe...

  • The term certainly did not first appear in Attack of the Clones; Luke said he used to "bullseye womp rats" (comparing them to the size of the Death Star exhaust port) in A New Hope. But it's not clear what you are asking here. – Daniel Roseman Oct 16 at 15:45
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    I think he's suggesting that Anakin is annoying and chews through cables. – DavidW Oct 16 at 15:48
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    A womp rat is a large rat-like creature, roughly 2 meters in lengths from nose to tail. Watto is saying that Anakin was much smaller than this (a small, weedy boy) when he knew him as a child, but that he's sprouted (grown considerably) since then and is now about the same size as an adult womp rat. – Valorum Oct 16 at 15:54
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    In episode 9 of The Mandalorian Peli Motto uses "little womp rat" as a term of endearment for The Child. So it seems like a pretty common colloquialism on Tatooine – L.T.Smash Nov 3 at 0:41

"Little" in this case, is used as a diminutive modifier which works both as an actual indication of youth, which is often correlated with a lack of strength, knowledge, or sense, and as an intensifier of an insult as in the common English usage of "you little stinker". In this case, since it is an older Anakin, Watto is using it in the second form, but doing it in a more affectionate manner, much like how one of my friends will address her children as "little stinkers" much to their amusement, even though they are now much older.

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