Ahsoka and her new allies Trace and Rafa Martez get into some big trouble in “Deal No Deal.” The burgeoning friendship between Trace and Ahsoka frays as the former Jedi realizes how naive Trace really is and how Rafa’s efforts to get the sisters out of debt got them all in trouble.
The episode doesn’t introduce many familiar ships or equipment, but two planets bring connections to other parts of The Clone Wars and Star Wars Legends continuity. And with an episode all about teens smuggling “spice,” there’s some stuff to unpack there, too.
Here are the easter eggs and references we found in “Deal No Deal”:
The family-friendly term for the Star Wars equivalent of recreational drugs comes straight from the movies. Kessel and spice have been linked since the very early minutes of A New Hope, where C-3PO worries he and R2-D2 will be sent to the “spice mines of Kessel” if the Empire captures them. Han Solo also got in trouble for mishandling spice and probably smuggled some in the Millennium Falcon’s secret compartments. The Pyke gang has been seen handling spice in The Clone Wars, beginning in season five.
Interestingly enough, the concept of “spice” as space’s recreational drug was heavily influenced by Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel Dune in which several factions fight over a planet that’s the only source of the spice/drug “melange.”
Before going to the Pykes, the girls pick up the spice from Kinash Lock, majordomo to the unseen King Yoruba. He’s a Twi’lek, just like the majordomo Bib Fortuna in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi.
Both Yoruba and Lock are brand-new characters, but Kessel has been portrayed as a criminal hotspot where enslaved miners toil away in both Star Wars Rebels and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Both show the planet as strip-mined, making the lush greenery around Yoruba’s castle a surprising sight.
In the Legends universe
Since the description of the mines is based on the films, Kessel in the Legends timeline was pretty similar to how it appears in The Clone Wars. The factions fighting over it were the difference, with warlords and Imperials competing for control of the valuable spice. The space anomalies that make the planet hard to reach were slightly different, too. Instead of the maelstrom and space monsters that make the Kessel run such a harrowing place in Solo, Kessel is surrounded by the Maw, a cluster of black holes.
Oba Diah and the Pykes
The leader of the Pykes in “Deal No Deal” is Marg Krim, whose only other appearance comes in the novel Dark Disciple. The novel, which was based on unproduced scripts for The Clone Wars, describes him as wearing the star-shaped gold headdress he sports on the show. In the book, he is nervous, having inherited the Pyke gang in the middle of a potential crisis for the faction.
If the Martez sisters told Ahsoka they were going to the planet Oba Diah, she would probably have strongly suspected the Pykes were involved. Introduced earlier in The Clone Wars, this blue-hued world is the homeworld of the Pyke species.
Connection to Maul
The Pykes had a temporary alliance with Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective, the former Sith’s short-lived effort to run a criminal empire. This alliance eventually dissolved, but in “Deal No Deal,” the Pykes still have a loose association with Maul.
Maul would later go on to run the criminal empire Crimson Dawn, as seen in Solo. While Ahsoka may be able to handle the Pykes if she’s able to use her Jedi powers, Trace and Rafa are in way over their heads.