Episode six of The Mandalorian, “The Prisoner,” introduces a brand new team of human and alien characters. The Mando has the promise of a safe berth as long as he helps the others rescue a fellow criminal. It turns out they’re rescuing him from a New Republic prison, giving fans the first live-action look at what the Rebellion became after it took down the Empire.
Here are the many Star Wars easter eggs and references to other parts of the saga in episode six:
The New Republic
– After the Empire fell, the Rebellion re-organized into the New Republic, complete with its own senate and head of state (Mon Mothma was the first chancellor of the new galactic government).
– You’ll likely spot a familiar-looking insignia on the New Republic ship. That’s the symbol of the New Republic, which is not unlike the one worn by the Rebellion during the Galactic Civil War. But where the Rebel insignia was a stark red, the New Republic uses blue and yellow for its symbol.
– Previous episodes of The Mandalorian have indicated that both ex-Imperial forces and the New Republic still affect the underworld. We see this firsthand when Ran devises his plan to spring the prisoner. The team needs the Razor Crest because it isn’t on Imperial or Republic wanted lists and can “jam New Republic code,” according to Ran.
– “The Prisoner” also shows that Republic troops will report to jail ships if an emergency beacon is set off. Those troops end up being X-wing pilots, who fire at will on the space station at the end of the episode.
The leader of the rescue team is an ex-Imperial sharpshooter named Mayfeld (played by comedian Bill Burr). He’s quick to say he wasn’t a stormtrooper. “Imperial sharpshooter” isn’t an oxymoron, he insists. It looks like there’s some bad blood between the specialists and the enlisted men. It all goes back to when Obi-Wan Kenobi said stormtroopers were precise shots in A New Hope, only to be disproven by the rest of the movie. The terrible aim of stormtroopers has been a running gag in Star Wars ever since.
– Clancy Brown returns to Star Wars as a Devaronian bruce. This is his second time in the galaxy far, far away, as he previously voiced Savage Oppress in The Clone Wars. The Devaronian species first appeared in A New Hope’s famous cantina scene, where the horned and red-skinned alien leers at the camera. Their design and name are pretty obviously a reference to devils.
– Twi’leks are a Star Wars staple, introduced in Return of the Jedi and quickly adopted all across the Expanded Universe, and this episode brings two of them, Xi’an and her brother Qin. Their models show the species long head-tails and the male Twi’lek’s bulbous forehead.
– The four-armed Ardennian in the cell is the same species as Jon Favreau’s character in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rio Durant. It’s a nice callback to Favreau’s other work in the franchise.
– One of the criminals jokes that Mando could be a Gungan beneath the helmet and mimics Jar Jar Binks’ speech pattern. The Gungans were introduced in The Phantom Menace and were one of George Lucas’ major forays into using fully CGI characters. The Star Wars book Last Shot by Daniel José Older pushes back against the comedic role of the Gungans by including a Gungan character who insists not every member of his species has the same accent and that it plays into a stereotype of the species.
Cameos and Returning Actors
– The three X-Wing pilots who respond to the New Republic distress call are played by executive producer and director Dave Filoni and directors Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow. Filoni, who directed episodes one and five and worked as executive producer of The Clone Wars and Rebels, is credited as Trapper Wolf—an appropriate name for a director who includes wolves or wolf imagery in his episodes quite often.
Famuyiwa, who directed “The Prisoner,” as well as episode two, is credited as Jib Doger. Deborah Chow, who directed episode three, and the upcoming episode seven, is credited as Sash Ketter.
– The New Republic soldier running the prison transport is the only human on the ship. He’s portrayed by Matt Lanter, who will be familiar to fans of The Clone Wars as the voice of Anakin Skywalker. This is his first live-action role in the Star Wars universe.
– The pilot droid Zero, full designation Q9-0, has the insectoid eyes and pinched face of a RA-7 protocol droid, the creepy-looking insectoid droid C-3PO and R-D2 encounter in the Jawa carrier in A New Hope. Based on the details and his name, he isn’t exactly the same model, or has gone through a lot of modifications, but the similarities are there.
– Two new types of security droids roam the halls of the prison ship. Both appear to be original designs, but the bipedal security models look similar to the 4D-M1N bridge command droids working on the Colossus space station in Star Wars Resistance. (h/t DarkSapiens on Twitter for spotting this one.)