The Mandalorian episode 8 answers some major questions about how connected this show is to the Mandalorian lore we’ve seen elsewhere. Connections to The Clone Wars abound, as does some form of closure for Mando and Baby Yoda. All that plus a wrap-up and more reveals about characters like Moff Giden, Cara Dune, and the Armorer make for a packed episode when it comes to easter eggs and Star Wars tie-ins.
Here are all the easter eggs and references we found in the episode:
Moff Gideon and the Empire
-The stormtroopers chatting in the very beginning of the episode miss the piece of junk they’re shooting at when they fire their blasters out of boredom. The lull in conversation is also a chance to get back to that old Star Wars joke: stormtroopers can’t aim, or certainly can’t shoot through the heroes’ Plot Armor, no matter how precise Obi-Wan said they are.
These soldiers also exude big Tag and Bink vibes. This dim-witted duo starred in a series of Dark Horse comics in the 2000s. Existing in the periphery of the Skywalker saga, these two Imperials were around for some of the biggest moments in Star Wars history and always managed to mess up whatever they were doing. Like the stormtroopers in this episode, Tag and Bink would have almost certainly lost Baby Yoda.
– The E-Web heavy repeating blaster first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, in which a stormtrooper can be seen manning the gun and turret. It was also a staple of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and several video games.
– Moff Gideon is described as “an ISB officer during the purge”. The acronym stands for Imperial Security Bureau. This means he was one of the Emperor’s agents who served as a mix of spy, torturer, and police officer who watched the Imperial ranks for signs of sedition. Another agent of the ISB was Alexsandr Kallus from the Rebels animated series.
– The ranks of both clone troopers and Imperial stormtroopers have included flametroopers like the one who tries to burn Mando and friends out of their hiding place. These specialized soldiers wear flamethrowers and flame-resistant armor. The one in episode eight looks a bit different than others I’m familiar with. The red markings were also seen on a flametrooper in the middle grade series Adventures in Wild Space, albeit without the heavy red face stripes pictured in The Mandalorian.
– The concept for Gideon’s Outland TIE fighter, which we covered in more detail last week, was actually conceived during pre-production for The Force Awakens, according to Star Wars historian Phil Szostak. After years of existing only as concept art, it finally came to life on The Mandalorian.
– Gideon has apparently researched his enemies’ histories (appropriate for an ISB officer). He knows Cara is from Alderaan, Princess Leia’s homeworld and the planet destroyed by the Death Star in A New Hope. Wanting revenge and/or justice for her home world would certainly explain why she joined the Rebellion and became attached enough to the cause to get the starbird symbol tattooed on her cheek.
– He also uses her full name, Carasynthia Dune, which actor Gina Carano first revealed in an interview with ESPN.
– Cara says that because of her Rebel history, the Empire might subject her to interrogation by a “mind flayer.” Meanwhile, Greef doesn’t think these are real. The term “mind flayer” usually refers to a psychic monster from Dungeons & Dragons, but it’s possible that it’s Star Wars slang for something like Bor Gullet. The alien Bor Gullet was used to interrogate Bodhi Rook in Rogue One. This creature can reveal whether someone is telling the truth, while risking the victim’s sanity in the process.
– Among Gideon’s other speechifying comes the Mandalorian’s real name: he’s Din Djarin. This isn’t exactly a secret: Pedro Pascal mentioned it in an interview, although official sources have been quiet about it since.
– Here we go with the Clone Wars connections. Gideon directly references the Imperial assault against the Mandalorians in The Siege of Mandalore, a.k.a. “night of a thousand tears.” The Siege has been a long-established but only briefly dramatized point in canon Mandalorian history. Jedi Ahsoka Tano worked to depose the former Sith Lord Maul, who took over Mandalore toward the end of the Old Republic’s reign. This event has been referenced in The Clone Wars several times but takes place later in the timeline than the show itself. It was briefly dramatized in the novel Ahsoka, and is slated to appear in the upcoming season of The Clone Wars. Order 66 took place right in the middle of this siege, and in the resulting chaos the Empire took power. Gideon is probably referring to that violent takeover with his reference to the “thousand tears.”
– Cara Dune says it isn’t surprising that Dyn Jarren isn’t from Mandalore: after all, “Mandalorian isn’t a race. It’s a creed.” This confirms that Mandalorians after the Galactic Civil War operate like they did in the Expanded Universe, allowing anyone to wear the helmet as long as they swear to the Mandalorian code of honor.
– The Armorer says Mandalore the Great fought against “an army of sorcerers called Jedi.” As well as being the name of their planet, the word Mandalore can refer to the leader of the group. In Legends, “Mandalore the Ultimate” waged a war against Jedi in the ancient Old Republic times.
– Moff Gideon cuts his way out of his crashed TIE Fighter with a black lightsaber. To Mandalorian fans, this is a kick in the teeth— he’s carrying the Darksaber, the ceremonial weapon of the leader of the planet Mandalore. Built by a Mandalorian Jedi in ancient times, it was most recently seen in the hands of Bo-Katan Kryze. (Not to be confused with the Legends superweapon the Darksaber, a little-discussed variant on the Death Star’s super laser.)
The Clone Wars
This episode gives us a cohesive version of the flashback which was previously disjointed. It shows Separatist battleships like those seen throughout Prequel-era material as well as the B2 super battle droid that was a staple ground unit of Count Dooku’s army.
Aliens and Creatures
– Tatooine isn’t the only planet with Jawa scavengers: several Jawas show up on Nevarro acting pretty much like their Tatooine counterpars. They strip away pieces of Gideon’s fallen TIE fighter until the man himself cuts his way out of the cockpit.
– The lava barge pilot droid appears to be an R2 unit, but it’s equipped with long legs and arms that allow it to row the boat above the dangerous lava river.