This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
Mando and the Child return to Tatooine for The Mandalorian season 2 premiere, “The Marshal.” As you’d expect of a modern Star Wars production, the season kicks off full of familiar alien races, locations, and other minutiae from the galaxy far, far away. If you’ve ever wondered what daily life in the deep desert was like for Luke Skywalker and his distant neighbors, this Tatooine-set episode provides a perfect chance to find out.
Plus we get plenty of references to characters from Star Wars‘ past, including one big cameo from the galaxy’s most infamous bounty hunter. Here are all of the easter eggs and Star Wars connections we spotted in this episode:
– While the episode spends a lot of time obsessing over Boba Fett’s long lost Mandalorian armor, the bounty hunter himself makes an appearance in the final seconds of “The Marshal,” looking on at Mando as he rides through the Tatooine desert. He is played on The Mandalorian by Temuera Morrison, the Star Wars veteran best known for playing Jango Fett and the clone troopers in the Prequel Trilogy. Here, Morrison portrays an older, scowling Boba who likely wants his armor back.
We wrote way more about what Boba Fett’s return means for the show and the Star Wars universe here.
– One other thing of note about Boba Fett’s appearance in this episode is that he’s wearing a black robe and spurs, which likely means that he’s the mysterious stranger who was first teased at the very end of last year’s episode, “The Gunslinger.” Is Boba Fett showing up only for the briefest of moments at the end of episodes going to become a thread throughout the show?
– If you need to know more about this beloved Star Wars character, here are a few things you might not know about Boba Fett!
– Timothy Olyphant’s charismatic marshal of Mos Pelgo, Cobb Vanth, first appeared as an interlude character in the Aftermath series of novels by Chuck Wendig. A lawman in the books as well, Cobb was a former slave dedicated to protecting a settlement called Freetown. He recruited Malakili, Jabba the Hutt’s former rancor keeper, to fight off the Red Key Raiders, which seem to have been replaced by the mining syndicate revealed on the show during the flashback sequence. As in the books, Cobb doesn’t know the provenance of the Mandalorian armor and wants to use it to protect townspeople.
You can learn way more about Cobb’s backstory here.
– Vanth survives by trading a camtono of valuable crystals for the armor. While it was also used as a container in season one, the camtono was a bit of a Star Wars joke before that as the “ice cream machine” carried by background character Willrow Hood in The Empire Strikes Back.
– A moment during the krayt dragon battle sequence, in which Mando hits Cobb’s jetpack and the marshall goes hurtling uncontrollably through the air, is a direct reference to Han Solo accidentally hitting Boba’s jetpack, which sent him flying into the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. It’s a nice touch for the episode that also reveals Boba is alive!
– The fast-talking informant with an eye for Mando’s beskar armor doesn’t get much screentime, but Gor Koresh is notable for who plays him. It’s none other than actor and stand-up comedian John Leguizamo, who makes his Star Wars debut in this episode.
– Gor is an Abyssin, a cycloptic alien race native to the planet Byss. This race first appeared as one of the many aliens in the famous Mos Eisley cantina scene in A New Hope.
Cobb and Mando spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to kill the krayt dragon stalking both the people of Mos Pelgo and the Tusken Raiders who live in the Dune Sea. Krayt dragons first appeared as a massive skeleton in the Tatooine desert in A New Hope and The Mandalorian finally brings this monster to life on the screen.
We only really get to see the head and neck of the beast and not its full kaiju-like body. The way we watch the krayt dragon slither underground before popping up to munch on its prey is very reminiscent to the gigantic sandworms in the Frank Herbert sci-fi masterpiece Dune, a seminal novel that was a big influence on the creation of Star Wars, especially when it comes to the planet of Tatooine.
But unlike the sandworms in Dune, Cobb and Mando are more interested in blowing up the krayt dragon than they are in mastering and riding it. It’s very true to the more brutish Star Wars way of solving problems.
In Legends canon, krayt dragons were depicted as having four legs and were generally smaller than what we see in this episode. Maybe this is a krayt dragon queen or something?
Here’s an excellent easter egg: we learn in the episode that R5-D4, the astromech Luke originally picked over R2-D2 in A New Hope, has been repaired and is now working in Peli Motto’s garage. You can still see the burns where his motivator malfunctioned in the original Star Wars movie.
– Mando’s first stop is an underground fight club to meet Gor, who says he has information regarding the location of more Mandalorians, which Mando needs to track down Baby Yoda’s people.
The scene is full of familiar aliens from the movies, such as the Twi’lek answering the door just like Bib Fortuna did in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi, the Gamorrean brawlers with energy shields, and the Zabrak heavy-hitter who gets a knife to the chest courtesy of the bounty hunter.
One other note about this scene: some of the graffiti is reminiscent of the painting style used by Sabine Wren in Star Wars Rebels, which seems like more than a coincidence since it’s been rumored that WWE superstar Sasha Banks is set to play the Mandalorian freedom fighter on the live action series.
– A friendly Weequay tends the bar in Mos Pelgo. Weequays were first introduced in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi.
– Jawas and their sandcrawlers are also back this season, but this time to help Cobb when he’s on the verge of death in the flashback sequence.
– The episode also points a more sympathetic eye at Tusken Raiders, who have been portrayed as savage and cruel in past Star Wars movies. Here, they’re given a language, rituals, and a bigger sense of culture than ever before.
True to the movies, the Tuskens ride banthas (in single file to hide their numbers, just as Obi-Wan described in A New Hope) and we can hear their signature shout from the movies as they try to lure out the krayt dragon from its cave.
– Peli Motto, the Mos Eisley mechanic played by Amy Sedaris, is quick to reference womp rats, the little mammals Luke liked to shoot at with his T-16 back in the day.
– The little creatures outside Mos Pelgo are called scurriers, which were introduced in the Special Edition version of A New Hope.
– The Tusken’s doglike guard animals are called massiffs and are reptilian.
– I’m not sure about the creatures that eat Gor in the opening scene. Let me know in the comments if you know what we’re looking at in that scene. Either way, those glowing red eyes in the night are spooky.
The episode also features a nice little nod to The Phantom Menace. The speeder bike Cobb rides through the desert is mostly made up of a modified podracer engine. It’s a cool detail that also perfectly fits in with the scrapped-together, worn setting.