This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
The Mandalorian takes on a new job in “The Passenger.” This time, he’s ferrying an alien mother to her homeworld and runs into a lot of trouble along the way. That trouble comes in the form of quite a few fan-favorite aliens and creatures from other parts of the Star Wars universe.
“Frog Lady” is truly the star of this episode. We don’t know the name of her race or what language she speaks, but we do know she’s captured our hearts in much the same way Baby Yoda did last season. Her goal in the episode is simple: to get her eggs to the one habitable place in the galaxy where they can hatch and her children can live. By the end of the episode, she’s become a big part of the crew, and we do hope she sticks around a little while longer.
Trask, Kol Iben, Adelphi, and Maldo Kreis
– Three new locations are mentioned in this episode: the gas giant planet Kol Iben, its estuary moon Trask, and Adelphi. It’s unclear if the latter is a planet or moon, but a New Republic outpost is located there. Meanwhile, Trask and Kol Iben are located in the aptly named Kol Iben System, which is just a star system away from Tatooine in the Outer Rim.
– The name Trask has been used several times in the franchise, especially in the New Jedi Order and New Republic eras. None of the characters with this moniker seem to have anything to do with the estuary moon, though.
– The ice planet where much of the latter half of the episode is set is Maldo Kreis, the first location introduced in the series premiere!
Spiders!!! The main “villains” of the episode turn out to be spiders who want to eat Mando, Baby Yoda, and Frog Lady. Of course, it’s really our dynamic trio who disturb the spider nest, and it’s no surprise that Baby Yoda eating one of the spider babies ticked off the giant spider queen. He really needs to stop eating all of those eggs.
These spiders are a major blast from the past. They go all the way back to Ralph McQuarrie concept art for The Empire Strikes Back, where a spider queen was depicted laying eggs on Dagobah as Luke Skywalker looked on. This design, known as the “knobby white spider,” didn’t actually make it into the movie. But it did eventually appear in Legends continuity in the novel Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson.
The way the spiders look, move, and swarm Mando and friends also reminds us of the Krykna, the creatures that initially appeared as antagonists on Star Wars Rebels until Kanan Jarrus learned to control them with the Force. It’s a good thing too, because the Krykna are formidable predators. Their shells are even resistant to blaster bolts!
The Mandalorian‘s spiders don’t seem to be the same species as the Krykna, but they’re a cool (creepy) nod to them. The spider egg scene also seems to be a reference to the nest of facehugger eggs the crew of the Nostromo discovers in Alien. The eggs even sort of split open just like the Alien eggs did. It’s pretty gross. And is the way the spider queen tries to eat the heroes inside the cave a reference to Shelob from The Lord of the Rings?
Either way, can we stop talking about spiders now?
– Star Wars veteran creator and The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni returns as New Republic ace X-wing pilot Trapper Wolf. The character first appeared in last season’s “The Prisoner.” Filoni’s character is named “Trapper Wolf” because of the creator’s fascination with wolves, which he has often included in his work.
– Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who plays Appa in the Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience, appears as Captain Carson Teva, the other New Republic pilot flying alongside Trapper.
– We also get the return of the beloved Richard Ayoade as the voice of the bounty hunter protocol droid Q9-0 (“Zero” for short). Mando blasted him away in “The Prisoner” when the droid tried to harm Baby Yoda, which is why Zero is in pieces in this episode.
– A trio of mercenaries try to ambush Mando at the start of the episode in an attempt to steal Baby Yoda. They of course fail. The trio includes a Nikto, a race that hails from the planet Kintan, which is located in Hutt Space. This alien race is separated into three different subspecies, according to Wookieepedia: Kajain’sa’Nikto, the Kadas’sa’Nikto, and the Esral’sa’Nikto. The Nikto we see in the episode is a Kadas’sa’Nikto, also known as a “Red Nikto.”
– One of the mercenaries has a metallic faceplate reminiscent of the Teedo from The Force Awakens, but the resemblance isn’t exact. Anyone recognize this fellow?
-Peli makes a reference to Rodians, a popular Star Wars race that first appeared in A New Hope. They hail from the planet Rodia and apparently like their krayt dragon meat well done.
The most famous Rodian by far is Greedo, the bounty hunter who may or may not have shot first in the infamous “Han Shot First” scene from the original Star Wars movie. He’s the guy who briefly shouted “Maclunkey” in the Disney+ cut of the film.
– Mando returns to the Mos Eisley Cantina, which first appeared in A New Hope as the home to many different kinds of aliens, including a giant insect dude which is actually known as a Yam’rii. Dr. Mandible, the giant ant-like guy playing a game of sabacc with Peli, is a clear nod to the original bug dude. As of this moment, Dr. Mandible’s race hasn’t been named.
– The Wookiee behind the bar could be Chalmun, the cantina owner.
There are several fan-favorite droids in this episode. While we’ve covered many of them in other easter egg guides, such as the GNK Power Droid, the DUM series pit droids, and Return of the Jedi‘s EV-9D9, there’s one droid model we want to point out this week: the long-necked WED-15 Treadwell droid working in Peli Motto’s garage.
This clumsy repair droid first appeared in A New Hope as part of the lineup of droids presented to Uncle Owen by the Jawas at the start of the movie. Interestingly enough, the model used in the first Star Wars movie is very spider-like…and kind of terrifying.
A280 Blaster Rifle
Carson Teva and Trapper Wolf save the day by shooting down the spiders swarming the Razor Crest. They’re able to easily bullseye targets from their X-wing cockpits thanks to their trusty A280 Blaster Rifles, the mid- to long-range weapons equipped by Rebel and New Republic soldiers throughout Star Wars history.
There seems to be some dispute regarding when this rifle was first introduced. According to Wookieepedia’s Legends section, the A280 first appeared in Return of the Jedi as an offshoot of the A295 Blaster Rifle used by the Rebels during the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. That said, the Ultimate Star Wars reference book (via Wookieepedia) says the canon designation for the rifle used in Empire is now officially the A280 as well, meaning the A295 has basically been erased from continuity despite the fact that it looks ever so slightly different to the A280.
In the video games Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefront II, you can actually equip a modified version of the A280 known as the A280C.
The prison ship from “The Prisoner” is directly connected to this episode, as the New Republic pilots know that Din both broke out of it and wanted to spare one of their men. Presumably, it’s connected in some way to the Bothan species, which played a major role in New Republic politics in the Legends timeline.