This STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN article contains spoilers.
“The Heiress” introduces several characters from other parts of the Star Wars saga to The Mandalorian, including two from The Clone Wars that will make fans jump in excitement. Din Djarin also meets another group of Mandalorians, one quite different to the tribe that raised him.
There’s also a heist on an Imperial cruise that, as per usual, doesn’t go quite as planned. But at the other end of the mission is a clue as to where Mando and Baby Yoda have to go next on their quest to find those “ancient sorcerers” known as the Jedi.
Background characters, dialogue, and the main story itself are all rich with connections to other parts of the saga in this action-heavy entry. Here are all of the Star Wars easter eggs and references we found in Chapter 11:
Bo-Katan might as well have walked right out of The Clone Wars and Rebels, as Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff finally makes her Star Wars live-action debut. Wearing her distinctive owl-eye helmet, she’s the leader of the Nite Owls, a militant Mandalorian faction bent on taking back Mandalore from the Empire.
Her return on the show, after earning the Darksaber and the title of Mand’alor on Rebels, makes a lot of sense. Not only is she one of the most important members of Mando’s people but she also has a direct tie to one of the key MacGuffins in the series: the legendary Mandalorian blade that the evil Moff Gideon now wields against his enemies. At some point between Rebels and The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan lost the Darksaber and it’s made clear in “The Heiress” that she wants it back.
Bo-Katan is also one of the few Mandalorians left who actually remembers the Jedi and knows one personally. It’s easy for Bo-Katan to point to Ahsoka Tano’s location because they’re friends going all the way back to the end of the Clone Wars and the Siege of Mandalore. She brings a lot of history to the table and it’ll be interesting to see how her return will continue to affect the show going forward.
While we don’t Ahsoka in the flesh, “The Mandalorian” confirms with a brief mention from Bo-Katan what we’ve known for months: the fan-favorite Jedi hero is about to make her live-action debut. Anakin Skywalker’s former padawan learner, and one of the stars of The Clone Wars, is a staple of Star Wars animation.
What you need to know about her is that she left the Jedi Order before the end of the Clone Wars in opposition to a Jedi Council decision but still dedicated her life to doing good and using the Force. She fought alongside the Rebellion in the early days of the war against the Empire and even dueled her former master, now Darth Vader, years after they’d parted ways.
In the next few weeks, we’ll likely learn more about where she’s been since we last saw her in Rebels. Read more about her return here.
Nite Owls, Death Watch, and the Children of the Watch
Bo-Katan’s squad, the Nite Owls, are elite Mandalorian commandos who teamed up with the Darth Maul-allied extremist group Death Watch to wrestle control of their home planet from Bo-Katan’s own sister, Duchess Satine, who led the planet as a pacifist society after centuries warring. After Maul killed Satine and took over the planet for himself, and then the planet rapidly changed hands from his gang to the Republic to the Empire, the Nite Owls split up, with some working on each side.
The Nite Owls are now opposed to the Empire, which at some point obliterated Mandalorian society on the planet during a Great Purge, leaving what’s left of Bo-Katan’s people scattered. But the Nite Owls seek to change all that by taking back Mandalore and restoring the planet to its former glory.
– Death Watch itself is a separate Mandalorian faction, sometimes allies and sometimes enemies of the Nite Owls but also devoted to restoring Mandalore’s warrior heritage in opposition to Satine. Former Maul lieutenant Pre Vizsla ran Death Watch before he was killed by the former Sith lord in his quest to take over the Mandalorians.
Din Djarin’s faction is revealed to be known to other Mandalorians as “Children of the Watch.” While the exact connection to Death Watch is unclear, the presence of a man named Paz Vizsla in this faction and Bo-Katan’s definition of them as religious zealots suggest they are what the name suggests: an offshoot of Death Watch in one way or another. It’s actually Death Watch warriors who saved Din during the Clone Wars.
You can read way more about Mandalorian culture here.
– Trask is a watery moon that suits aquatic species quite well. The port is populated by Mon Calamari (made famous by the late Admiral Ackbar), Quarren (which also debuted in Return of the Jedi), and the unnamed frog-like species introduced in “The Passenger.” Both Mon Calamari and Quarren come from the planet Mon Cala, where they uneasily share the waters.
– Episode 3 reveals Frog Lady’s husband, credited as “Frog Man!” One of their eggs hatches, revealing, unsurprisingly, a tadpole. We can only assume its name is Frog Baby.
Trask and Corvus
– This is the first appearance of the estuary moon of Trask. The walker in the port seems to be a peacetime derivation of the same basic four-legged body plan as the AT-ATs from The Empire Strikes Back. Such a neat detail.
– Bo-Katan tells Mando he can find Ahsoka Tano in the city of Calodan on the forest planet Corvus. This is the first mention of that planet anywhere in the franchise. In the real world, Corvus is the genus of birds to which crows belong.
But as MarvMarble correctly pointed out in the comments, “Calodan” could be a reference to Caladan, the planet that serves as the ancestral home of House Atreides in Dune. “Corvus” could also be a nod to Alpha Corvus, another planet mentioned in the Dune novels.
– The Imperial Gozanti-class cruiser, which the Mandalorians attempt to capture, is a common ship throughout the Prequel and Original Trilogies era. While Gozanti-class cruiser first appeared in the background of The Phantom Menace, the ship was more often used in The Clone Wars and Rebels and also appeared in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Surprisingly, it’s not among the Republic ships in the final space battle in The Rise of Skywalker.
– The alarm that blares within the cruiser is likely familiar to Original Trilogy fans, as the same sound effect was used throughout.
Callbacks and Cameos
– Mando’s line, “You’re changing the terms of the deal” to Bo-Katan matches Lando’s disbelieving plea to Darth Vader when the Imperials decide to take over Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.
– One of Bo-Katan’s fellow Nite Owls, the formidable warrior Koska Reeves, is played by Mercedes Varnado, better known the professional wrestler Sasha Banks from WWE. Read more about Koska here.
– The other Nite Owl is played by Simon Kassianides (Agents of S.H.I. E.L D.). His character’s name is Axe Woves (!!!). While this isn’t confirmed, I have a feeling executive producer Dave Filoni, with his love for wolves and weird monikers (remember, he plays the X-Wing pilot “Trapper Wolf”), is behind this character’s name.
– Titus Welliver (Deadwood, Lost) plays the unnamed Imperial captain.