This STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN article contains spoilers.
“The Siege” evokes A New Hope in its star fighter battles and brings back some season one characters to The Mandalorian. The episode is heavy on the Original Trilogy overall, with some shots taken directly from iconic scenes.
Mando returns to Nevarro for some repairs to his ship but ends up mopping up the last Imperial holdout there. But the Imperial base isn’t all that it seems on the outside, and the gang now has another clue as to what Baby Yoda actually is and what Moff Gideon is planning.
Here are all of the Star Wars easter eggs and references we’ve found so far:
We learn in the very last scene of the episode that Moff Gideon is working on something big for the Empire. Possibly combining intimidating black stormtrooper armor with midi-chlorian experiments, the Empire might be developing its very own canon batch of dark troopers, the Force-sensitive Imperial commandos introduced in the Dark Empire comics from Dark Horse — or the half-man half-machine hybrid soldiers from the Dark Forces video games. We speculated much more on what these dark troopers might be here.
Nevarro and Other Locations
– We return to Nevarro, home of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild and the former base of operations for Mando’s tribe. This particular settlement on Nevarro has become a much more peaceful place now that Cara Dune has become the marshal.
– At one point, as Mando, Greef Karga, and Cara walk to the school, you can see a statue of IG-11 in the background. This a monument to the assassin droid who sacrificed itself to help the heroes escape the Empire in the season one finale. The droid was voiced by Taika Waititi throughout the first season.
– One of the children in the school has three topknots like Rey. This hairdo follows a long tradition of iconic and gravity-defying Star Wars hair styles, include Leia’s side buns and Padmé Amidala’s elaborate senatorial coifs.
– The teacher droid mentions many previously established galactic locations during her lesson. The kids are learning geography: major hyperspace trade routes like the Corellian Run and Hydian Way will be familiar to Expanded Universe fans, while the Akkadese Maelstrom around Kessel is from Solo: A Star Wars Story. (It’s a re-skin of the Maw, also a web of black holes around Kessel, from Legends canon.) The teacher also mentions Coruscant, the former capital of the Old Republic, and Chandrila, the capital of the New Republic.
– Also mentioned at the end of the episode is Alderaan, the planet that was destroyed by the Death Star in A New Hope. Alderaan is the home planet of both Princess Leia Organa and Cara Dune.
– The Aurebesh language text on the control panel the Mythrol uses says “core temp.” The aesthetic is very similar to that on the Death Star tractor beam Obi-Wan Kenobi shuts off in A New Hope. (To be precise, the in-universe language text was added in the Special Edition; the original was in English.)
– The transport our heroes escape in is identified as a Trexler Marauder, a repulsorcraft (the Star Wars term for hover craft). It’s a brand new design for The Mandalorian, but the transport does evoke the ones introduced in Rogue One.
– The escape from the Imperial facility evokes several shots from A New Hope, including Luke Skywalker’s first turn at the Millennium Falcon’s laser cannons during the escape from the Death Star as well as the trench run in the film’s climactic third act. The shot of the TIE fighter pilot adjusting his instruments and the surrounding action are particularly similar.
– The Imperial lab seems to contain strand-casts, not clones exactly but bio-engineered organisms. This technology was used to make Supreme Leader Snoke, the decaying body through which Emperor Palpatine manipulated Kylo Ren and ruled the First Order in the Sequel Trilogy. We know strand-casts aren’t as easy to work with as clones, and it sounds like Dr. Pershing’s experiment is as precarious as the one that created Snoke. But there’s no direct connection between the two as far as we know.
– When the doctor refers to “M-count,” he’s shortening the word “midi-chlorians,” the microscopic lifeforms that enables living beings to use the Force. The concept of midi-chlorians was introduced in The Phantom Menace to near-universal disappointment, as the addition of a biological explanation for the mystical Force didn’t please nearly anyone except George Lucas himself. But it is canon. Mentioning it here means these Imperial experiments definitely have something to do with the Force.
– The Imperial ship at the very end of the episode is an Imperial Arquitens-class command cruiser, which has appeared several times in Star Wars Rebels and other tie-in media. Its introduction is a mirror of the famous Star Destroyer looming overhead in the opening shot of A New Hope.
– The aquatic Aqualish return. Originally appearing in A New Hope and hailing from the water planet of Andor, the Aqualish are often cast as scoundrels or criminals. You undoubtedly remember Ponda Baba from the infamous Mos Eisley sequence.
– The one-eyed Mimbanese thief also belongs to a classic species. First appearing in the 1978 Legends novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, they were re-canonized and introduced to film at the same time as the Mimbanese in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Technically, the aliens in the novel were called Coway and lived on the planet Mimban.
– The Mythrol from the show’s very first episode returns and demonstrates his species’ musk. (Or at least, I think that’s what the fear reaction was there.) Like many characters on The Mandalorian, he doesn’t have a full name yet and just goes by “Mythrol.” This particular character is played by Horatio Sanz (Saturday Night Live).
At one point, the Mythrol mentions how being frozen in carbonite has seemingly left him blind in his left eye. This is a callback to how Han Solo couldn’t see hours after he’d been pulled out of carbon freezing in Return of the Jedi.
– Other alien races in the episode include Jawas, Kyuzo, Melbu, and a species first introduced in The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story currently known as “Silvasu Fi’s species.” Silvasu Fi was a Cloud-Rider in the latter movie.