Season two of The Mandalorian is finally here! Last Friday saw the premiere of the first episode, titled “The Marshal.” With it came the return of Din Djarin and The Child/Baby Yoda on the next step of their journey and a number of Easter eggs, references and connections to other Star Wars lore. Here are some of the highlights we picked out.
PARALLELS TO SEASON ONE
In this episode, Din must convince two conflicting groups of people to work together in order to take down a greater threat, a parallel to how he and Cara Dune helped peaceful fishing villagers defend themselves from raiders using a scavenged AT-ST in Chapter 4 “Sanctuary.” Also, Din having to take down a large creature in order to accomplish his goal while Baby Yoda watches from the sidelines is similar to his battle with the Mudhorn in Chapter 2 “The Child.” Both fights take place right outside the lairs of the creature and the layout of the arena is also similar.
HECK OF A CAGE MATCH
The very first scene of the season has Din and The Child entering a pit fighting arena where two Gamorreans are battling in the ring. This is very appropriate as Jon Favreau’s first tease of Season Two was a figure of a Gamorrean.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
When Din’s contact, Gor Koresh, turns on him, Din takes down several guards using Whispering Birds, lethal darts forged from excess beskar provided to him by the Armorer in season one. He subsequently dispatches two more using his vibroblade.
Vibroblades appear to be standard issue for Mandalorians as Din and Paz Vizla pull vibroblades on each other during a confrontation in the Armorer’s smithy. In both scenes, the blades can appropriately be seen vibrating.
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?
The way Din subdues Gor Koresh is exactly how another bounty hunter, Cad Bane, executed a Naboo engineer in The Clone Wars season four episode “Crisis on Naboo.” It was during an attempt to abduct Chancellor Palpatine by a group of bounty hunters led by Bane at the behest of Count Dooku. This is fitting as Dave Filoni, producer and director on The Mandalorian, was also a writer, director, and producer for The Clone Wars.
A FAMILIAR FACE AND A PET NAME
Pelli Motto, a mechanic who aided Din in season one and developed a soft spot for The Child (because who couldn’t), makes a return in this episode. When she learns Din still has Baby Yoda, she calls him a “little wamp rat” as a form of endearment. Din also did that himself in Chapter 4 “Sanctuary”.
HE LIKES DROIDS NOW
Din allows Peli’s pit droids to work on the Razor Crest, a sign of his letting go of his previous prejudice towards droids after his life was saved by IG-11 last season.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A DROID
R5-D4 returns once again in this episode after being seen briefly in the cantina last season and Peli refers to him by name. When he brings up the map of Tatooine, you can see scorch marks from where his “bad” motivator ruptured in A New Hope. He did so deliberately to ensure that R2-D2 was sold to the Lars homestead instead of him and, like R2, he later served in the Rebel Alliance. He also appeared in Attack of the Clones, wandering the streets of Mos Espa when Anakin and Padmé returned to Tatooine in search of Shmi Skywalker.
The Season One episode “The Gunslinger” established Din as being able to communicate with Tusken Raiders using sign language and that he has a good relationship with the people. That makes a return in this episode as Din and The Child make camp with a Tusken group overnight on their journey to Mos Pelgo. It also proves pivotal in negotiating a pact between the villagers and a tribe of Tuskens later in the episode.
Din arrives in Mos Pelgo to find that the supposed Mandalorian he’s looking for on Tatooine is actually Cobb Vanth, the marshal/sheriff of Mos Pelgo, wearing armor once donned by Boba Fett. Fett’s armor bears a distinct dent in the helmet among other signs of wear from extended use.
An unfinished episode for The Clone Wars would have explained how Boba’s helmet was damaged. The plot would have had Boba team up with Cad Bane, a longtime rival of Boba’s father, Jango, to pull off a job, albeit reluctantly. Bane, hoping to prove he was the superior hunter, would have challenged Boba to a duel in which both would shoot the other in the head, Boba only surviving because he was wearing his beskar helmet. However, because the episode was never produced, whether or not this event is Canon is unknown.
NOW THIS IS PODRACING!
When Din and Cobb head out to find the krayt dragon, Cobb’s speeder looks identical to one of the thrusters from Anakin’s podracer in The Phantom Menace.
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?
Massiffs, the dog-like creatures first seen in Attack of the Clones as companions to Tusken Raiders, appear in this episode. Notably, this is the first time we get to see them docile as they are usually portrayed as vicious and aggressive.
They also appeared in The Clone Wars. Members of Hondo Ohnaka’s gang of pirates apparently kept massiffs as pets. The Coruscant Guard used masstiffs in their hunt for Ahsoka Tano following her escape from the prison in season five of The Clone Wars, hoping they’d be able to pick up her scent.
TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN
The creature Din and Cobb have to fight is a krayt dragon that has been terrorizing both Mos Pelgo and a local tribe of Tusken Raiders. Krayt dragons have been a part of Star Wars lore since A New Hope when C-3PO walked past the skeleton of a juvenile one while wandering the Dune Sea and they are best known from the 2003 video game, Knights of the Old Republic.
The dragon featured in this episode is known as a greater krayt dragon, one of two krayt dragon species. Other appearances, such as KOTOR, have featured the more common canyon krayt dragon.
Din Djarin is not the first Mandalorian to contend with a krayt dragon. Jango Fett battled one owned by Gardulla the Hutt in the 2002 video game, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, which told the story of how Jango was recruited to be the template for the clone army.
Din tells Cobb that the only weak point on the krayt dragon is its belly, a point previously established in KOTOR. The strategy of luring the creature out of its lair until it crosses a point rigged with explosives then detonating them is also the same method players use to defeat a krayt dragon in the game.
After the battle, the Tusken Raiders celebrate as they collect a krayt dragon pearl from the carcass of the creature. This is another KOTOR reference, when it was established that these pearls are highly valuable in Tuskens culture. These pearls would form naturally when a krayt dragon consumed rocks containing kyber crystals, the power source for lightsabers used by Jedi. Because they are formed from kyber crystals, the pearls can be used in lightsabers.
NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’LL FIND
When slavers raid Mos Pelgo following the Battle of Endor, during the confusion, Cobb steals a camtono from one of their speeders right before he flees. A camtono is a storage container, first seen in The Empire Strikes Back when Wilrow Hood, a citizen of Cloud City, carries one during Lando Calrissian’s evacuation of Bespin. It’s famously known to Star Wars fans as the ice cream maker prop. It was officially named in season one of the show when The Client (Werner Herzog) offers Din a camtono of beskar as a reward for delivering the Child to his faction.
Cobb explains to Din that he traded valuable crystals with Jawas in exchange for the armor. This explanation is a condensed telling of the interludes told in the Aftermath series of books, which introduced the character.
When Tuskens ride into Mos Pelgo and the combined forces of the tribe and the townsfolk head out to the krayt dragon’s lair, you can see the Tusken’s banthas riding in single file. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan mentions that Tuskens deliberately do so in order to hide the true numbers of their hunting parties.
The head of the greater Krayt Dragon bears resemblance to that of the Zillo Beast, a massive creature encountered by Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars. These events are featured in The Clone Wars season two episodes “The Zillo Beast” and “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back.”
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH FIREPOWER
Din’s pulse rifle makes a return in this episode after being notably absent in the latter half of season one. It was last seen in Chapter 4 “Sanctuary.”
In order to get Cobb out of harm’s way when he takes on the krayt dragon, Din strikes the sheriff’s jetpack with his rifle just like how Han Solo accidentally disabled it in Return of the Jedi, causing Boba Fett to fall into the sarlacc pit. Cobb later tells Din to make sure he tells his people he wasn’t who broke the jetpack, possibly referencing the fact that it was already damaged before Cobb owned it.
UNTIL OUR PATHS CROSS
When Cobb gives Din his armor as they agreed, the two part ways the same way Din and Cara Dune do at the end of Chapter 4 “Sanctuary”, saying that they both hope their paths will cross again.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
It’s finally revealed in the final shot of the episode that Boba Fett survived and escaped the sarlacc pit, likely using his armor before abandoning it. His survival was previously hinted in the Aftermath books and has been long speculated by fans in Canon. If you look closely, you can see that Boba has facial scars very similar to the ones his father, Jango Fett, had in Attack of the Clones.