These 'Mandalorian' Easter Eggs Connect Every Corner Of The Star Wars Universe
Spoilers for The Mandalorian to follow. The Mandalorian is here, and the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series is giving its all for longtime fans and newcomers to the universe alike. There's loads of action, colorful dialogue, dazzling special effects, and intriguing new characters and creatures that might have huge ramifications for the Star Wars universe as a whole. But perhaps the most fun aspect of the series is all of the the Star Wars Easter eggs. The Mandalorian is already chock full of references to all corners of the Star Wars universe, no matter how obscure, which makes for a particularly rewarding viewing experience.
Of course, anyone who was following the coverage in the lead-up to The Mandalorian would not have been surprised to see all these Easter Eggs. The series' creator, Jon Favreau, is a huge fan of old school Star Wars — namely, the original trilogy and the much-maligned Star Wars Holiday Special, but he also has stated that all facets of the franchise will be referenced in the series.
"Part of what’s fun is to see if we could merge the worlds of the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequels, The Clone Wars, and what’s been considered canon up to this point and what’s been considered part of Legends," Favreau told EW earlier this year. "I think this show offers an opportunity to bring in all those elements so no matter what your flavor of Star Wars ice cream you like there will be something to enjoy."
So take a look below to see if you missed any of these references in the new Star Wars series. This list will be updated throughout the season.
Episode 1 — "Chapter One"
The first untitled episode of the series was a slow ride that ended with a jolting revelation: Mando's bounty is a 50-year-old baby from the same species as Yoda. But here are all of the other callbacks to the original series.
- The Bar Fight: The opening scene of The Mandalorian is a bar brawl between the protagonist and a few ruffians who foolishly try to pick a fight with him. The scene is strikingly similar to the Mos Eisley Cantina scene from A New Hope, where similar bad guys try to pick a fight with Luke Skywalker and end up dismembered by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Life Day: Jon Favreau has a soft spot for the Holiday Special, so he made sure to include a few references to the 1978 oddity. The first bounty picked up by the Mandalorian in the pilot, played by Horatio Sanz, says at one point that he was hoping to make it home in time for Life Day. Life Day is the holiday celebrated by Chewie and his family in the Star Wars Holiday Special.
- That Rifle: Speaking of the Holiday Special, the TV event also featured the first appearance of Boba Fett, predating The Empire Strikes Back. The bounty hunter appears in an animated segment during the special, in which he is seen wielding a peculiar-looking rifle. That rifle was recreated for The Mandalorian, and the protagonist makes use of it in the pilot.
- Kowakian Monkey-Lizards: One of these nasty little aliens, known as Salacious B. Crumb, appeared as Jabba the Hutt's henchman in Return of the Jedi, and a couple of them appear in The Mandalorian. One is being roasted over an open flame while another looks on in horror.
- We Don't Serve Your Kind: Racism against droids (droidism?) has popped up a couple of times in Star Wars lore, with the first instance occurring during the aforementioned cantina scene in A New Hope, where a bartender tells Luke they don't serve droids, and he makes Threepio and Artoo wait outside. The Mandalorian seems to share this prejudice toward droids, as he declines the use of a fancy droid-driven landspeeder (he literally says "no droids") in favor of a dilapidated one driven by a human. He also later dismissively says "droid" when he encounters a bounty droid.
- Blurrgs: These beasts of burden made their debut in the live-action 1985 made-for-TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, which like the Holiday Special, is not highly regarded by most fans. Nonetheless, blurrgs make their canon live-action debut in The Mandalorian.
- Mythosaurs: After declaring he doesn't know how to ride a blurrg, the Mandalorian is reminded by his new pal Kuiil that his people (Mandalorians) used to ride mythosaurs and this is no different. Mythosaurs come from the no-longer-canon Star Wars Legends, formerly known as the Expanded Universe. They were dragon-like beasts that roamed Mandalore in ancient times but were driven to extinction. Looks like they're canon now!
- Trandoshans: The first of these reptilian humanoids Star Wars fans ever met was Bossk, who was one of the bounty hunters tasked with finding Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. The Mandalorian features a whole army of the creatures, as they guard the compound where the Mandalorian's bounty is being kept.
- IG Bounty Droids: Another of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back was IG-88, a bounty droid. A nearly identical-looking bounty droid shows up in The Mandalorian as well. Named IG-11, it reluctantly teams with the Mandalorian in trying to apprehend their shared bounty.
- Beskar: Mentioned a number of times in The Clone Wars, beskar is a very resilient metal alloy used in Mandalorian armor. Naturally, The Mandalorian's protagonist uses some of the material for his armor in the pilot.
- Carbonite: Boba Fett famously froze Han Solo in this material in The Empire Strikes Back, making Solo suitable for easy transport. The Mandalorian also likes to freeze his bounties in the substance, and he's got a whole closet full of 'em.
- Yoda: Perhaps the series' biggest surprise was the appearance of a baby Yoda... or, at least a baby member of Yoda's species. Yoda's people are a mystery — they don't even have a name — so the idea that The Mandalorian could explore their background is pretty exciting.
- Boba Fett: Take this one with a grain of salt. We can now say for certain that The Mandalorian is not about Boba Fett, but some fans think the infamous bounty hunter showed up in show's pilot just the same. During the scene where the protagonist heads off to get some new armor crafted, a Mandlorian wearing nearly identical armor to Boba Fett lurks in the background. Is this really Boba Fett, or just someone with a similar sense of style? Check out the 18:31 mark of the episode to decide for yourself.
Episode 2 — "The Child"
With “Episode 2: The Child,” The Mandalorian starts establishing its own corner of the Star Wars Universe. While “Episode 1” was chockablock with callouts and references to the original films, The Clone Wars, and even the television specials (glad to see blurrgs get their CGI debut!), Episode 2 focused on just a few familiar faces. Though the episode even had a classic "desert sunrise walk" moment, there didn't seem to be twin suns, so who knows what planet they're on — not that it matters, as this episode ends with Mando leaving it to face the larger universe with an increasingly adorable baby Yoda in tow. Now for the Easter eggs.
- Jawas: Feisty desert traders first encountered in the Star Wars universe in Episode IV: A New Hope, the Jawas pop up in The Mandalorian doing what they love best: scavenging ship materials for trade. They may be small, but Jawas can cause big problems for anyone who crosses their paths, which turns into the main plot of Mandalorian's second episode.
- Star Wipes: Stylized wipes have been a Star Wars signature since Episode IV. Inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (and likely the same 1940s serials that inspired Indiana Jones), the wipes have transitioned (pun intended) straight to The Mandalorian.
- Binocular Views: When Mando spies on the Jawas, he may not be using Luke Skywalker's Episode IV macrobinoculars, but the view sure is familiar. Above is Luke's view, and below is Mando's.
- Ugnaughts: In Episode 2, we get to spend more time with brusque, down-to-earth Kuiil. He's a member of the Ugnaughts, a race of workers and scavengers first seen in The Empire Strikes Back in Cloud City, known for their loyalty and labor. Kuiil lives up to this by helping Mando with his quest and fixing his ride but then declining any payment or the offer to tag along and be an assistant.
Episode 3 - "The Sin"
Mando is a man of two codes - The Guild, and Mandalorian. They come into conflict when Mando hands baby Yoda over to the shady Client, and a nagging bit of conscience prompts him to ask what they'll do with the little green guy. Asking goes against Guild code, the same thing Mando's told by Guild boss Greef when he inquires again. Mandalorian code says don't help the enemy, in this case, anyone related to the Empire that wiped out Mando's people. Mando's forced to admit he was helped by his "enemy who didn't know he was my enemy," ergo, not an enemy.
Time to rescue Baby Yoda, and this time the Mandalorian code comes to his aid. Mando's now off the planet, and though we'll likely see more of the Guild, the rarity and secretive nature of the Mandalore people means Mando's probably solo for a while...well, with little green buddy in tow. Fingers crossed The Mandalorian goes full Lone Wolf And Cub in the next episode. Now for the nods!
- Planet update: apparently Kuiil's planet is not Tatooine, but Arvala-7. Cue "The More You Know" music!
- Jawas That would explain the Jawas outside Guild headquarters; seems they've migrated well beyond their original desert backwater planet. Also, are those Companion Cubes back there?
- Rodians: Ironically on a planet full of bounty hunters, the lone member of Greedo's race is merely stacking pots in the marketplace.
- R5-D4: Initially just "Red", the malfunctioning droid Luke first purchased from the Jawas in A New Hope, this droid was retconned into a resistance fighter nobly sacrificing themselves for the cause in canon short story "The Red One."
- Twi'leks: Best known to Star Wars fans as the race of Oola, the poor dancer eaten by Jabba the Hutt's Rancor. A Twi'lek is seen chatting in the market, though that may have been business more than pleasure — later on Guild boss Greef suggests Mando take a dip in a "Twi'lek healing bath," which sounds about as euphemistic as a "massage parlor".
- Mon Calamari: A member of this species, best known by trapmaster Admiral Ackbar's leadership in the original films, shows up as Mando's next chosen job.
- Camtono Finally, the mystery has a name! Known for years by Star Wars fans as the ice cream maker carried by obscure Cloud City resident Willrow Hoodin The Empire Strikes Back, this bizarre object is finally explained as a portable sealed safe.
- Super Battle Droid During his forging-induced flashback, we see Mando hidden by his parents, only to be discovered moments later by one of these terrible Clone Wars killer bots. That also means we have a timeframe for Mando's childhood and the attack on his people.
- That's Definitely Boba Fett: Fans thought they caught a glimpse early on, but with the iconic red and green coloring and flagged helmet, that's definitely the most famous Mandalorian in the Star Wars universe.
Episode 4 - "Sanctuary"
There's relatively few easter eggs to be found in this episode, which focuses on a small village seemingly inspired by Native American fishing encampments on the planet Sorgan, but we finally get to meet Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano), who helps Mando protect the village from some pretty powerful weaponry. There's plenty more baby Yoda toddling around and winning hearts, but mostly The Mandalorian's doing its own world-building here, adding instead of borrowing from the wider Star Wars universe. With one major exception.
- AT-ST The Big Bad Weapon of this episode is none other than the All-Terrain Scout Transport, the smaller but still deadly bipedal Empire variant of four-on-the-floor mega tank AT-ATs. Most Star Wars fans remember them as menacing Ewoks on Endor (possibly the only contenders for baby Yoda's Universal Cutie title), though they also showed up in Rogue One.
- Klatoonians The heavies operating the AT-ST and raiding the village are a race first seen in Return of the Jedi, working for Jabba the Hutt, and continuing to do the same in Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Could their presence indicate a larger Empire presence? Or did they just steal the machinery of a broken system?
- Alliance Starbird You can't really call it an easter egg when it's bold as the tattoo on your face, but it's nice to see the Rebel Alliance's symbol of hope make a permanent appearance on new character Cara Dune. She and the Mandalorian parted ways at the end of the episode, but who knows - this universe seems awfully cozy; they might run into each other again.
Episode 5 — "The Gunslinger"
For a backwater, sparsely populated planet on the Outer Rim, Tatooine sure comes up a lot in the Star Wars universe. After landing on the binary-starred desert planet, Mando makes the mistake of working with an overeager rookie determined to get in the Guild. Amy Sedaris pops up looking like Ripley in a fright wig as a ship mechanic and accidental lil' Yoda babysitter. And new bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) might just be joined at the end by the character whose long shadow lingers over the entire series.
- Mos Eisley If you weren’t sure Mando was headed to Tatooine, this confirms it: the famous spaceport town was described by no less than Obi Wan Kenobi as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Mando even walks into THE Mos Eisley cantina, though post-Empire the place seems to have quieted down quite a bit.
- Womp Rats Amy Sedaris’ pit queen Peli Motto mutters this insult behind Mando’s back - the poor creatures are Tatooine’s favorite target for shooting AND insults, apparently.
- DUM Series Pit Droids Showing up originally in Episode I and II, these friendly fellows showed up in the pod racing pits for quick fixes.
- Dewbacks Two of Tattoine’s larger creatures make appearances in this episode - Dewbacks first appeared in Episode I, all well and good. But they stirred major controversy when Lucas digitally inserted them post-fact into A New Hope, where their CGI aged even more poorly against the film’s practical effects.
- Banthas These fuzzy fellas originally appeared in A New Hope and are practically anti-CGI; the original creatures were created by draping elephants in costumes.
- Begger's Canyon A familiar name to Star Wars fans recalling Luke and fellow Tatooiner Biggs chatting before the Battle of Yavin (aka the Death Star battle for those not that deep in the fandom), where Luke name-checked the valley, saying running the narrow gamut to reach the Death Star’s lone weak spot. Here Peli suggests it as a spot to dump a body.
- Corellian Spike Sabacc A popular game of chance favored by Lando Calrissian, and the same game that won Han Solo the Millennium Falcon, this specific variant of the Star Wars card game uses a six-sided die and the hexagonal cards the droids are holding.
- Speeder Bikes Though they appeared on Tattoine in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, speeder bikes are most fondly remembered as helping Leia weave through the forests of Endor helping the Ewoks battle against the Empire.
- “She’s no good to us dead.” Mando's injunction is a callback to Boba Fett’s Empire Strikes Back line to Darth Vader about bringing Captain Solo back to Jabba the Hutt.
- GNK Droid First appearing toddling down Empirial halls making its signature "gonk", this goofy clunker of a droid was so popular it even had a song named after it.
Episode 6 — "The Prisoner"
No, Mando didn't visit No. 6 in The Village, but he did meet up with some old frenemies who knew him way back...when he still kept his helmet on. There were guest stars aplenty with Clancy Brown (aka the voice of Mr. Krabs) as Burg, Bill Burr as Mayfield, and Richard Ayoade returning as droid Q9-0. It's a classic "prison break-IN" plot, with the twist this one's set on an Imperial prison ship, a familiar setting to Star Wars fans. No one gets stuck in a garbage compactor, but there's plenty that goes wrong as Mando tries to protect not just baby Yoda (who's starting to step up his own defense game), but his own neck.
- Canto Bight slot machine Mando's ship is negatively compared to the clunky gambling contraptions in Canto Casino, a high-stakes playground for the ultra-wealthy featured in The Last Jedi, located on planet Canto Bight.
- MSE-6 Repair Droid The cute little scooters frequently appear on Imperial ships, and first showed up rolling around A New Hope as our heroes tried breaking another character out of prison.
- “Maybe he’s a Gungan under there” Speculation about what Mando looks like under his helmet reveals that Jar Jar Binks' species remains a universe-wide punchline as goofy-looking klutzes. Fortunately a pleasant counterpoint's entered Star Wars canon.
- Scomp Link The useful droid accessory arm, first seen when R2D2 hacked into the Imperial system, is apparently a universal element that allows all droids to converse with computer systems and a galaxy-wide skeleton key (seeing as Mando busts himself out by acquiring one).
- X-Wings! And Their Pilots! A delightfully familiar 70s orange and white outfit makes a reappearance as the new galactic government shows up towards the end of the episode. Will Star Wars' luckiest man eventually appear?
- Scrap City Ran's headquarters bears striking resemblance to Lando's floating world above Bespin.
- Devaronians Though the episode also featured Twi’lek characters, this is a Mandalorian first reappearance of the species that made a unique impression at the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope.
- Mocking the shoes The lone poor sap watching over the prison ship not only gets got by the breakout crew, but they make fun of his outfit. It's a nod to the fact, if you step back from all the outfits and looks in A New Hope, the adventure "a long time ago" in a galaxy far, far away looks awfully close to 1970s Earth fashion trends.
- So Many Cameos That sap also happens to be played by Matt Lanter, voice actor for Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars. He's not the only cameo - those three X-Wing pilots at the end were Mandalorian directors Rick Famuyiwa (R) and Deborah Chow (L), and Mandalorian writer Dave Filoni (center).
Episode 7 - "The Reckoning"
Mando gets the gang back together after he's offered a deal - get rid of the Client, who's imposed martial law and clamped down on the Guild, and Mando gets a clean slate and no one else hunting him or the child. Unfortunately it seems the remnants of the Empire are a lot more organized than expected. Though this episode was more a callback to Mandalorian episodes than the larger Star Wars universe, there were still some surprises. And with one more episode left in the season, who knows what'll turn up?
- Scout Troopers First seen zipping around on Endor in Empire Strikes Back, these lighter-weight Stormtroopers are made for speed, and they're the first non-regular troopers we've seen on the show.
- Death Troopers Not for long though, and when these guys show up, it means some dark and lethal stuff is going down. It also shows an Empire far more together than the implied tattered remnants of earlier episodes.
- Force Choke Baby Yoda, nooo! We knew the little cutie was force-strong, but the only other people to use this power were Darth Vader and his grandson Kylo Ren, both wielding the Dark Side.
- 3B6-RA-7 Now this is a deep cut. First, and pretty much only, appearing on the Jawa Sandcrawler in A New Hope, this droid was beloved by a generation of Star Wars fans because for some reason it was made into a Kenner action figure. It was called and has a backstory as a Death Star Droid, but this Vader-looking 'bot mostly appeared on playgrounds across America.
Episode 8 - "The Redemption"
The Mandalorian season finale had a lot going on, with every character getting a chance to prove themselves, but the MVP for Redemption goes to IG-11, whose reprogramming as a nurse droid leads it to sacrifice itself for the greater good. If it's any consolation, the episode was directed by IG-11's voice actor Taika Waititi. This episode tied nearly every character back to the Clone Wars, along with a couple other surprises, so let's crack open those easter eggs!
- Stormtroopers still can't aim In the episode's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern break from the action, two bored Scout Troopers (played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally) kill time taking potshots at a piece of junk. Somehow despite being only a few feet away, they both miss. Repeatedly.
- Rising Phoenix Leave it to the Mandalorians to come up with a way cooler name for jetpacks, one that references rebirth and renewal.
- DARKSABER Speaking of boss weapons, Imperial officer Moff Gideon (whose name we learn as he's deeply involved in Mando's traumatic childhood) cuts himself out of wreckage with something that looks like a lightsaber, but has a lot more history. The Darksaber was invented by Tarre Visla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi. The blade was later stolen from the Jedi and used by House Visla to rule Mandalore, making it a potent weapon of Jedi lore with a heapin' helping of Mandalorian history. Gideon's wielding it speaks volumes about his entanglement with Mandalore's history and destruction, not to mention the darker side of Imperial doings.
- Flametrooper At this rate we'll see the full range of Stormtrooper specialization by Mandalorian Season 2. Though this outfit's different from other current canon flamethrower-bearing members of the Imperial Army, there's no doubt that Stormtrooper is in charge of hellfire and they bring you FIRE.
- R2Styx2 This modded R2 model looks and sounds like the R2 we know and love...until it stands up and rows our heroes down a floor of literal hot lava .
- That's Why Cara Dune's So Angry One of the many details Moff Gideon reveals about our heroes is that Cara Dune's from Alderaan. Star Wars fans know it best as Princess Leia's home planet, infamously destroyed as example to rebels by the Empire. Their move seems to have had the opposite impression on Cara, who joined up with the Rebels full force.
- Mythosaur Skull Mando's sigil is steeped in Mandalore legend: a mythosaur skull, from the dangerous creature his people had mastered riding.
- E-Web Heavy Repeating Blaster First spotted in Empire Strikes Back's Imperial turrets, they were also used against the Rebel base on Hoth. Now a newer model threatens Mando & Co.
- Night of a Thousand Tears Also known as The Siege of Mandalore, this was one of the final Clone Wars battles, name-checked by Mando and involving Moff Gideon. Originally a Republic mission to capture Darth Maul, nefarious Order 66 was issued mid-fight and turned the battle to utter chaos.
Additional reporting done by Johnny Brayson.