Disney+ has finally arrived (well, depending on where you live), giving us a first look at Jon Favreau’s highly anticipated new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, starring Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Gina Carano, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, and Giancarlo Esposito. For those less familiar with the series, the show picks up five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows a Mandalorian bounty hunter, before the emergence of the First Order.
Now that the first four episodes have been released and the world belongs to Baby Yoda, we wanted to take some time to highlight all the cameos, callbacks, and other Star Wars references we could find while watching the first half of the season one. We cannot stress enough; if you haven’t watched the first four episodes, we’d highly recommend bookmarking the page and returning at a later date. The list goes into such great detail we’d hate to spoil anything. With that out of the way, here is every Easter egg we could find while watching The Mandalorian (so far). Enjoy!
WARNING: MASSIVE “MANDALORIAN” SPOILERS AHEAD!!
24. Mando is NOT a Mandalorian
Ever since The Mandatlorain made its debut on Disney Plus, there has been growing speculation about whether or not the titular protagonist is actually a Mandalorian, so you can imagine our surprise when Mando revealed that despite looking, sounding, and acting like a Mandalorian, he is NOT a member of the legendary warrior race.
During the episode, Mando reveals to Omera, the widowed mother from the village, that following the death of his parents, he was taken in by Mandalorians and raised as one of their own. What makes this new information so interesting is for years we’ve known Jango and Boba Fett to be the only non-Mandalorians to don the legendary armor. This makes us wonder if there are others like Mando and the Fetts and whether or not taking in orphaned children is part of Mandalorian culture.
One of the most relaxed moments of the fourth episode happened when the Mandalorian and Cara Dune stumble upon an All-Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST). After agreeing to help the villagers, the two bounty hunters seek out to stop the Klatooinian thugs from continually raiding the villages but with the thugs in possession of an AT-ST and Mando devises a new plan to take out the bipedal walker.
Also known as the Scout Transport or the chicken walker, these two-legged military vehicles first appeared during the Imperials’ attack on the Rebels’ base on Hoth during Empire Strikes Back. Following the fall of the Empire, discarded AT-STs were recovered and used by crime lords and thugs like the Klatooinians.
22. A Short Time Jump Occurred
It might not have been overly explicit, but for those who missed it, during Chapter 4 a significant time jump occurs and although we’re not exactly sure when the jump occurs, we do know Mando and Baby Yoda stayed on the planet of Sorgan for a duration of time after helping the village. While speaking with Mando at the end of the episode, Cara Dune refers to defeating the Klatoonians as happening “a few weeks back,” which confirms means the protagonist and Baby Yoda laid low in the village for sometime before having to move on.
Now that we know this, it explains why the villagers were so attached to Mando and Baby Yoda upon their departure and likely the reason the unknown bounty hunter was able to track the little green guy to the planet. The two week time jump would also explain why Cara Dune felt compelled to suggest Mando settle down in the village with Omera and give up the life of bounty hunting.
21. Special Guest Voice Cameo
During episode three, Mando is confronted by a group of other Mandalorians who scoff at the idea of him doing business with the Empire. One of them imparticular, Paz Vizla, pictured below, is portrayed by former MMA fighter Tait Fletcher. Fletcher also plays the Alpha Trawler from episode one, but we’ll touch on that a little later.
So, what makes Paz so unique? Besides helping save the Mando and Baby Yoda, thanks to Vanity Fair, we can officially confirm Vizla was voiced by none other than Jon Favreau, the show’s creator, head writer, showrunner, and executive producer. So, when Vizla turned to Mando and said, “This is the way,” that was Favreau. Pretty cool if you ask me.
20. IT-O Interrogator Unit
Designed by the Imperial Security Bureau, the IT-O Interrogator Unit (IT-O) is an interrogation droid used to extract information by inflicting pain on anyone the Empire deems necessary. These droids include bone fragments, chemical injection, electroshock nerve probes, and flesh peelers.
Fans of the original trilogy will likely recognize the IT-O as the same droid Darth Vader used during Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope to torture Princess Leia into giving up the location of the Rebel base.
“And now, your highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden Rebel base.”
19. Zabrak Bounty Hunter
After having a change of heart and rescuing Baby Yoda from the Empire near the end of the third episode, the Mandalorian becomes a wanted man. As every bounty hunter descends upon him and the little green child, his fellow Mandalorians come to his resue, allowing them to the planet unscathed.
One of the bounty hunters who attempts to prevent Mando from leaving is a Zabrak. This predatory species, known for having horns atop their heads, are the same race as fan-favorite, Darth Maul, one of the few bright spots of the prequels. Up until now, the only member of the Zabraks we’ve seen in films is Jedi High Council members, Eeth Koth and Agen Kolar.
18. Whistling Birds
One of the coolest parts of Chapter 3 was the introduction of a new weapon known now as the “whistling bird.” Located on the Mandalorain’s wrist, these small guided missiles, which were created by the Mandalorian armorer, are capable of destroying multiple targets at once.
While rescuing Baby Yoda from the Empire, the Mandalorian is forced to use a few of these new rare missiles to avoid capture. With one press of a button, Mando simultaneously took down four Remnant Stormtroopers with relative ease. Once deployed, the missiles lock on and make somewhat of a whistling noise before impact.
17. Star Wars Holiday Special Nod
The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, which takes place between the original film and The Empire Strikes Back, is arguably the most universally disliked Star Wars film ever made. For that reason, the movie has never been rebroadcasted or released on home video, making it somewhat of a cultural wonder among fans. Jon Favreau, who happens to be a huge Star Wars fan, pays tribute to the Holiday Special during the first episode because as he told EW this past September,
“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.”
As many of you know, Boba Fett made his first appearance during the animated portion of the Holiday Special and, as you can see by the below, is wielding a similar weapon to the one the Mandalorian used while escaping the unknown ice planet after capturing of Mythrol.
16. Wait… Was That Boba Fett?
Despite the limited screentime, Boba Fett has become one of the most popular Star Wars characters of all time. We haven’t seen the iconic bounty hunter since he fell into the Sarlacc’s Pit during Return of the Jedi. There was some talk of standalone Boba Fett movie with Logan director James Mangold helming the project, but that is no longer in the works.
Although he was only onscreen for a few seconds and we can’t confirm it was him (yet), based on the color of his armor and mark on his helmet, we’ve come to the conclusion the main character walked by Boba Fett during roughly the 18:30 mark of the episode.
That said, it’s worth noting that during an interview with Good Morning America back in August, Jon Favreau had this to say about the iconic bounty hunter’s inclusion in the series:
“Boba Fett is not one of the all-new original characters,” he explained. “There’s a 30-year stretch of story time that hasn’t been explored at all, except in the extended universe.”
15. Brian Posehn Cameo
One of the more obvious but surprising cameos is funnyman, Brian Posehn. The actor/comedian appears during the premiere as the speeder pilot the Mandalorian pays to shuttle both he and Mythrol back to the ship. Unfortunately for Posehn, his character meets his demise after being eaten by a Mythosaur, an enormous creature typically from the homeworld of Mandalore.
The California native is best known for playing Jim Kuback on Mission Hill, Bert Kibbler on The Big Bang Theory, and our personal favorite, his hilarious portrayal Brian Spukowski on The Sarah Silverman Program.
14. Nolte Has Spoken
Although this is less of a cameo, we’d like to point out that Kuill, the Ugnaught moisture farmer who encounters the Mandalorian after arriving on the planet Arvala-7, is played by Nick Nolte.
The Academy nominated actor has appeared in over 60 feature films during his career. He is best known for roles in The Prince of Tides, Affliction, Warrior, The Line Red Line, Cape Fear, and my personal favorite, 48 Hrs. We have no idea how many episodes Nolte will appear in as of yet, but given his stellar performance during the premiere, we hope he makes a return.
13. What are Blurrgs?
For those less familiar with the extended Star Wars universe, the two-legged beasts the Mandalorian encounters after arriving on Arvala-7 are called Blurrgs. These non-sentient creatures originally made their debut in the 1985 live-action made-for-TV movie, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. The Blurrgs later appeared in animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, during the season one episode “Liberty on Ryloth.”
With the help of Kuill, the Mandalorian learns to ride the Blurrgs so that he may safely reach the location where the secret “50-year-old-bounty” is located.
12. Is That Salacious B. Crumb?
While on his way to inquire about the mysterious “50-year-old-bounty,” the Mandalorian passes through a market. As the camera pans to the side, a couple of Kowakian Monkey-Lizards can be seen onscreen. One is being roasted over a fire while the other watches in terror from inside a cage.
These nasty little aliens first appeared during Return of the Jedi, as one of Jabba the Hutt’s henchman. This particular Kowakian was known as Salacious B. Crumb. Unlike the other creatures his size, Jabba kept the shrill-sounding alien around as somewhat of a pet and unofficial court jester, instead only eating him like all the others.
11. Life Day Reference
There was a second Star Wars Holiday Special nod in the first episode. After being captured by the Mandalorian, the fishy-blue looking Mythrol lamentingly says to the protagonist, “I was hoping to be free for Life Day. Maybe even get home to the family.”
As many Star Wars fans are aware, Wookiees come from the forested planet of Kashyyyk, where they celebrate the holiday known as Life Day. The festival was mentioned for the first time in the embarrassingly forgettable Holiday Special. During this particular holiday, Wookiees enjoy a feast, journey to the Tree of Life, and decorate it with shiny crystal ornaments known as Life Day Orbs. It’s their way of celebrating family, society, loyalty, and many core values and beliefs of the tall harry species.
10. Horatio Sanz Cameo
Believe it or not, Brain Posehn wasn’t the only comedic cameo to appear in the premiere episode. If you’re a fan of Saturday Night Live, you may have recognized that Mythrol, the fishy-blue bounty the Mandalorian saved and then arrested during the opening scene, was played by SNL alumni Horatio Sanz.
The Chilean-born comedian was a regular cast member on the late-night tv series from 1998 to 2006. He was best known best for his hilarious portrayal of the raunchy cartoonist Jasper Hahn, the pot-loving Gobi, courtroom judge Aaron Neville, and various celebrity impersonations. In 2002, Horatio made his one first and only starring role alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vivica A. Fox in comedy, Boat Trip.
9. Tait Fletcher Cameo
If you’re a fan of MMA and, more specifically, The Ultimate Fighter, you likely noticed Season 3 contestant Tait Fletcher as the Alpha Trawler who accuses the Mandalorian of spilling his drink during the opening scene. Despite taking a beating, according to IMDB, the actor/stuntman is set to return in Chapter 3 and 4 of the season one, although there’s always a possibility, he’ll be playing a different thug.
Since competing on The Ultimate Fighter in 2006, the Fletcher has made minor appearances in Breaking Bad, Westworld, John Wick, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
8. Mudhorns Are No Joke
At the start of Chapter 2, the main character and baby Yoda return to his ship only to find it being stripped clean by the Jawas. After failing to stop them, the only way to get the stolen parts back and fix his ship is trade with miniature and pesky humanoids. In return for the components, the Jawas ask the Mandalorian to retrieve an egg from a nearby cave and home to a giant woolly Mudhorn. These large horned and dangerous creatures are native to the planet of Arvala-7.
With the help of the force-sensitive Yoda-like child, the Mandalorian defeats the giant hairy beast and retrieves the egg. After trading for his parts, the Jawas cut open the egg and begin to feast on the yellow interior.
7. Bounty Pucks
One of the newest additions to the Star Wars universe is the use of “bounty pucks,” a holographic device used by bounty hunters like the Mandalorian to track their commissions. They were featured several times in “Chapter 1,” most notably when the Mandalorian located and captured Mythrol. These pucks display both the image of the bounty and their name, although in some cases, like baby Yoda for instance, only a tracking fob is provided.
Considering how many Star Wars movies and TV shows have been made over the years, we’re surprised the pucks first are only making their first appearance now, but that just goes to show you how much of the Star Wars universe remains unexplored.
6. Bossk Connection
For those familiar with the Star Wars universe, you may have noticed the three bounty hunters who attacked the Mandalorian at the beginning Chapter 2 were Trandoshan, from the planet Trandosha. Also known as T’doshok, these giant reptilian humanoids are known to be superb hunters, but as we witnessed in the second episode, Mandalorian.
Star Wars fans probably noticed right away these creatures are the same species as Bossk, a bounty hunter who first appeared in Empire Strikes Back and then in Return of the Jedi. This famous reptilian hunter was once played by the actor Alan Harris and later voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
5. IG-11 is voiced by…
At the end of the first episode, the main character joins forces with the bounty hunter droid IG-11, who happens to be voiced by Thor: Ragnarok director, Tika Waititi. Although many of the assassin droids are considered outlawed during this time, the IG-11 was programmed to follow the code of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild.
Much like the Mandalorian, IG-11 was dispatched to the planet of Arvala-7 to seek out and terminate the “50-year-old bounty,” which we now know was a young force-sensitive child who appears to be apart of Yoda’s species. For reasons we have yet to learn, the Mandalorian shoots IG-11 to prevent him from terminating the young child. We have no idea if the shot was fatal, but considering the droid appeared on various promotional advertisements and is listed as a co-star, we have a feeling the naive bounty hunter will make his return at some point during the season.
4. Beskar Steel
Commonly referred to as Mandalorian iron, this highly durable metal featured in Chapter 1 is frequently worn by Mandalorians and is capable of withstanding extreme forms of damage, from direct blaster fire to the slash of a lightsaber. That being said, a direct stab would most certainly penetrate a Mandalorian’s armor. Beskar steel comes from the planet of Mandalore, home of the legendary warriors.
Despite not being of Mandalorian decent, both Boba and Jango Fett are famously known for wearing this nearly impenetrable armor, which explains why they’re so commonly mistaken for members of the violent and warmongering race of people.
3. Sabacc Card Game
During Chapter 1, the Mandalorian arrives at a cantina to meet with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), the leader of the bounty hunter guild, to receive payment for the four bounties he captured. During that scene that particular scene, we get a glimpse of a card game being played by a few aliens and upon further investigation, we can confirm this to be a variation of Sabacc, a popular card game from the Star Wars universe that first appeared in John Jackson Miller’s novel, A New Dawn.
Those who have seen Star Wars: A Solo Story will also recognize this as the same high stakes card game Han Solo, and Lando Calrissian played on Numidian Prime, resulting in Han defeating Lando and winning his prized Millennium Falcon. A standard deck consists of 76 cards, and the rules change depending on where the game is played.
2. The Gatekeeper Droid
If you were a fan of the original trilogy, you likely noticed the gatekeeper droid guarding the entrance of the Client’s hideout during the first episode is the same model of droid C-3PO encounters at Jabba’s refuge during Return of the Jedi. Since making their debut in the original trilogy, these annoying droids have appeared in a few episodes of The Clone Wars series, as well as various Star Wars comic books and novels.
Manufactured by Serve-O-Droid, Inc., the TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droids, also known as TT-8L or “tattletale droids,” are installed in entryways and programmed screen visitors before being granted entrance.
1. Baby Yoda
The biggest surprise of the premiere came in the closing moments of the episode when the Mandalorian discovered the mysterious “50-year-old-bounty” was an adorable baby Yoda… or at least a member of the unknown species.
Based on the timeline and taking into consideration the bounty is over fifty years old, the Yoda-like creature the Mandalorian saves from execution would likely have been born during roughly the same time as Anakin Skywalker. Which begs the question, is the little green guy Yoda’s offspring or a relative? Perhaps the child belongs to Jedi High Council and Jedi Master Yaddle? Or, could the child’s presence mean Yoda was cloned at some point? Only time will tell.
For those less familiar, Yoda’s home planet and race have always remained one few real mysteries of the Star Wars universe, so we have no doubt the significance of the cute little green critter will remain one of the major storylines throughout the season.