The new season of The Mandalorian has landed – and with extreme style, too. “Chapter 9: The Marshal” was released last week, thrilling critics and fans alike. Primarily set on the desert planet of Tatooine, this space western is an excellent example of what Star Wars should look like.
As the episode is full of Star Wars lore, I’ll be going through the Easter Eggs and little extras that really makes this episode one of my top favorites. From Krayt Dragons to Tusken Raiders, storage containers to armour – there were lots of references and new details that will change Star Wars lore forever.
Caution: spoilers ahead
Boba Fett is alive?!
The new season kicks off almost immediately from where the end of the last one left us. The Mandalorian, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) is searching for other Mandalorians who may know where the mysterious Jedi “space wizards” are, to try and deliver The Child (AKA Baby Yoda). Of course, anyone who has been a long-time fan of Star Wars will know that both Mandalorians and Jedi are in short supply, both having been hunted almost to extinction by the now defeated Galactic Empire. In other words, this is no easy task.
Din Djarin travels to Tatooine in order to try and find another Mandalorian who can help him seek the Jedi. Anyone who has seen the original Star Wars trilogy will instantly know who this is: Boba Fett, aka the same bounty hunter who trapped and captured Han Solo before being thrown into a Sarlacc pit with no update on whether he survived. However, we now know for certain – for the first time in forty years – that Boba Fett is indeed alive.
Unfortunately, Boba Fett himself didn’t actually star in much of this episode, as his distinctive Mandalorian armour that Din was looking for had been acquired by a local sheriff named Cobb Vanth. He was using the armour to protect the small town of Mos Pelgo from various dangers roaming the dunes, from bandits to Tuskan Raiders.
The legendary Krayt Dragon appears
One of the dangers Cobb Vanth is protecting the community from is a leviathan of a monster known as a Krayt Dragon. This is a creature that has been mentioned throughout Star Wars lore, but this is the first time we’ve seen it in action.
After the creature swims through the sand in the middle of Mos Pelgo, almost destroying the entire town, Vanth Cobb and Din come to the agreement that if Din helps to kill the monster then Cobb will return the valuable armour to the Mandalorian.
This is where we start seeing things we’ve never seen in Star Wars before. On their way to the Krayt’s lair, Cobb and Din run into a pack of Tatooine reptilian-dogs known as Massiffs. Before they start attacking, Din steps forwards and speaks in Tuskan, the language of the native Sand People. The dogs immediately appear friendly and out of the shadows, their Tuskan Raider owners appear.
A dramatic battle
Now, we’ve never seen Tuskan Raiders as anything other than an overly brutal tribal race native to Tatooine. They are most infamous for:
- trying to rob and kill Luke Skywalker
- murdering Anakin’s mother
- shooting at Podracers
- generally raiding those who are not natives of their desert planet
However, in a first for Star Wars, they are actually shown as protagonists, siding with Din and Cobb to try and kill the Krayt Dragon.
After a lengthy battle with the creature, Din finally manages to land the killing blow by making it swallow a Bantha worth of explosives and blowing it up from the inside out.
A last-minute twist
The episode ends on a nice note: Din walks away with Boba Fett’s old armour, Cobb’s town is now safe from outside threats and the Tuskan Raiders get to keep the dragon’s meat and pearl*.
In the final shot, we see the real Boba Fett watching Din from a distance as he leaves with his old armour. This twist sets up a delicious cliffhanger for upcoming episodes – after all, Boba Fett returning to Star Wars canon, seemingly alive and well, is huge!
*the pearl is another item which has long been referenced in Star Wars canon but never made it to the screen – until now.
Takeaways and Easter Eggs
There is a lot of new stuff to talk about after watching this episode. I’ve managed to whittle this down to the most interesting Star Wars lore-related Easter Eggs and takeaways:
Boba Fett is chilling in Tatooine, it would seem
This is probably the biggest deal. The infamous bounty hunter who made the Mandalorian armour famous is still alive and kicking on Tatooine, the same place where we all saw him fall into the Sarlacc in the Dune Sea. Now scarred and without his armour, he looks very different compared to when we last saw him in 1980. Now that he’s officially back, it does bring into question rumours of a brand-new miniseries all about the character that is rumoured to soon be in production.
Tuskan Raiders are just (sand) people too
Having never seen this alien race in a good light, it was intriguing to see them communicating with Din and seeing them in their camp in general. They are extremely tribal; living off the land, keeping the Krayt Dragon at bay with offerings and living a nomadic lifestyle. However, Din apparently speaks Tuskan and managed to strike a deal with them.
What may have surprised some is the fact they were loyal to the end, even while several of their tribe was picked off by the Dragon. What’s more, they even agreed to no longer bother Mos Pelgo. So, I guess the Sand People aren’t all bad. It’s easy to forget they have lives too when all we’ve seen them do is attack protagonists.
Krayt Dragons are epic – and they can eat Sarlaccs
The dragon in this episode was easily 100 meters long, living in an abandoned Sarlacc Pit. When Cobb comments that he’s never seen an empty Sarlacc Pit, Din replies that the dragon ate the Sarlacc. This in itself is impressive – it’s probably the first and only time we’ve seen a Sarlacc being completely defeated in canon Star Wars lore.
We also saw one of the most highly sought after items in the Star Wars galaxy – a Krayt Pearl. Not only did Han Solo use this item to win the Millennium Falcon, they can allegedly be used in Lightsabers. So not only are they incredibly valuable, they could also be used by Jedi instead of Kyber Crystals.
It is also known that Tuskans will try and obtain these pearls as a valuable and rare symbol of courage, so it made sense that they teamed up with Mos Pelgo to get this one. It was a nice nod to something that has been swimming around the canon for a long time.
Is that an ice-cream maker?
In a previous episode of The Mandalorian, we saw a container that contained large amounts of Beskar metal – and it was back in Chapter 9 for the purpose of transporting the crystals that Cobb traded to the Jawas for the armour.
This container dates back much further than The Mandalorian, though – its first appearance was in The Empire Strikes back, when a Cloud City citizen appears to grab it and run while the city looks close to destruction. This was largely laughed at by those who noticed it, as at the time it was actually an ice cream maker from 1980 which had made its way to the high-tech Star Wars universe. Even more hilariously, this citizen appeared to prize the container as their most valuable possession, making fans wonder why the value of ice cream in the Star Wars galaxy was so high.
Now that the ice-cream maker has made another appearance in The Mandalorian, fans will have to accept it’s being increasingly cemented into canon – whether they like it or not.
The Mandalorian is really pushing the boundaries of Star Wars lore. After the arguable failure seen with the most recent film trilogy, this series is fast becoming Disney’s main avenue to explore Star Wars in a new way. The new season, like the last, feels like a space western more akin to the original film as opposed to the Marvel-style approach taken with the movie trilogy.
Overall, it feels like the writers of The Mandalorian have a solid understanding of Star Wars lore – and judging by the latest episode, it looks like The Mandalorian’s glorious run as a fan favourite is set to continue. Disney+ has never looked so good..