Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 1.The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 is absolutely packed with Star Wars Easter eggs and references to the wider galaxy. The Mandalorian era is set in a period of time that’s been relatively unexplored in the Star Wars saga so far, between the original trilogy and the sequels. The first two seasons of The Mandalorian featured many hints and hidden details, revealing how the galaxy had changed after the fall of the Empire – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
The Mandalorian season 3 picks up some time after the events of The Book of Boba Fett, setting Din Djarin on a path of redemption. He has committed the sin of removing his helmet in the presence of another, explaining why The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 is called “The Apostate.” Although this episode doesn’t feature any cameos on the scale of Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano or Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, it is nonetheless full of Star Wars Easter eggs and references.
Star Wars’ Intro Includes All Mandalorian Characters (Besides Vader)
The first Easter egg comes in the form of the Star Wars intro logo that was introduced with the first season of Din Djarin’s adventures. This usually cycles through different Star Wars characters before showing the relevant series name, but the intro for The Mandalorian season 3 features something of a twist. It opens with the helmet of Darth Vader, before running through various characters who have appeared in The Mandalorian so far. These include R2-D2, Fennec Shand, an Imperial TIE fighter pilot, Bo-Katan Kryze, IG-11, a scout trooper, the Armorer, and Din Djarin himself.
The Skull Of The Mandalorian Mythosaur
The episode moves to introductory scenes featuring the Mandalorian Armorer, played by Emily Swallow. She is shown crafting a new helmet for a Mandalorian chiild. As the Armorer fires up the forge and crafts the helmet, a familiar sigil can be seen hanging on the wall of the cave. This sigil is the Beskar-crafted skull of the Mythosaur. In Star Wars lore, the Mythosaurs were a race of gigantic creatures native to Mandalore. They were eventually driven to extinction by Mandalore the First, before becoming known as the symbol of Mand’alor – the ruler of the Mandalorians – the planet Mandalore, and the people of Mandalore themselves.
The Sigil Of Clan Vizsla
The Mythosaur sigil is later seen on a banner, carried out by a Mandalorian as the child is inducted into Death Watch. Beside this banner is another carrying a second familiar sigil. This is the insignia of Clan Vizsla, a prominent Mandalorian clan in Star Wars history. The various clans of Mandalore were first united by the Mandalorian-Jedi Tarre Vizsla, whose ancestors played a major role in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Paz Vizsla is a recurring character in The Mandalorian, originally voiced by showrunner Jon Favreau himself, but now played in live-action by Tait Fletcher.
N-1 Starfighter Weapons
The ceremony that opens The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 is interrupted by the attack of a giant sea creature. Although the Mandalorians struggle to defeat the beast, Din Djarin makes quick work of it using his N-1 Starfighter acquired in The Book of Boba Fett. This is a Naboo starfighter, and its weapons are identical to those showcased in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Viewers will note the twin lasers and the proton torpedoes, accompanied by nostalgic sound effects and visuals as tremendous Star Wars Easter eggs.
The Mandalorian Canonizes The Empire’s Worst Atrocities On Mandalore
After Din Djarin defeats the creature, he speaks with the Armorer about the possibility of redemption. The two discuss the Empire’s destruction of Mandalore, canonizing a Legends concept known as “glassing.” In the old Extended Universe, the Empire tended to conduct orbital bombardment on an entire planet to render it uninhabitable, described as “glassing” because the heat and pressure of turbolaser fire crystallized the surface. Din shows the Armorer a crystallized shard, referencing the Empire’s act of genocide, but suggests it has not been successful – because the crystal has fused to Mandalorian inscriptions. This should be impossible, suggesting Mandalore may be recoverable.
The Mandalorian Includes Purrgil’s (Ahsoka Foreshadowing)
On their journey to Nevarro in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1, Grogu is shown looking in wonderment while traveling through hyperspace. He sees the silhouettes of giant space whales known as purrgils, creatures that can naturally travel through hyperspace. Grogu’s glimpse of purrgils is extremely important, because the space whales were last seen in Star Wars Rebels, forcing Grand Admiral Thrawn’s flagship into hyperspace with Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger aboard. This will be picked up on again in the upcoming Ahsoka Disney+ TV show.
Interestingly, books and novels from Star Wars: The High Republic have recently depicted hyperspace as its own mysterious realm. In fact, The High Republic has introduced the notion that some Jedi can have hyperspace-specific powers, with some believing hyperspace is a plane of the Force itself. Grogu’s fascination with hyperspace in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 could be setup to give Grogu Force abilities through hyperspace.
Nevarro Continues To Thrive
The planet of Nevarro has been a stalwart of all three seasons of The Mandalorian. In season 1, Nevarro was a decrepit, unsightly planet due to the rule of bounty hunters and the Empire. The former bounty hunter boss Greef Karga has had a change of heart, however, becoming Nevarro’s Magistrate – and now High Magistrate. The Mandalorian season 3, episode revisits familiar locations on Nevarro, allowing viewers to see vast improvements to its facilities and visual aesthetics.
Nevarro’s Familiar Droids
Viewers will recognize some familiar droids in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1. The most striking is a protocol droid similar in design to C-3PO, who was built by Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. Presumably Greef Karga’s protocol droid is a more standard model.
Kowakian Monkey-Lizards On Nevarro
In another callback to season 1, The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 shows a tree full of Kowakian monkey lizards. The creatures were initially seen living caged on Nevarro, with one being cooked for food while others watched. The dichotomy of this very dark first appearance to the much lighter inclusion of the Kowakians in The Mandalorian season 3 again shows the difference in Nevarro’s fortunes.
Another Star Wars Easter egg comes in the form of the statue of IG-11 from The Mandalorian season 1. The droid sacrificed his life to save Din Djarin and Grogu, and season 2 showed a statue built in his honor. This becomes a major story point in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1, with Din realizing the droid’s parts are actually contained within the statue.
Grogu’s Force Usage Increases
After heading into Greef’s office in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1, Grogu demonstrates his growing attunement to the Force. Grogu uses the Force to spin in his chair, before obtaining some food seen on Karga’s desk. Previously, Grogu’s usage of the Force has been shown to tire the child out, and these two subtle albeit less powerful uses proving the Jedi youngling is growing stronger in the ways of the Force after Grogu trained with Luke Skywalker.
The Mandalorian’s Pirate King Gorian Shard
The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 introduces a pirate king named Gorian Shard. While an original creation for the Star Wars universe, his presence surely evokes memories of past pirate kings such as Hondo Ohnaka from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It’s interesting to note there was a smuggling king during this same era in Legends, Talon Karrde, so it seems appropriate to introduce a character like Shard here. Gorian has presumably taken over, given Ohnaka has by now settled down on Baatu.
The Mandalorian’s Nevarro Pirate Races
Gorian Shard’s pirates include some very familiar Star Wars races; the leader of The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1’s pirate crew is a Nikto named Vane, while there’s also a Weequay (the same race as the aforementioned pirate king Hondo Ohnaka). There is also a Trandoshan, a Klatooinian, and a Mon Calamari – all races associated with pirates, smugglers, and bounty hunters in the past.
The Mandalorian’s Western-Influenced Stand Off
The run-in with the pirates in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 results in an overt Easter egg calling out Star Wars‘ Western influences. Greef Karga and Vane engage in a Mexican stand-off, with their hands hovering over their guns in a very familiar way. Events spin in an entertaining direction when Din Djarin intervenes; he was initially portrayed as a lone gunslinger in the Western tradition, making this quite appropriate.
Cara Dune Is Part Of The New Republic’s Special Forces
Gina Carano played New Republic Marshal Cara Dune in the first two seasons of The Mandalorian, but Carano was fired by Disney after season 2. The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 reveals she’s been written out, with Greef Karga offering Mando the position of replacement Marshal. He explains Dune is now part of the New Republic’s special forces, explaining her absence from the series in a reference to Carano’s firing.
Moff Gideon Faces A New Republic War Tribunal
The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 references another character from the show’s past: Moff Gideon. In the same conversation as Cara Dune was mentioned, Greef Karga explains Moff Gideon is facing a New Republic war tribunal for his crimes. The New Republic tribunal is the main judiciary service of the galaxy’s new organization, meaning both the New Republic and Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon could be seen in The Mandalorian season 3 going forward.
IG-11’s Potential Star Wars Return
Din Djarin reveals he traveled to Nevarro to salvage the remains of IG-11, bring him back online, and enlist his aid in traversing the caves of Mandalore. The attempt is briefly successful, with IG-11 once again voiced by Taika Waititi, but unfortunately the droid reverts to its original programming and tries to kill Grogu. He is likely to return, however, with Din Djarin launching a side-quest to help bring him back.
Babu Frik’s Species Appears In The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 featured another delightful Star Wars Easter egg, bringing back a race called the Anzellans. An Anzellan named Babu Frik appeared in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and it seems the entire race are skilled droidsmiths. While Babu Frik is not confirmed as one of the Anzellans in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1, their inclusion hints at a potential cameo in the future.
The Mandalorian’s Flight Through An Asteroid Field
After leaving Nevarro, The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 features an action scene set in an asteroid field – a Star Wars Easter egg referencing The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Both these movies feature dogfights in asteroid fields. The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 follows suit, with Din fighting off a group of Gorian Shard’s pirates who return for revenge against the Mandalorian flying his Naboo Starfighter.
House Kryze’s Homeworld Of Kalevala
The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 returns to the planet Kalevala, a world in the Mandalorian system. This is the homeworld of House Kryze. There, Mando attempts to enlist the aid of Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze, who states she has lost the command of her followers due to Din’s possession of the Darksaber. Kalevala was mentioned several times in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the scene itself hints at Bo-Katan’s role in the ongoing narrative.
The Mandalorian Is Traveling To Sundari On Mandalore
The final Star Wars Easter egg in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 is perhaps the most important, when Bo-Katan tells Din Djarin where he can find the fabled mines of Mandale. Bo-Katan reveals they lie beneath the Civic Center in the city of Sundari. Sundari was once the capital city of Mandalore, featured heavily throughout Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and it was destroyed in the Great Purge. It’s clear The Mandalorian season 3 is going to revisit this location.
New episodes of The Mandalorian release every Wednesday on Disney+.
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