By Josh Reilly B. and Cale William
From the very first episode of The Mandalorian, it was clear that the show would be full of references to previous Star Wars movies, shows, and extended canon. Launched last November, the first live action Star Wars show tells the story of brand new characters, including Din Djarin, The Child, Cara Dune, and more, all while setting itself in a familiar world. Here are 10 of the best references, Easter eggs, and call backs to Star Wars Canon.
Ever since the Star Wars Holiday Special premiered in 1978, Life Day has been engrained in the minds of many Star Wars fans. The Mandalorian immediately features a reference to Life Day, as Mando’s bounty at the beginning of the first episode name drops the day of celebration. However, the first season also featured a more subtle reference to Life Day. In the repeated flashbacks to the death of Dyn’s parents and the start of his new, Mandalorian life, his parents can be seen in recognizable red robes, akin to those seen on Life Day in the Holiday Special.
The Trash Compactor Pipe
In Chapter 3, Mando is seen walking around the tight streets of Nevarro as he travels to the base of the Client. In the background of these streets, a familiar pipe can be seen, resembling the same tool that Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca put to good use to avoid being killed in the trash compactor they found themselves in in A New Hope.
Ice Cream Maker
As Cloud City begins to evacuate due to the presence of the Empire, a character later identified as Willrow Hood runs through the the crowded halls carrying what looks suspiciously like an ice cream maker as he attempts to escape. For years, fans have wondered what this ice cream maker’s purpose is, and why exactly Hood is carrying it. In The Mandalorian, fans finally have the answer. Officially named a Camtono, this device is used to store precious valuables. In the case of Chapter 3 of The Mandalorian, we see the Client placing Mando’s Beskar, his payment for locating The Child, in the Camtono. After nearly 40 years, the mystery was solved.
The High Ground
Chapter 5 sees the Mandalorian land on the world of Tatooine, the home of Anakin and Luke Skywalker and a massive part in the Skywalker Saga. In an attempt to make enough credits to fix his ship, the Razor Crest, Mando agrees to help an up and coming bounty hunter, Toro Calican, track down Fennec Shand, a famed mercenary who worked for the likes of Jabba the Hutt and other powerful crime syndicates. While attempting to track down Shand, Mando and Calican are stopped in their tracks as the mercenary uses a sniper to try to pick them off. Unable to move any further, Mando declares that “She has the high ground”, therefore stopping them from advancing towards her any more. Star Wars fans will recognize this reference to Obi-Wan’s famous “I have the high ground” line on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith, which has since become a fan favorite line and the subject of many memes.
Chapter 6 sees the Mandalorian return to Ranzar Malk, a criminal from Mando’s past that he used to work with. Malk recruits Mando to join a job to rescue a prisoner aboard a New Republic ship, and joins a crew that includes a Twi’lek named Xi’an, Burg, Zero, and Mayfield. The latter, played by Bill Burr, criticizes the Razor Crest by comparing it to a slot machine on Canto Bight. Canto Bight was first introduced in The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson, as a gambling planet filled with the galaxy’s rich and powerful. Given the casino nature of the planet, we see many of the slot machines that Mayfield is referring to on Canto Bight.
An Ardennian Spotted
Also in Chapter 6, as the Mandalorian and the rest of the crew search the New Republic ship for their desired prisoner, an Ardennian pops its head out from inside a cell. Those who have seen Solo: A Star Wars Story will remember this species from Rio Durant, who was voiced by Jon Favreau, the creator and showrunner of The Mandalorian.
The Gungan Impression
Bill Burr’s Mayfield also references another famous part of Star Wars lore, as he does a relatively accurate impression of a Gungan, Jar Jar Binks’ species. Binks, the first Gungan to appear in canon, was first seen in The Phantom Menace. Later, the Gungans were expanded upon even further in The Clone Wars, a show that Dave Filoni, executive producer on The Mandalorian, served as showrunner on, so it makes sense why Gungans are being referenced here.
Following Greef Karga’s plea for the Mandalorian to return to Nevarro and help him and the rest of the bounty hunter’s guild get rid of the Imperial presence on the planet, Mando returns to Sorgan, where he first met Cara Dune, to recruit the former Rebel Shock Trooper to help him in his fight to destroy the Client. As we are reintroduced to Dune again, we see her participating in a cage match style fight against a Zabrak, best known as Darth Maul’s species. Zabraks have been featured heavily in canon since Maul was introduced, including in The Clone Wars and, most recently, EA’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
“I’m Your Only Hope”
The word “hope” is used often in the Star Wars franchise, from the title of the first film, to the final word spoken in Rogue One, to featuring in the opening crawl of The Rise of Skywalker. This all stems from the line “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope”, one of the most beloved and famous lines in Star Wars history, as it sends Luke out on his journey towards his father’s former master and starts his path as a Jedi. In The Mandalorian, Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga is a character that Mando was unsure if he could trust for a time. In these moments, Karga pleads with Mando to put his trust him, saying “Because I’m your only hope.” A clear callback to Leia’s message that she entrusted in R2D2, it’s these types of references that successfully tie The Mandalorian together with the Skywalker Saga.
Baby Yoda the Womp Rat
While growing up on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker was a farm boy, often helping his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru on their moisture farm. In A New Hope, Luke states that, during this time, he also used to “bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home”. In Chapter 4 of The Mandalorian, Mando calls Baby Yoda a “womp rat”, a call back to the native Tatooine creatures that audiences first heard about in 1977.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+