WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for the series premiere of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, streaming now on Disney +.
To coincide with the launch of the Disney+ streaming service, Star Wars: The Mandalorian has premiered, giving the world its first live-action Star Wars series and setting up a new era for serialized storytelling for Star Wars. The new series introduces a lot of new concepts for fans of the series, exploring the often ignored world of bounty hunting in great detail.
However, the new series also contains several Easter Eggs that long-time Star Wars fans will no doubt find fascinating. Some of these Easter Eggs are superficial and fun little treats for fans to pick up on, while others offer a far more interesting content. Now, we're going to break down some of the biggest and best Easter Eggs from the first episode of The Mandalorian.
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The Holiday Special
Two early Easter Eggs in The Mandalorian's premiere contain references to one of the most reviled chapters in Star Wars history: the Star Wars Holiday Special. The more obvious of the two references takes place early on, when the Mandalorian's bounty references hoping to go home for Life Day, a holiday that was introduced in The Holiday Special and was celebrated by Chewbacca and his extended family.
A more subtle reference comes in the form of The Mandalorian's pronged weapon. This weapon was first seen in The Holiday Special's animated segment, wielded by Boba Fett in his first appearance. Presumably, this weapon is of Mandalorian origin since we haven't seen a non-Mandalorian wield this particular weapon before or since. This is the first meaningful reference in a Star Wars film to the Holiday special since Boba Fett appeared in Empire Strikes Back.
The Ferryman and Door Man
When the Mandalorian is hoping to cross the ice to his ship, he calls upon a Ferryman to bring over a landspeeder. The Ferryman, with his black trunk and dark hood, is a deliberate call-back to the Imperial Informant from A New Hope who guides the Storm Troopers right to C-3PO and R2-D2 in Mos Eisley.
The second Easter Egg is another reference to another character seen on Tatooine, but this time from Return of the Jedi. When the Mandalorian visits the Client (played by Werner Herzog), he is greeted at the door by a mechanical droid that looks like an eyeball at the end of a mechanical arm. This particular machine is identical to the one first seen on Jabba's door at the start of Return of the Jedi, which that interrogated C-3PO and R2-D2 upon their arrival.
Dislike of Droids
Throughout the special, we learn that the Mandalorian isn't a real fan of droids. He refuses to take a landspeeder that has a droid on it, Later on, he expresses intense dislike toward the IG-11 droid before even getting to know him. However, while in the former case the Mandalorian completely refuses to be near the droid, in the latter case, the two end up forming a very loose coalition to capture the Client's payload.
This prejudice toward droids is reminiscent of the same prejudice seen throughout the Star Wars franchise, but most notably in both A New Hope and Solo. The latter most notably features the bartender at the Mos Eisley Cantina loudly proclaiming that they don't serve droids.
It is of course important to acknowledge that IG-11's appearance and existence in the series is also a reference to IG-88, one of the many bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to pursue Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served Roasting Hot
Salacious B. Crumb is a little Kowakian Monkey is a semi-iconic addition to the Star Wars universe from Return of the Jedi, where he serves as Jabba the Hutt's personal pet. If you were hoping to see another appearance of good ol' Salacious B. Crumb, then The Mandalorian might tickle that fancy.
Early on, we see a Kowakian Monkey roasting on a spit over a fire with another one staring on in horror as he awaits his well-roasted fate. This allusion might offer fans of Star Wars a dose of satisfaction, since many fans hoped they could roast that little puppet after he kept cackling throughout Jabba's bouts of sadism.
The Mandalorian preserves his bounties via carbonite freezing in the series, carrying many on his ship to collect his Guild Bounties in mass. Presumably, this is so he wouldn't have to travel to and from each bounty separately, so he can go from bounty to bounty in one swift trip without having to drop off every new bounty, wasting precious fuel.
Of course, the Mandalorian isn't the first bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor to transfer a carbonite frozen prisoner. Famously, Boba Fett brought Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt in this manner after Darth Vader arranged for Solo to be frozen in carbonite. However, at the time, they didn't know if the prisoners would survive the process. Presumably, after the famous transfer of Han Solo, other bounty hunters continued on the practice.
Many fans hoping for the first episode to show a camera pan from space to a planet following the opening credits will be disappointed. This classic Star Wars cinematic pan doesn't make an appearance in the first episode of The Mandalorian. However, another iconic classic editing technique does make an appearance: the swipe transition.
The classic Star Wars transition swipe is used, offering a visual link to prior Star Wars films. This is mainly done to transition from space to the surface of the planets the Mandalorian visits along his journey, as well as transitioning into space travel. It's a small thing, but this sense of continuity really offers a real sense of connection to prior Star Wars productions.
The Big Easter Egg
However, the biggest Easter Egg in the whole first episode comes at the very end. The whole episode builds up to the Mandalorian searching for some enigmatic payload -- a target that countless have died to capture, dead or alive. That prize has been alive for 50 years, yet has barely aged beyond infancy, and that baby is another member of Yoda's species.
We have to date only seen two members of Yoda's species: Yoda and Yaddle, who appeared in the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace. While others have appeared in the expanded universe, this is the third member of this species we've seen in live-action. This species as of yet has no official name, and it's colloquially called Yoda's Species.
The baby's being 50-years-old also confirms that their physiology allows them to have a prolonged and slow growth cycle, which partially explains why Yoda lived to the ripe-old age of 900 years. We know little about Yoda's species, so perhaps The Mandalorian will introduce vital lore to further comprehend what is going on with this most ancient, enigmatic species.
Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte. The first episode is streaming now on Disney+.