Welcome back, Mandalorian! Disney+’s biggest breakout hit series is back for Season 2, and the premiere episode does not disappoint. The episode is action-packed, with some of the most spectacular special effects we’ve seen on the series to date. And yes, there are plenty of adorable Baby Yoda moments just begging to be given the GIF treatment. If there’s one thing this week needs, it’s an influx of Baby Yoda GIFs. Thank you, Disney+.
But you’re not here for the special effects wizardry or the adorable Baby Yoda. You’ve come ’round these parts hunting for one thing and one thing only: Easter eggs. You’re in luck, because the Season 2 premiere has plenty—and we’re here to scoop’em up for you.
Before we go any further, here’s a SPOILER warning. We can’t talk about some of these moments without spoiling some of the episode’s biggest reveals—including one that’s on the level of Baby Yoda’s first appearance back in the series premiere last year. If you’ve already streamed the Season 2 premiere and are ready to see what you may’ve missed the first time around, venture forth. And if you haven’t watched the episode and just want to know all the secrets, consider yourself spoiler warned—!
John Leguizamo as Gor Koresh
The Mandalorian now has a tradition: start off each season with a well-known actor playing an alien. Season 1 kicked off with Horatio Sanz under tons of prosthetics as a blue-skinned fish man, and Season 2 finds John Leguizamo providing the voice of an Abyssan mobster named Gor Koresh. It’s a quick but memorable role. It’s not every episode that you get to see Mando string up a criminal and leave him to a pack of red-eyed night monsters!
Return of R5-D4
There’s a reason why Star Wars keeps going back to Tatooine: that’s where the franchise hides so many Easter eggs! Upon returning to Tatooine and barging in on Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), Din Djarin sees one of the most iconic droids in Star Wars history: R5-D4. This little astromech is now part of Peli’s crew, although she doesn’t seem too pleased with R5’s capabilities. Who is R5-D4? He’s the droid that Uncle Owen initially wanted to purchase from the Jawas way back in 1977’s Star Wars. If his motivator hadn’t blown up on the spot, C-3PO might not’ve been able to convince Luke Skywalker to suggest buying R2-D2 instead. Then what would’ve happened to Princess Leia’s message?! Truly, R5-D4’s bad motivator is the unsung hero of the entire Star Wars canon. But hey—at least R5 gets to hang out on Tatooine with Amy Sedaris. That’s a pretty awesome consolation prize.
Creatures of Tatooine
The other reason we keep going back to Tatooine: there’s still so much to discover! The Mandalorian’s Season 2 premiere finally introduces two creatures that have been part of Star Wars lore since the very first film but have somehow remained offscreen all these decades. I’m talking about womp rats and a krayt dragon!
Womp rats are mentioned all the time in Star Wars, particularly as cannon fodder for target practice in the Outer Rim. Now we know why it’s kinda impressive to hit a womp rat: they’re tiny and they love to skitter. On the other end of the spectrum are the krayt dragons. C-3PO first encountered a skeleton of one of these creatures while wandering through the desert after crashing on Tatooine. Later in A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi let loose his impression of a krayt dragon’s roar to scare away some Tusken Raiders. Now we know why they were so afraid! Also another Easter egg: at the end of the episode, the Tuskens find the krayt dragon’s pearl while rummaging through the beast’s guts. The krayt’s pearl was first mentioned in the 2015 novel Heir to the Jedi.
Timothy Olyphant sidles up to the bar as Cobb Vanth, the marshal of a thought deserted Tatooine settlement named Mos Pelgo. We learn a lot about Mos Pelgo, Cobb Vanth, and how he helped free the town from the rule of the mining collective after the fall of the Empire. If you want to know more about Cobb Vanth, Mos Pelgo, and even those silicax crystals that Vanth mentions in his tale, you can read Chuck Wendig’s trilogy of Star Wars: Aftermath novels from 2015. That’s where Vanth was introduced.
Also definitely worth mentioning: the armor Cobb Vanth wears should look familiar to everyone that knows Star Wars, because it’s Boba Fett’s armor. Remember, Boba Fett was last seen careening into the maw of the sarlacc in Return of the Jedi. Jawas recovered the armor, which looks way more beat up than ever, and it ultimately made its way to Vanth, who used Fett’s weaponry to help overthrow the mining collective.
And there’s another Easter egg in Mos Pelgo: W. Earl Brown plays the Weequay bartender that acts as Vanth’s confidant. This is actually a Deadwood reunion, as both Brown and Olyphant starred in the HBO show. And Brown’s no stranger to being behind a bar, either. He played barman Dan Dority on Deadwood.
And here’s the big one: the mysterious, shadowy figure that we see at the very end of the episode watching Din Djarin ride off with Vanth’s armor is none other than the original owner of that armor. Yeah, that’s Boba Fett. Okay, it’s actually actor Temuera Morrison, the man who played Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones. And since Boba Fett is an unaltered clone of Jango Fett, Morrison is also playing adult Boba Fett in The Mandalorian.
This is a huge deal. This is the first canonical confirmation (at least since Disney rebooted the continuity) that Boba Fett survived his humiliating dive into the sarlacc pit. This is also the first time we’ve seen Boba Fett without his helmet—and from the look on his face, he aims to get that helmet back by any means necessary. Our Mandalorian had better watch out, because he has something that the original Mandalorian wants!
Stream The Mandalorian on Disney+