The Mandalorian: 41 Star Wars References & Easter Eggs You Probably Missed In Episode 1
The Mandalorian spoilers ahead!
With the long-awaited launch of Disney+, the even-longer-awaited The Mandalorian--the first ever live-action Star Wars TV show--is here. And it's more than just space poops and twist endings--there are about a bajillion references and Easter eggs for Star Wars fans to obsess over in the Mandalorian. And this is just the first episode.
How much you enjoy the Mandalorian's premiere may depend on how much time you spend reading Star Wars wikis as a hobby--or how closely you pore over the gallery below. We've broken down everything you need to know to get the most out of this episode, from Mandalorian customs to the names of obscure alien races glimpsed in the background.
There are still seven more episodes of The Mandalorian left, and we'll be giving each the same in-depth treatment. Until the next one arrives on November 15, check out our Episode 1 review and Everything We Know About The Mandalorian on our sister site CNET--and for more on Disney+, try all the Star Wars movies and shows and all the Marvel movies and shows currently available on the platform.
1. Don't Call Him A Squid Head
One of the thugs in the opening scene is a Quarren, an alien race native to the planet Mon Cala, from whence Admiral Ackbar's race (the Mon Calamari) also hail. They first appeared in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Whatever you do, don't call a Quarren a Squid Head, as it's a derogatory nickname.
The thugs in the opening bar scene are speaking Huttese, the language of the Hutts, i.e. Jabba the Hutt. The language pops up again in this episode during the scene with Greef Carga (Carl Weathers).
3. Crying Over Spilled Space Milk
The lead thug insists that the Mando spilled his drink, but you can actually see it spill earlier in the scene, when they're roughing up the Mythrol.
4. Beskar Steel
Mando's armor is made of Beskar Steel, also just called Beskar, or Mandalorian Ore. It's a super-tough metal used by Mandalorian blacksmiths, as we see later in the episode.
5. An Empty Cup
If you watch carefully during the opening fight scene, it's clear that the cup the bartender slides down toward the Mando is 100% bereft of liquid (there's no splash--no splash at all!). Maybe the barkeep knew that the Mando was going to use it to smash someone's head in, and he wanted to avoid the mess.
6. The Fledgling Mythrol
The first time we see the Mandalorian, he's picking up a bounty on a blue-skinned alien played by Saturday Night Live alum Horatio Sanz. It's later revealed that his species is the Mythrol, a new addition to Star Wars canon.
7. Bounty Pucks
The "bounty pucks" that the Mando's bounty hunters guild uses to track commissions are an invention for the show--they've never been referenced in Star Wars before.
8. A Kubaz Ferryman
The ferryman who Mando asks for passage to the yards is of the Kubaz species (as first seen in A New Hope). He speaks Kubazian, which sounds like whirring sounds.
9. A Familiar Ride
The first ferry that appears is a familiar Landspeeder with an R2 droid, which most Star Wars protagonists wouldn't turn down. Why the Mando insists on a ride with "no droids" will hopefully be explained at some point in the series. Of course, he ends up working with IG-11 at the episode's climax, which probably isn't easy for him--though he also winds up destroying that droid.
10. Brian Posehn
You might recognize the ice ferry driver who warns the Mando and the Mythrol not to dally on the ice and then is immediately eaten by a giant ice monster as comedian Brian Posehn.
11. The Ravinak
Speaking of which, that ice monster--the Ravinak--is a brand new addition to the Star Wars universe, invented for this scene.
12. Dank Farrik
The Fledgling Mythrol exclaims "Dank Farrik" (trust us, we checked the subtitles) when they escape the Ravinak, much like one would say "thank god." Since we know nothing about him or his race at this point, we can assume that's pretty much what he's saying.
13. The Razor Crest
The Mandalorian's ship is called the Razor Crest. It's a converted pre-Empire gunship.
14. Space Toilet
Where do the creatures of the Star Wars universe go to pee and poo? Well, on the Razor Crest, we get to see where The Mandalorian does his "duties." It's called a Vacc Tube, and that's where they do their business. But where does it all go from there? Well, it all goes into the Gray Hold, and for some reason, pilots sometimes dump them on planets--according to the landspeeder driver that escorts The Mandalorian to his ship. Why wouldn't you dump them in space? Guess there are gross ***holes even in a galaxy far, far away.
15. Happy Life Day
Early on in the episode, The Mandalorian's bounty mention he was hoping to be free to celebrate Life Day, possibly with his family. That particular holiday was first introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special, otherwise known as the best thing that's ever happened to the franchise. Want to know more? We've got you covered.
16. Carbonite Capers
The Mandalorian has several marks frozen in carbonite on his ship. When Darth Vader had Han Solo frozen at the end of Empire Strikes Back, he was testing it out to make sure the process wouldn't kill Luke. Since this show is set after the original trilogy, it makes sense that the carbonite technology would be in wider use by now.
17. Nice Dissolves
There are multiple cheesy wipe transitions between scenes in this episode--a tradition that's been upheld since the original films.
18. Name That Droid
In the marketplace the Mando walks through, you can spot a familiar droid off to the left. It appears to be an R5 droid, similar to the R5-D4 in A New Hope (the droid with the "bad motivator").
You can spot some Trandoshans here. These aliens, from the planet Trandosha, were introduced in Empire Strikes Back with the bounty hunter Bossk.
20. A Friendly Game
You can glimpse some aliens playing the card game Sabacc in the cantina here--possibly the variant Corellian Spike, as seen in the movie Solo, though it's difficult to tell.
21. Imperial credits are no good here
When turning in his bounties, the Mandalorian is annoyed to learn Greef Carga wants to pay him in Imperial credits. Post-Return of the Jedi, he's simply not interested in accepting this outdated form of payment. Instead, he accepts half payment in the form of Calamari Flan, which we can only assume is a type of money from the planet Mon Cala.
Even casual Star Wars fans should recognize these Jawas, diminutive aliens that have been around since A New Hope.
23. Don't Be a Gatekeeper
The cute little bugger that guards the entrance to the Client's hideout is a TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid, a type of security droid that was first seen in Return of the Jedi.
24. GNK droid
The iconic GNK droid--also known as the trash can droid, for obvious reasons--guides the Mando into the Client's lair. These first appeared in A New Hope.
25. Imperial Loyalists and dirty Stormtroopers
The events in The Mandalorian take place after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi. While the Galactic Empire is no more, there are still pockets holding onto the past, like Werner Herzog's character, who is surrounded by Stormtroopers. Because credits aren't rolling into this former ruling class like it used to, these Stormtroopers probably don't have the cash to fix or even clean up their armor, so it appears dirty, worn, and broken.
26. The Best in the Parsec
According to the Client, Greef Carga claims Mando is "the best in the parsec," when it comes to bounty hunting. As previously established in the franchise, a parsec is a unit of distance equal to about 3.26 light years. Han Solo proclaimed that with the Millennium Falcon, he made the Kessel Run--an 18-parsec course--in a mere 12 parsecs. There would be a lot of math to figure out exactly what that means, but it's safe to say a parsec is a very large distance to cover.
27. A Camtono of Pure Beskar
The Client offers to pay Mando in pure Beskar, should he retrieve his bounty alive. More specifically, he promised a camtono of the substance. What is that, you ask? A camtono is a fancy Star Wars way of saying lock box. As noted by io9, a camtono was briefly seen in The Empire Strikes Back.
28. New Technology
The episode features several pieces of new Star Wars technology, mostly related to the Bounty Hunters Guild to which the Mandalorian belongs. In addition to the bounty pucks, the Mando mentions uses "chain codes" and "tracking fobs" to hunt down commissions.
29. A Period of Disarray
The Client refers to things returning to their "natural order" after this "period of disarray." Being an apparent Imperial loyalist, the brief "period" to which he refers is clearly the fall of the Empire as portrayed in the original Star Wars trilogy. Little does he know how right he is though, since it will be just a small handful of years until the First Order rises from the Empire's ashes.
30. Cruel BBQ
The creature roasting on the spit here--and the one watching forlornly from a cage nearby--is a Kowakian monkey-lizard. The first Kowakian glimpsed in the series, named Salacious Crumb, appeared in Return of the Jedi.
31. Is That Boba Fett?
Maybe, maybe not. Before The Mandalorian meets the Mandore Blacksmith, he passes by a guard that sure does look a whole lot like Boba Fett. The infamous bounty hunter supposedly died in the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi. There's no way of truly knowing at this point in time whether or not that Mandalorian is in fact one of Star Wars' most popular characters--even though Boba isn't truly a Mandalorian. However, we do know his job, and that's guarding the entrance. And aside from the fact, it appears he's doing that, his helmet is green, and in Mandalorian warrior culture, the color of your helmet means a lot. Green is the symbol of duty. He has a duty to guard that door and everyone inside.
32. The Mythosaur Skull
The Mandalorian insignia visible above the metalsmith's door is the skull of the Mythosaur, giant creatures that used to live on the planet Mandalore until the Mandalorians battled them to extinction. They're referenced again later in this episode, when Nick Nolte's character, the Ugnaught Kuiil, encourages the Mando by reminding him that his ancestors once rode the mighty Mythosaur.
33. Mandalorian Lore
There are several obscure references to Mandalorian history and customs in this scene, from mention of the "great purge" to the metalsmith asking the Mando whether his "signet" has been revealed yet. To be honest, we have little idea what any of this means.
34. A Significant Pauldron
The metalsmith makes the Mando a silver pauldron from the Beskar ore he gives her. There's significance to Mandalorian armor colors--and the silver pauldron, if we read it as more of a shiny grey, relates to mourning. No doubt we'll find out why as we learn more about the character's backstory. Fun fact: The green of Boba Fett's iconic armor represents duty.
35. The Mandalorian's Painful Past
Speaking of colors, the titular character of the show sure does have a lot going on with his costume, and that's because pieces of his armor represent different moments in his life. His helmet is silver or gray, which means mourning the loss of a loved one, and his chestplate looks like it was once red, honoring his parents. If in fact it was orange, that means he's just like Iggy Pop and has a lust for life.
36. What the Blurrg?
After landing on a planet to track a bounty, Mando is almost immediately attacked by a pair of Blurggs, which are giant warthog-looking creatures with scarily sharp teeth. While this is the first time they've appeared in live-action, fans have seen them before. They were originally introduced in The Clone Wars, before also popping up in Star Wars Rebels.
37. The Ugnaughts
Nick Nolte's character, Kuiil, is of an alien race called an Ugnaught. Natives of the planet Gentes, they're considered the working class of the galaxy. They first appeared in Empire Strikes Back.
38. IG-11, A Bounty Droid
The IG-11 bounty hunter droid, voiced by the fantastic Taika Waititi, is not the first IG-class droid we've met in Star Wars history. The most notable previously was IG-88, who appeared in Empire Strikes Back.
The aliens that the Mando and IG-11 fight in the climactic battle scene are Niktos, from the planet Kintan. They first appeared in Return of the Jedi.
While Mando and Greef Carga discuss further bounties, it's revealed that among the species inhabiting that bar is a Rodian. These green-skilled creatures first appeared in A New Hope and have since popped up throughout the franchise.
41. That looks a lot like Yoda
What a twist ending that was. After blasting his way through an army of mercenaries, Mando comes across a pod housing a tiny alien that looks like it's from whatever species Yoda--or Yaddle for you prequels fans--hails from. Not much is known about this species, but given this is just the first episode of The Mandalorian, it looks like that's about to change. We have a lot more to say about this particular twist, which you should check out.