Jon Favreau and his team have done an amazing job engaging Star Wars fans of all generations by inserting a mind-blowing number of Easter eggs, fan nods and throwbacks into each and every episode of The Mandalorian. Whether you're a fan of the original or prequel trilogy, The Clone Wars or Rebels animated series, or even more obscure titles like Ewoks: The Battle for Endor or the Star Wars Holiday Special, there's at least a few references in The Mandalorian series you'll probably recognize.
As a service to Star Wars fans everywhere, we're attempting to identify and catalog all the references in each episode. But we're only three Geeks and there's a whole lot to see. If you think we've missed something, let us know in the comments or on social media. We'll be happy to add it to the list after verification and credit you for the submission. When you're done browsing through all the glorious throwbacks in this episode, have a listen to our podcast review for the The Mandalorian: Chapter 1. (Accept our sincerest apologies for the background noise on that episode - one of the Geeks had to dial in from an airport).
And don't forget to check out our list of Easter Eggs for all the other episodes of The Mandalorian:
[*** This list may contain episode 1 spoilers ***]
Chapter 1 - "The Mandalorian"
[00:45] The Huttese Language
If you think you recognize the language the trawlers are speaking in the opening cantina scene, then you're a total Star Wars Geek. But you're also right - they're speaking Huttese, the native language of the Hutts. This fictitious language made its debut appearance in A New Hope, but has been used in a number of Star Wars comics, books, films and series since then. Huttese is spoken in most of the Hutt controlled territories and also used as a common language for trade in the outer rim.
[00:47] The Quarren species
This amphibious species, known as "squid heads" to some, first appeared in Return of the Jedi. But they've also made appearances in all of the prequel trilogy films, The Clone Wars, Resistance and a host of other titles in both Canon and Legends. Quarren hail from the planet Mon Cala, where they exist in relative peace with the Mon Calamari. [2:03] Beskar Steel The trawler that approaches the Mandalorian asks, "Is that real Beskar steel?" This is a reference to the main character's armor. Beskar Steel, also known as Mandalorian Iron, is the preferred material for making Mandalorian armor. It's a rare metal alloy, the only known source of which is Mandalore and its moon. In the hands of a skilled blacksmith, the incredibly durable armor formed from this metal can deflect blaster shots and even glancing blows from a Jedi's lightsaber. While the name "Beskar" originated in Legends material, it has since been mentioned in Solo, The Clone Wars, Rebels and the Doctor Aphra comics. [3:00] Aurebesh script
The Mando's bounty puck displays the word WANTED in this script, which serves as the primary alphabet for Galactic Basic (a.k.a. English) in the Star Wars universe. Aurebesh first appeared in Return of the Jedi and was later added to the 2004 edition of A New Hope. It has been used in numerous other titles since its introduction, and notably, is used extensively at both Galaxy's Edge theme parks. [3:45] The Kubaz species
After leaving the cantina with his bounty, Mando approaches a Kubaz on the ice. This species first appeared in A New Hope, where a reluctant Kubazian spy named Garindan informed the Empire as to the whereabouts of Luke, Obi-Wan, R2-D2 and C-3PO on Tatooine. The Kubaz are native to the planet Kubindi and survive largely on a diet of insects they suck up through their long snouts
[4:00] Unidentified R-series Astromech Droid & Landspeeder
It's a two for one! The first transport the Kubaz ferryman calls for Mando is a landspeeder driven by an R-series astromech droid. While this particular model of landspeeder is not known to us, any Star Wars fan will probably remember the first appearance of a landspeeder in A New Hope, where Luke Skywalker pilots an X-34 model on Tatooine.
Likewise, the R-series astromech droids are quite recognizable, having made appearances in almost every single film, series and comic since A New Hope. The most prominent example is one the first astromech droids ever seen on screen, R2-D2. The particular model driving the landspeeder looks like it might be an R2- or R3-series, but it's hard to say for sure since only the dome is visible.
[5:17] That Ship Has Probably Seen Better Days
As they approach Mando's spacecraft, the Mythrol bounty immediately starts objecting to its state, even offering to pay for a cruiser to transport them instead. While it's hard to say for certain, this appears to be a subtle reference to a familiar Millennium Falcon trope, where everyone that sees it has to comment on its seeming state of disrepair. While the Mandalorian's ship doesn't look quite as hodge-podged as the Falcon, the body does show peeling paint and numerous scratches and dents. This vessel bears a number of similarities to Clone War era gunships, but it's not clear exactly when it was made or who manufactured it. Around the 7:40 mark, the Mythrol suggests that it's a pre-Empire ship called a "Razorcrest" - so it could be quite old.
[6:41] Amban Sniper Rifle
You probably spotted Mando's blaster rifle in the pre-release promotional trailers and artwork. But this is the first time we get to see it in the series. This weapon originates from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special that aired in 1978, shortly after A New Hope. The weapon was wielded by an off-color Boba Fett in the animated segment of the show. The special was apparently so bad that Lucasfilm have kept it locked up ever since, leaving Star Wars fans with no official way to watch it - not even on Disney+. [8:45] Toilets in Star Wars?!
This a Star Wars first - an on-screen toilet (or a "vac tube," as the Mythrol calls it). That's right, folks. The facilities by which the myriad species in the universe vacate their bladders and bowels - or whatever organs they might have with like functions - has essentially been a mystery for over 40 years. Somewhat ironically, it looks a lot like an airplane toilet, which makes perfect sense on a spaceship with artificial gravity. One of those burning questions from Star Wars fans the world over has finally been laid to rest! [9:22] Life Day
While the Mythrol is rummaging around in the lower level of the Mando's ship, he says, "I was hoping to be free for Life Day." Life Day is yet another reference to the Star Wars Holiday Special, where it was introduced as a holiday celebrated by the Wookies of Kashyyyk. [9:25] Carbonite and a Rodian
Another two for one! The Mythrol happens upon three other Mando bounties encased in carbonite in the belly of Mando's ship. Carbonite made its first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo is encased in the material by Darth Vader on Bespin. Boba Fett then transports the carbonite block to Jabba's palace, where he keeps it on display as both a trophy and a warning to others. The first block of carbonite he looks at contains a Rodian. Rodians were a green-skinned, bug-eyed species native to Rodia. The most famous example of this species is Greedo, the amateur bounty hunter that confronts Han Solo on Tatooine in A New Hope. Sorry, but we're not going to talk about who shot first.
[10:25] R5-Series Astromech Droid
While the Mando is walking down an alleyway, we catch a glimpse of an R5-series astromech droid just to his left. The R5-series was a cheaply made version of the R2-series that was plagued with defects and often prone to malfunction. The R5's first appearance is in A New Hope, where Luke buys an R5-D4 from some Jawa traders. However, it very quickly malfunctions while he's trying to get it to follow him and Luke ultimately buys R2-D2 instead. Thanks, Red!
[10:45] The Trandoshan species
As our protagonist walks into another cantina, we see a Trandoshan standing near the wall. Trandoshans are a reptilian species native to the planet Trandosha. This species made its first major appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, where we are introduced to a feared bounty hunter named Bossk. The species makes several subsequent appearances in The Clone Wars, Resistance and numerous Star Wars comic series. [13:14] The Jawa Species
This won't be the last time we see Jawas in The Mandalorian, but is the first. As the titular bounty hunter is leaving the cantina, we get a close up shot of two Jawas rifling through parts on the street. This species made its first appearance on Tatooine, in A New Hope, but has since been seen or mentioned in nearly every Star Wars film and series.
[13:43] TT-8L "Gatekeeper" Droid
After the Mando knocks at the client's bunker, he's met with a TT-8L Gatekeeper droid. Fans of the original trilogy will remember this droid from outside Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi. They have also subsequently appeared in The Clone Wars animated series. [13:56] GNK Power Droid
Yes, it has only been 13 seconds and they're throwing another original trilogy Easter egg at us. Just as the door is opening, you can spot a GNK Droid walking around inside the doorway. GNK droids are one of many droids that can first be spotted on the Lars Farmstead in A New Hope.
We're not going to bother with a still frame, nor are we going to explain what they are or where they come from. You know the deal. They've featured all over the place, starting with the very first Star Wars film. There are two curious elements about these particular stormtroopers, though. First, that they're here at all since the Empire has fallen. And second, that they're easily the filthiest stormtroopers we've ever seen. Do rags not exist on this planet to at least wipe their armor down?
[14:30] An Imperial Medal
The client that Mando goes to meet is wearing a medal with the Imperial crest on it. As with many other throwbacks in The Mandalorian, we first see the Imperial crest in A New Hope, but this symbol is featured prominently in all Imperial-era Star Wars films, shows and comics.
The client mentions that he heard Mando was "the best in the parsec." A parsec is a legitimate unit of astronomical distance, equal to about 3.26 light years. However, the infamous first use of this term is in A New Hope, when Han Solo boasts about the speed of the Falcon by claiming it made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. George Lucas would later claim that this gaffe was intentional, meant to show that Han was a bull-artist who didn't always know what he was talking about. But fans have never let it die, and apparently, Jon Favreau isn't going to let it die either. Amusingly, this isn't the last reference to a parsec we'll hear in this series. [14:49] Kamino Clone Emblem
Eagle-eyed Star Wars fanatics might have noticed that Dr. Pershing has an emblem on his sleeve that looks eerily similar to the shoulder patches that the clones wear on Kamino in Attack of the Clones. More than just an Easter egg, this might prove pivotal to the story arc in this series. [17:50] Kowakian Monkey-Lizard
As the Mandalorian heads back out to the streets, we get a shot of a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard roasting on a spit, while a second one looks on in horror. This creature made its first appearance in Return of the Jedi, where Jabba the Hutt kept one as a pet. They also feature frequently in The Clone Wars animated series and as purchasable "pets" at the Galaxy's Edge theme parks.
[18:31] A Boba Fett Look-Alike?
As the Mando is making his way to the armorer, there's is a figure standing against the wall in the darkness (image enhanced for clarity). That figure looks strikingly similar to Boba Fett, which has spurred a number of fan theories already. For whatever it's worth, we very much doubt this particular Mandalorian is Boba Fett. But we do believe this little Easter egg is placed there as a nod to Fett fans everywhere. [18:44] Mythosaur Signet
Just above the entrance to the armorer, we see a mythosaur signet. The mythosaur is an ancient creature that the Mandalorians once rode into battle. While this creature has its origins in Legends material - specifically, the comic book Star Wars 69: Death in the City of Bone - the mythosaur skull sigil has appeared on banners and armor in The Force Awakens and The Clone Wars series. It's typically used to identify the Mand'alor, the historical ruler of the Mandalorian clans.
As our protagonist makes his way to yet another desert planet (Arvala-7) to claim his high-stakes bounty, he spots some nearby Blurrgs through his rifle scope. Blurrgs are two-legged beasts of burden used throughout the galaxy, that were first introduced in the 1985 made-for-TV movie, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. They have subsequently been seen in The Clone Wars (first canon appearance) and Rebels animated series.
[23:28] The Ugnaught Species and Electro-darts?
Yet another two for one deal! Just as he's about to be bum rushed by a particularly aggressive blurrg, the Mandalorian is unexpectedly saved by an Ugnaught named Kuiil. Ugnaughts were a porcine species native to the planet Gentes; however, they could be found working throughout the galaxy because of their industrious and loyal nature. The species' first appearance is on Cloud City in the Empire Strikes Back, but they have also featured prominently in Rebels and occasionally in The Clone Wars.
The projectiles the Ugnaught uses to subdue the blurrgs appear to be electro-darts. This may be their first ever appearance in canon, having only previously been seen in The Old Republic video game.
This is technically a droid we haven't seen before this episode. However, it's a very clear nod to the IG-88 series assassin droid that's first seen during the bounty hunter scene in The Empire Strikes Back. Director Dave Filoni deliberately made this a new droid to avoid contradicting any of the Legends stories about IG-88 - perhaps, an even greater nod to the Star Wars fandom than it might seem at first.
[During the Encampment Assault] Klaatu, Barada and Nikto
This is a deep-seated Easter egg that only the Geekiest among us will probably get. It's going to require a little explanation for everyone else. "Klaatu Barada Nikto" is actually a phrase that originates from the classic 1951 science fiction film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. As a tribute to the classic film, in Return of the Jedi, Lucas used these three words as names for some of the aliens on Jabba's sail barge. These same aliens are also present at the encampment in The Mandalorian.
[35:36] Baby [Whatever Species Yoda Might Be], Also Known as The Child or The Being
Apparently, the great debate from Chapter 1 is, "Can you call this thing a Baby Yoda?" We're afraid we don't have the answer. But we've taken to calling it "The Being" as the cast reportedly did. It's also referred to as "The Child" in a subsequent episode, so pick your poison. Whatever the case, it's quite clear that this being is the same species as Yoda. If you're wondering why that has Star Wars fans everywhere up in arms, it's because Lucas chose to keep everything about this species a mystery. We don't know the species' name, their home planet, or much of anything about them beyond their lengthy lifespans. Aside from Yoda, the only other known member of this species is Yaddle, who makes a brief appearance in The Phantom Menace. Those mysteries may prove to be a key plot element in this series - we'll have to wait and see.
If you were keeping count, that's at least 31 Easter eggs, fan nods and throwbacks in a mere 39 minutes of screen time. And despite having watched this episode four times now, we bet we've still overlooked a few... Please, let us know in the comments what we might have missed! #StarWars #TheMandalorian #ChapterOne #EasterEggs #DisneyPlus