The Mandalorian Chapter 2 - Easter Eggs, Fan Nods and Throwbacks
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. As a service to Star Wars fans everywhere, we're attempting to identify and catalog all the references in each episode. 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.
We'd like to extend a special thanks to Wayne Ward on our Facebook page for suggesting 'Yodalorian' as an alternative to the apparently divisive 'Baby Yoda' terminology. Wayne tells us his daughter, Saphyre, actually came up with the term. We've played with other names like 'The Being' and 'The Child' previously, but nothing slipped off the tongue quite as easily as their suggestion.
When you're done browsing through all the glorious references in this episode, have a listen to our podcast review of the The Mandalorian: Chapter 2.
And don't forget to check out our list of Easter Eggs for all the other episodes of The Mandalorian:
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
[*** This list may contain episode 2 spoilers ***]
Chapter 2 - "The Child"
[02:47] A Focused Shot Before the Quick Draw
This isn't so much an Easter egg as it is a nod to the earlier works that influenced films of the Star Wars franchise, and perhaps even more so, The Mandalorian itself. George Lucas took a lot of pointers from Sergio Leone, the so-called Godfather of the Spaghetti Western. For those that are unfamiliar with this genre from the 1960's, it was something of a spin-off from earlier American Westerns, with darker undertones and more moral ambiguity in its character portrayals.
[02:49] The Trandoshan Species and The Slaver Blade
We saw Trandoshans in the previous episode, so hop back to that article for more detail on the species. But these particular Trandoshans that attack Mando are wielding slaver blades. As far as we are aware, these weapons have never been seen in any previous film or series. They made their first appearance in a 2005 video gamed titled Star Wars: Republic Commando. The name and description of the weapon comes from the game's official guidebook. It's a relatively common Trandoshan weapon that was frequently used by slavers when hunting down Wookiees.
[4:40] An Attempted Force Heal
While Mando is cauterizing a wound at camp that evening, the Being approaches him and appears to attempt a force heal. The force heal and its derivations have been seen in countless Star Wars video games and a number of Legends titles as well. It was even shown once in The Clone Wars animated series. But this is the first (almost) appearance in a live-action film or series. We can't be 100% sure that's what the Being was going to do, because Mando picks him up and puts him back in the hovering bassinet before he can finish. But if Mando knew then what he find outs later in this episode, he might have let the little Yodalorian continue.
[5:46] A Sandcrawler (and more Jawas)
We covered Jawas in our Chapter 1 list so head back there for a look, if you like. Although we do get to see something new in this scene - how Jawas organize in combat. They can certainly put up a fight in spite of their diminutive stature, and the Mando ends up bested by these little beasts.
This scene also offers up our first sight of a Sandcrawler in this series. Sandcrawlers are large, mobile fortresses that the Jawas used for protection and storage while scavenging about the desert. Seeing one of these behemoths almost had us convinced that Mando was on Tatooine. However, the Star Wars Databank says this is a new desert planet called Arvala-7. Sandcrawlers made their first appearance in A New Hope, and have subsequently appeared in The Phanton Menace, as well as a number of comics and video games.
[7:25] Watch Out for That Cliff!
If you feel like you've previously watched a hero nearly crushed by a desert cliff outcropping while precariously holding onto the side of a moving tank, you probably have. A very similar scene plays out in another Lucasfilm classic, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We very much doubt this is a coincidence because Favreau seems too meticulous with the details.
[8:05] Scaling a Sandcrawler
If you can feel Mando's frustration while he's attempting to scale the sandcrawler, perhaps you've had this experience before. The 1992 SNES video game, Super Star Wars, had a particularly frustrating level where you had to scale to the top of a sandcrawler with Luke, while random objects and projectiles were flying at you from every direction.
[12:14] Eating a Frog Whole
Our dear little Yodalorian swallows a frog-like creature whole in this scene and then lets out a wee little belch. If you're wondering why that seems vaguely familiar, it's probably because we saw Jabba the Hutt swallow a frog-like creature whole and then let out a belch in Return of the Jedi. Why the Star Wars franchise likes to depict amphibian creatures on desert planets, we may never know. But we'll assume that frogs are something of a delicacy on these worlds.
This familiar Jawaese phrase was first heard in A New Hope. The phrase has seen a few different uses, but generally seems to serve as some sort of alert to other Jawas, or a phrase of surprise. This language was originally created by sound designer Ben Burtt, who altered the speed and pitch of phrases spoken in the Zulu language to obtain the iconic Jawaese sound.
[13:11] "Well, I did disintegrate a few of them."
This little Easter egg is a callback to a line from The Empire Strikes Back. When Vader is giving instructions to the bounty hunters he assembled, he points a finger right at Boba Fett and says, "I want them alive. No disintegrations!"
[13:11] "You sound like a Wookiee."
When Mando attempts to speak Jawaese to the Jawas, they immediately start laughing at him. One Jawa tells him that he sounds like a Wookiee. There's no Wookiees to be found in The Mandalorian (yet). But these Jawas are clearly familiar with what the species sound like, so perhaps there are some hanging out nearby in the outer rim. We'll have to wait and see. The most iconic Wookiee in the Star Wars franchise is Chewbacca, of course, who has appeared in all three film trilogies, Solo and The Clone Wars series.
[13:11] Thank Goodness for Helmets!
While this could be a mundane attempt at slapstick comedy, something tells us very little in Favreau's series is coincidental. There is a very famous scene in A New Hope where a heavily armored trooper bumps his head on something low-hanging overhead. A clumsy stormtrooper smacks his helmet on the top of a door as they walk into a control room. The actor under the armor was Laurie Goode, who had been called in last minute because the original actor for the scene called in sick. According to Goode, the head-bump gaffe was actually the fourth take of that scene and he was shocked to see that it made it past the cutting floor and into the final film.
[14:36] Another R5 Astromech Droid
We see another (likely broken) R5 unit in the background next to the Sandcrawler. We're not sure why the Jawas are so fond of these units given their propensity for malfunctioning. Perhaps, they're good for parts?
[17:47] A Mudhorn
Where have you seen this creature before? Technically, you haven't. It's a brand new creature designed just for this series. However, it does bear notable similarities to another rhino-like creature you've previously seen in Attack of the Clones. In the Petranaki Arena scene, a particularly aggressive reek charges around and destroys several battle droids before being put down with a well-placed shot to the eye by non other than Jango Fett. Reeks have also made subsequent appearances in The Clone Wars animated series.
[20:01] That's a Heavy Lift for Such a Tiny Guy
Using the force ability of telekinesis to levitate or move objects is nothing new in Star Wars. We've seen many Jedi and Sith use this ability to hurl objects through the air. While Yoda suggests that there is no limit to how large of an object one can lift with the force, it's still quite rare to see a force user suspend an object this large for this long. Yoda is one of the few we've seen manage such a feat, when he recovered Luke's X-Wing from the Dagobah swamp in The Empire Strikes Back. That may say something about the little Yodalorian's connection to the force.
[23:56] "I still don't understand what happened."
Back on the skiff with ship parts in hand, Mando is clearly still perplexed by the Child's display of force prowess. Kuiil says to him, "Explain it to me again. I still don't understand what happened." To which, our protagonist responds, "Neither do I." It seems like a curious response for two reasons.
First, the Mandalorians have a long and sordid history with the Jedi, thanks to a years long conflict between the two groups. It was apparently such a sore spot for Mandalorians that some of them still held a grudge against the Jedi in The Clone Wars animated series. Perhaps our hero hasn't heard these stories, or thinks of them only as folklore.
Second, there were supposedly thousands of Jedi roaming the galaxy prior to Order 66 being issued 28 years prior. We don't know how old the Mandalorian is, so we can't say if he was alive at the time. But it's difficult to understand how he wouldn't have heard stories from others - including his fellow Mandalorians. Whatever campaign the Empire ran to snuff out the memory of the Jedi was apparently extremely effective.
That's at least another 15 Easter eggs, fan nods and throwbacks. But we've probably overlooked a few, so please let us know in the comments what we might have missed!
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