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 callbacks 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.
When you're done browsing through all the Easter eggs in this episode, have a listen to our podcast review for the The Mandalorian: Chapter 4.
And don't forget to check out our Easter Eggs list for all the other episodes of The Mandalorian:
[*** This list may contain episode 4 spoilers ***]
Chapter 4 - "Sanctuary"
Some fans of the show have been keen on pointing out apparent plot holes in this episode. One of the gaffes being that Mando left his ship behind when it would have been a serious asset in this battle. Another we've heard is that Mando and Cara lead the AT-ST back to the village, instead of just destroying it in the bandit's encampment. Believe it or not, these seemingly arbitrary elements of the plot were likely intentional, because the entire episode is a very deliberate adaption of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954). So we're going to start this list out a little different by pointing out many of the parallels with the aforementioned film.
The main protagonist in Seven Samurai is a Samurai with no lord, also known as a Ronin (not unlike our Mandalorian). Based on advice from the village elder, the villagers seek out Samurai to defend their village from bandits who frequently pillage and steal their crops (just as the raiders do in this episode). The villagers have little money, so the elder instructs them to find hungry Samurai (our villagers will ultimately give Mando food and shelter as payment because they also have little money). Reluctantly, the protagonist agrees to help and eventually enlists the help of other Samurai to assist him (much like Mando enlists Cara Dune to assist).
Rather than fighting their battles for them, the Samurai train the villagers to aid in their own defense against superior forces (just as Cara Dune and Mando do). They also show them how to erect primitive defenses around their rice paddies (or krill farms, in the Mando's case) to gain a tactical advantage in the event of another assault.
The bandits in Seven Samurai don't have a chicken walker, of course, but they do have a major technological advantage over the farmers: flintlock pistols. And much like our farmers are limited to spears and blasters for self-defense, the farmers in Seven Samurai are limited to bamboo spears and bows. This is most likely why Mando's ship is left out of this episode - the bandits needed to have the upper hand, technologically speaking. And since Mando wouldn't be found dead without a few firearms, the AT-ST serves as a metaphorical stand-in for the flintlock pistols. If you need a better explanation than that, let's just say Mando didn't want to have his eyesore of a ship anywhere near the village where he was trying to hide himself and the child.
While training the villagers, one of the Samurai develops a relationship with a farmer's daughter, but it isn't meant to be. And Mando's emerging relationship with the widow in the village is almost surely a callback to that element of the original film's story arc.
Eventually, the Samurai learn the location of the bandit's camp. They launch an attack and burn it down (or blow it up, in Mando and Cara's case). The film then culminates with the remaining bandits launching an assault on the village, from which the villagers and Samurai emerge victorious despite the odds against them.
If you've never seen Seven Samurai but still feel as if you've seen elements of this story before, it's quite possible you have. This story has been adapted to varying degree in other more recent works, including: The Magnificent Seven, Seven Warriors, The Invincible Six, the steampunk anime series Samurai 7, and even an episode of The Clone Wars titled "Bounty Hunters."
For those that are not aware, George Lucas was an avid Kurosawa fan and his films - particularly, The Hidden Fortress - had significant influence on the story writing in the original trilogy. So this episode is both a major nod to Lucas, as well as one of his largest influences, Akira Kurosawa. Plot holes or not, we must say, "This is the way."
[01:46] That's a Curious Looking Droid
In the opening village scene, there's a chicken-like, bi-pedal droid that's walking along the water's edge carrying a basket of krill. While this droid isn't one we recall seeing previously in the franchise, it does bear some striking similarities with the Imperial AT-ST walker, and may very well be a precursor to what's coming up later in the episode.
[03:53] The Klatooinian Species
At least some of these raiders, if not all of them, appear to be Klatooinians. The species was first introduced in Return of the Jedi, where they serve as henchmen aboard Jabba the Hutt's sail barge. They also appear in several episodes of Resistance and a couple episodes of The Clone Wars. Klatooinians are native to the Outer Rim planet of Klatooine.
[05:10] "A real backwater skug hole."
When describing the planet Sorgan to the little Yodalorian, Mando refers to it as a "real backwater skug hole." Skug was a comm