The Mandalorian Chapter 5 - Easter Eggs, Fan Nods and Callbacks
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 with this list, check out our podcast review of The Mandalorian Chapter 5.
And don't forget to check out our Easter Eggs list 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 5 spoilers ***]
Chapter 5 - "The Gunslinger"
This episode of The Mandalorian is so steeped in callbacks to Lucas' Star Wars films that it borders on being pure fan service. But in keeping with Favreau's apparent vision of making this series a dedication to George Lucas and the influences that inspired him to create the franchise, it feels completely appropriate. A fair chunk of the screen time in "Chapter 5" is given to these callbacks, which has the effect of curtailing advancement of the story arc a bit. However, Favreau uses the opportunity to paint a picture of a massive cultural shift on Tatooine after the fall of the Empire and the murder of Jabba the Hutt. Despite the heavy references to the iconic planet, this is definitely not the Tatooine we remember. And it's certainly no surprise that Favreau chose Dave Filoni to direct this particular episode.
[01:15] First Space Chase of the Series
In the opening scene, we find Mando and the Yodalorian being chased in the Razor Crest by a bounty hunter named Riot Mar. Space chases have been something of a staple in the Star Wars franchise, starting with the very first scene of A New Hope, where the Tantive IV Cruiser is being chased down by a Star Destroyer. It's nice to finally see one play out in this series.
[02:05] Targeting Computers
The targeting computers on both the bounty hunter's and Mando's ship are throwbacks to the targeting computers we see on Vader's experimental TIE fighter in A New Hope, as well as some other ships in the original trilogy. They're reflective of the computer display technology of the late 70s and early 80s, which was typically limited images to 640 x 480 pixels and only 16 colors.
[02:08] Hit the Brakes!
While many will remember this dogfighting tactic being used by Maverick in Top Gun, Star Wars fans may also remember its earlier use in Return of the Jedi. During the speeder bike chase on Endor, Luke slams on the brakes to get a jump on two scout troopers chasing him and Leia through the woods. Its use has become so popular in action films that the trope has been given a name: dodge by braking. Incidentally, Favreau also used this trope in the original Iron Man film, when Iron Man is being chased by two F-22 Raptors.
[03:27] Planet Tatooine
Similar to a plot element in The Phantom Menace, where Qui-gon and Obi-wan are forced to land on Tatooine for repairs after taking damage from a Trade Federation blockade, Mando must land on the same planet to have his Razorcrest repaired.
Tatooine is a sparsely inhabited desert planet in the Outer Rim. It was the birth place of Anakin Skywalker, and would later become the home of both Obi-wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. While this planet made its debut in A New Hope, the setting has featured in six of the Star Wars theatrical films, several episodes of The Clone Wars, and a plethora of comics and games. Most of the Tatooine scenes in the theatrical films were shot in the North African nation of Tunisia. And Lucas adapted the planet's name from a real town in Tunisia named Tataouine.
[03:28] "This is Mos Eisley Tower... Head for Bay Three-Five, Over"
A three for one! Mos Eisley is probably one of the most famous spaceports in all of Star Wars canon. Located in the Great Mesra Plateau on Tatooine, this spaceport is described by Obi-Wan Kenobi as "a wretched hive of scum and villainy." Obi-wan and Luke make their way to this spaceport to find transport off of Tatooine in A New Hope, where they meet up with Han and Chewy for the first time.
Most will remember Docking Bay 94 as the location where the Millennium Falcon was parked. But Docking Bay 35 has appeared before, too, in a much more obscure reference. In the late 80's, Lucasfilm licensed its first ever roleplaying game titled Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (clever, we know). In 1992, there was a supplemental adventure for this game published in Challenge magazine #64, titled "Limping Lady." In that adventure, the "Limping Lady" was a modified YT-1300 freighter owned by a criminal boss and Hutt affiliate named Sithless Leethe, which was parked in Docking Bay 35 at the Mos Eisley Spaceport. While it's possible this is a coincidence, there's good reason to believe it was intentional. The writer of that particular adventure was Peter Schweighofer, who established the Star Wars Adventure Journal along with writing dozens of Extended Universe short stories and guides.
Last, but not least, you might have recognized the voice on the radio. It's the voice of Steve Blum, who also voices Ghost pilot, Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, in the Rebels animated series.
[3:44] Replicating a shot from A New Hope
Where have seen that long shot scene of Mos Eisley before? In A New Hope, of course! When Obi-wan, Luke and the droids are first approaching Mos Eisley, they stop on a cliff to look down at the valley where the spaceport lies. The shot is nearly identical (less Mando's ship, obviously).
[4:11] DUM-Series Pit Droids
DUM-series pit droids were a model of repair droid originally designed for maintaining podracers. They made their first appearance in The Phantom Menace but have since appeared in Attack of the Clones and several episodes of The Clone Wars and Resistance animated series.
[4:45] "You got a lot of carbon scoring building up top."
Peli Motto says this line to Mando while she's assessing the damage to his ship. If you feel like you've heard that phrase uttered before, it's probably because you have. Luke says almost the exact same line while he's cleaning up R2-D2, in A New Hope.
[05:09] Apparently, credits are now acceptable on Tatooine
Mando offers Peli five hundred Imperial credits to repair his ship. While she tells him it's not enough for the repairs, she does accept them for use of the docking bay. This seems like a purposeful contrast to the Tatooine of earlier films, where credits are virtually useless.
[5:34] "Womp Rat"
Peli calls Mando a womp rat as he walks out of the hangar. Unlike Mando's use of the term in the previous episode, it's definitely not meant as a term of endearment.
[06:11] A Sabacc Game
Peli Motto, the mechanic at Docking Bay 35, is seen playing a game of Sabacc with the pit droids. Sabacc originates from a 1983 Legends novel titled Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu. It became official canon in 2014, when it was included in the novel A New Dawn. But probably its most notable appearance is in Solo, where Han wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a high-stakes game of Sabacc.
[06:15] "I'll raise you three bolts and a motivator."
When Peli places her bet in the Sabacc game, she offers up a motivator to the pot. Motivators are apparently a critical component for droids, as the R5-D4 unit (a.k.a. "Red") that Luke first buys in A New Hope "blows his motivator" right after the trade. According to the canon short story anthology, From a Certain Point of View, this was actually a ploy concocted by the two droids to ensure that the Lars family would take R2-D2 instead.
[07:59] A WED-15 Treadwell Droid
Just before Mando walks into the cantina, we see a WED-15 Treadwell droid behind him. These were a type of repair droid which we first saw on the Lars homestead in A New Hope. They have subsequently appeared in Attack of the Clones and several episodes of The Clone Wars series.
[8:09] The Mos Eisley Cantina (a.k.a Chalmun's Cantina)
In A New Hope, this iconic cantina was crawling with criminals and ne'er-do-wells. It seems the place has cleaned up a bit since then but it remains an unmistakable setting. And unlike Luke and Obi-wan's initial visit to this seedy watering hole, droids are apparently allowed - in fact, the place appears to be run by droids now. Aside from the original movie, this cantina has appeared in a few episodes of The Clone Wars as well as the canon junior novel, A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (where it was first identified as Chalmun's Cantina).
[08:09] An EV-9D9 Droid
When Mando walks up to the bar, he inquires about work with an EV-9D9 droid. We've previously seen this droid in Return of the Jedi, where one served as the taskmaster for all of Jabba the Hutt's palace droids. According to the canon sourcebook, Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded, the 9D9 in Jabba's palace was one of only a handful that escaped a mass recall, due to a defect that made them prone to torturing other droids.
[08:40] Where Have We Seen That Booth Before?
A want-to-be bounty hunter named Toro Calican calls Mando over to a booth after he overhears his conversation with 9D9. It's the exact same booth where the infamous Han and Greedo scene plays out in A New Hope. To cement the callback to the original scene, Toro is even seen sitting back in the seat with his boots up on the table - the same way Han sits during his confrontation with Greedo. Naturally, the first question one would ask is, "Who shot first?" Without actually answering the question, it's worth noting that there aren't any scorch marks on the wall from blaster fire. Maybe they just cleaned it up, or maybe Favreau is giving fans a definitive answer to the age old question.
[09:17] The Dune Sea
Toro mentions that Fennec Shand is headed "out beyond the Dune Sea." The Dune Sea is first mentioned in A New Hope, when we hear Luke say, "I don't know any Obi-Wan, but old Ben lives out beyond the Dune Sea." The Dune Sea is also home to the Sarlacc pit seen in Return of the Jedi, which might be relevant later in this episode.
[10:36] A GNK Power Droid
[11:54] Speeder Bikes
These particular speeder bikes actually look like swoop bikes, which are a faster and more dangerous variant of the vehicles we see in use on Endor in Return of the Jedi. Although that is technically their first appearance in the original trilogy, they were later added in the 1997 special edition release of A New Hope. Incidentally, that makes their debut in the original trilogy something of a "who shot first?" dilemma. But we would imagine it's far less controversial.
[12:10] "This ain't Corellia."
Corellia is a bustling planet in the Core Worlds, which was home to Han Solo, Wedge Antilles and a host of other characters from both canon and non-canon properties. It's also home to the Corellian Engineering Corporation, manufacturer of the YT-1300 freighter and numerous other ships depicted in the Star Wars universe.
It may seem odd to throw binoculars on this list since they're such a common device. Sadly, they're not the same model of binoculars that Luke used in A New Hope - a missed opportunity if you ask us. But there's a little more to this callback than the device itself. While Toro is peering through the binoculars, Tusken Raiders manage to sneak up right behind him - just as they did to Luke.
[13:34] Banthas and Tusken Raiders
Through Toro's binoculars, we see Banthas and Tusken Raiders off in the distance. Banthas are a large, mammalian species that inhabit Tatooine, which were often domesticated and used by Tusken Raiders as mounts. They first appear in A New Hope and later in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
Tusken Raiders, informally referred to as Sand People, are a nomadic, primitive and typically hostile sentient species native to Tatooine. As with banthas, they first appear in A New Hope and later in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Famously, they are used as a plot device to show Anakin's gradual turn to the dark side, when he slaughters an entire encampment of Tuskens - women and children included. Somehow, Mando is able to negotiate with these Tuskens using some sort of sign language. Could Luke have avoided his run in, if he had just given them his binoculars?
[13:53] A Gaderffii Stick
One of the Tusken Raiders that sneaks up behind Toro is wielding a gaderffii stick, a club-like weapon favored by the Tuskens. According to the canon short story anthology, From a Certain Point of View, they would douse the bent end of the club with sandbat venom in order to paralyze their victims.
[15:06] A Dewback
Mando and Toro happen upon a dewback with a dead body attached to it. Dewbacks are a reptilian species native to Tatooine, which were used as beasts of burden and mounts. They first appear in A New Hope, where we see specialized storm troopers riding them through the desert. They also made a subsequent appearance in The Phantom Menace.
[16:57] "She's got the high ground."
When Mando and Toro are discussing what to do about Fennec Shand firing down on them from a distant ridge line, Mando notes that she has the high ground. This is a reference to a famous line spoken by Obi-wan Kenobi during his lightsaber duel with Anakin Sywalker in Revenge of the Sith.
[22:55] "There's still time to make my rendezvous in Mos Espa."
Mos Espa was a Hutt-controlled settlement on Tatooine, where Anakin Skywalker and his mother lived as slaves. It first appeared in The Phantom Menace and subsequently, in Attack of the Clones.
[29:38] "Drag it to Beggar's Canyon."
Peli tells her pit droids to dispose of the body by dragging it to Beggar's Canyon. This location was first mentioned in A New Hope, when Luke and Biggs Darklighter enter the trench of the Deathstar and it reminds them of Beggar's Canyon. This location made it's first on-screen appearance in The Phantom Menace, where it serves as a segment of the podracer course in the Boonta Eve Classic.
[30:10] The Chinking of Spurs
In the closing scene of this episode, we see a dark figure approach the body of Fennec Shand. We can't see anything above the knees, so it's impossible to tell who it might be. However, there is an eerily familiar sound when this figure walks - the sound of chinking spurs. The exact same sound was heard when Boba Fett makes his entrance at Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. Is this a tease that he might be showing up in this series? We'll have to wait and see. But it's worth note that this dark figure has a cape that extends down to his ankles, while Fett was always depicted with a much shorter cape.
That's at least another 31 Easter eggs, fan nods and callbacks in this episode. But we've probably overlooked a few, so please let us know what we might have missed in the comments or on social media!
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