It's no secret that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have managed to work an incredible number of Easter eggs and callbacks into every episode of The Mandalorian. We've scoured over each episode multiple times attempting to catalog these references, and we've found nearly a hundred of them in the first six episodes of the series! But this post isn't about those obvious references, or even the slightly more obscure ones. It's a prediction of what's to come, based in part on some incredibly vague and ambiguous references. We also have six trailers which contain a handful of scenes we haven't yet witnessed in the series. And last, but certainly not least, we have some pre-release notes for Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 that include a handful of actor credits. It's enough to offer a decent idea of what's left in this story. But I certainly don't have all the answers.
A Thought About the Series Format
Before we start looking into the crystal ball, I thought it might be worthwhile to mention something that only dawned on me recently. Some fans of the show have suggested that Chapters 4, 5 and 6 felt like filler episodes which didn't do much to progress the story line. A handful of notable publications have also seized on that theme, describing the format as an "adventure of the week" rather than an overarching story. After careful consideration, I've come to believe that was exactly what Favreau intended. If you've read through our Easter egg lists, you may recall that a couple episodes held some obscure references to supplements for an old Star Wars roleplaying game. That game system, aptly named Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, was developed by West End Games (WEG) in 1987. Despite being discontinued in 1999 after WEG declared bankruptcy, it remains incredibly relevant because its 140+ sourcebooks laid much of the groundwork for what would become the Expanded Universe (now referred to as Legends). Lucasfilm considered WEG's sourcebooks so authoritative that they actually provided copies to Timothy Zahn to use as reference material when he was hired write the Thrawn trilogy. In 1994, author and WEG game designer Peter Schweighofer founded the Star Wars Adventure Journal. This was a hefty, 15-issue publication that contained supplements for the roleplaying game, along with a plethora of short stories to provide players with inspiration. One of the Easter eggs in Chapter 5 was a reference to a short story Peter had written called "Limping Lady." Another, in Chapter 6, may have been a reference to a short story from Issue 14, titled "No Disintegrations, Please" (more to come on that).
I offer this background information only to support the notion that Favreau may have envisioned the show to be something like a gaming group's adventures. Sometimes an adventure only took one session; other times, it might stretch across several sessions. While each adventure would be unique, you'd often have tie-ins, repeat characters or repeat settings in the larger campaign. In a lot of ways, it's exactly what The Mandalorian story arc feels like to this point.
[*** Potential Spoiler Warning for The Mandalorian (all episodes, including future ones) ***]
Without further ado, let's see if we can assemble the puzzle pieces we have to create a decent picture of what's coming up in the last two episodes.
The Return of Greef Karga
The pre-release description for Chapter 7 reads: "An old rival extends an invitation for The Mandalorian to make peace." Without much hesitation, I'm pretty certain that old rival is Greef Karga. If you're wondering why, just re-watch the trailers. We're still missing two scenes with Karga. The first shows Karga and three other apparent bounty hunters about to meet up with Mando. The second scene shows Karga following Mando out of a doorway, as he downs several stormtroopers.
Take note of the deep blast marks on the right side of the doorway, as those will tie into another trailer scene.
The Return of Cara Dune
As long as we're one the topic of returning characters, let's talk about a few more that I'm nearly certain will be returning. The first is Cara Dune. She's already credited in the pre-release notes for Episode 7, so she's definitely going to show up at some point. But we also have three shots of her from the trailers we haven't yet seen in the show. One where she's pulling weapons out of Mando's locker in the Razor Crest. One where she's firing some sort of heavy blaster, with a lifeless stormtrooper visible at the right edge of the shot. And one where she's leaned up against a wall and says the line, "Who are they waiting for?" While that last image is a low-resolution closeup shot from a Twitter teaser, we do have a much higher resolution still frame available from Cara's starwars.com Databank entry.
We've never seen Cara in Mando's weapons locker, nor anywhere near a stormtrooper, so these are surely shots from an upcoming episode. Also, take note of the blast mark above her shoulder and the blown out circular window to the right in the last two images. It looks like she's probably inside the same building as Mando and Karga are running out of in the earlier shot.
The Return of IG-11
The next character that I'm relatively certain is making a return is IG-11. We have one shot from the trailers that still hasn't shown up in the series. It shows a droid that looks exactly like IG-11, and he seems to be responding to Cara Dune. I can't be sure these shots weren't cut together for the trailer. But what I can be sure of, is that IG-11 is wearing bandoleirs in every scene in Chapter 1. Since they're very clearly missing in this shot, it's definitely yet to be seen footage.
As to how IG-11 makes it back into operation, I have two plausible theories. The first is that the Jawas on Arvala-7 could have salvaged the droid from the compound and repaired him - that wouldn't be outside of their usual practices at all. Moreover, Kyle Pacek - a dwarf stuntman that also plays a Jawa in previous episodes - is credited in the pre-release notes for Chapters 7 and 8, indicating we are likely to see more Jawas. A second theory is that the Kuiil, being a highly skilled mechanic, picked him up and repaired him for use on his farmstead. We know that the compound where he was destroyed is not terribly from Kuiil's abode, as Mando made it there on a Blurrg in less than a day.
The question is how IG-11 would meet back up with Mando, even if he were repaired? And the answer likely involves another run-in with Kuiil. Unfortunately, there are no trailer shots to support that theory. But we do have something of a breadcrumb. Mando once asked Kuiil to join his crew. It felt like an odd inquiry at the time because Mando didn't appear to have a crew. But that might have been some very deliberate foreshadowing on Favreau's part.
If that isn't enough to convince you, I'll remind you of the interview that Taika Waititi did at the D23 expo. In it, he says that IG-11 has an "amazing story arc through the series." It's hard to imagine that he would make such a statement about the short screen time IG-11 received in Chapter 1. And if anyone would know what IG-11's future holds aside from Favreau and Filoni, it's Waititi. Not only is he the voice actor for IG-11, but also the director for episodes 1 and 8.
The Return of the Prisoner (no, not that one)
I'm not talking about Qin from Chapter 6. I'm talking about another prisoner on that ship that had only a few seconds of screen time. He's an Imperial officer that was locked in the very first cell Mando peered into after they infiltrated the prison ship. Why do I think he's returning? Because the actor in that cell is Jamal Antar. And while he wasn't credited in Chapter 6, despite appearing in the episode for a few seconds, he is credited in the pre-release notes for Chapter 8. It's possible that the episode 6 title even held double-meaning, because not only is Antar credited in the episode 8 notes - he's credited as "The Prisoner."
As to what he's doing there, I couldn't say for sure. But the New Republic obviously wanted him to answer for some crime. Perhaps he has ties with Moff Gideon, and a maybe even some sort of special skill set that Gideon will make use of to try to best Mando and his companions. Or maybe he'll end up being the cliffhanger leading into season 2. Search your feelings! You know they're going to leave us with some sort of cliffhanger.
Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito, has yet to make his debut. Of course, we have several shots of him from the trailers and he's credited in the Chapter 7 pre-release notes. So he'll be making his appearance very soon. But where? I think I can answer that question with a fair bit of confidence: Nevarro. I get to that shortly.
I believe Moff Gideon is the higher up that The Client and Dr. Pershing answer to - the ultimate source of the bounty for the Yodalorian. Fed up with the failures of his subordinates and hired hands, I think he's going to decide to take the task on himself. But not alone - no, sir - he'll be bringing an army of specialized stormtroopers to Nevarro with him. And there's several shots from trailer that support that idea - the most obvious of which is a shot of a grinning Gideon flanked by an army of stormtroopers and chrometroopers (more on that in a moment).
Assault on Nevarro
We have several trailer shots that the support this prediction. The one of Moff Gideon, above, for starters. But worry not, there's much more than that. We also have a side shot of the chrometroopers lined up, with heavy blasters trained on something. I'm not sure what they're really called, but they look a lot like Captain Phasma, don't they? Could their armor be some sort of Beskar alloy? Let's hope not, for Mando's sake.
Next up, we have a rear shot of the Moff Gideon scene, where he and all the troopers are facing a building riddled with heavy blaster shots. You'll note that the door I mentioned above in the Greef Karga section is shown here on the lower left of this shot (compare the placement of the door panel and the blaster marks). Also note that there is a round window just right of center that is blown out. That looks a lot like the blown out circular window we see to Cara Dune's right in her Databank article. It's probably not a coincidence.
I would also note that Gideon is wearing a long black cape in this scene. Our mystery character at the end of episode 5 also wore a long back cape. Another possibility is the Mandalorian was the one that went back - he, too, has a long dark cape. In contrast, Boba Fett wears a relatively short cape that isn't dark colored, so I very much doubt it's him - unless he was forced into a costume change after climbing out of the Sarlaac pit.
Last, but not least, we have a very brief shot of stormtroopers filing into the Mandalorian Armorer's forge room. That can't be a good sign, as it means that Gideon and his troops have identified the location of their covert. Let's hope that the other Mandalorians and the foundlings have made it safely away by this point.
This assault on Nevarro may very well be the trigger that turns Greef Karga into a Mando sympathizer and gets Mando to return here, despite the risks to himself and the Child. And given how outnumbered they appear to be in these trailer shots, it really doesn't look good for them. Do Gideon and his forces have the numbers necessary to seize the Yodalorian from Mando?
Mando's Childhood Flashback Montage Completed (I hope)?
There are two actors in the series that we've barely seen at all on-screen, despite them being credited in three different episodes. I'm referring to Mando's parents, played by Bernard Bullen and Alexandra Manea. Many fans are wondering if they're going to bring that flashback montage to completion so we can find out how Mando was rescued - and perhaps more importantly, by whom.
Unfortunately, I can't tell you with certainty that Favreau and team are going to close out that little cliffhanger this season. But what I can tell you is that the two actors that play his parents are both credited in the pre-release notes for episode 8. So perhaps - if we're really lucky - that means they're going to finish that segment of his backstory. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Mando's Getting A Jetpack
We had a little jetpack teaser in episode 3, when Paz Vizla is flying alongside the Razor Crest. Mando says something to the effect of, "I've gotta get one of those." Well, don't worry - he's getting one before the last episode. One of the trailers dropped a hint of this already. There's a scene where Mando is flailing through the air attached to the back of a TIE fighter. It almost seems like he uses his wrist-mounted grappling hook to pull himself up onto the TIE. But if you look closely, he leaves tiny little white streaks behind him. And as he reaches the top, you can just barely make out a metallic canister peeking out from under his cloak.
It's blurry because it's a really fast moving action scene that doesn't lend itself to still shots very well. Hopefully, you can see what I was talking about. Also, take note of the fact that he's attached to a TIE. That may be relevant soon.
The rest of this is pure speculation on my part, with only the tiniest bit of ambiguous supporting evidence. I want to get back to that Star Wars Adventure Journal short story I mentioned way back in the beginning. "No Disintegrations, Please" is actually a story about Boba Fett. In that story, he has to recover a high value bounty from a heavily fortified Imperial garrison on the Outer Rim planet of Vryssa. It's hard to say if they would introduce that specific Legends location into this series. But the location itself isn't all that critical. The writers only need to explain where this impressive contingent of Imperial troopers has been hanging out for the last five years without being noticed. Because Karga, The Armorer, and several others seem to think the Imperials are nearly extinct.
There could be a secret base on Nevarro, I suppose. But another Outer Rim planet nearby would make a lot more sense. Vryssa also has a decent backstory established. True, Boba Fett ran havoc in it somewhere around 1 BBY (if you accept the Legends tale). But would the Imperials have abandoned it afterwards? It seems unlikely. And it's the perfect sort of "off the radar" location for a surviving Imperial army to hide out from the New Republic.
Anyway, back to that short story. It begins with Fett hiding outside of the Imperial base, because Scout Troopers on speeder bikes are on high alert after hearing a rustle in the bushes. Luckily, Fett is able to jam their comm systems and quickly take them out. And incidentally, scout troopers on speeder bikes are one of those few remaining trailer scenes we haven't seen in the series yet.
I don't want to spoil everything, just in case this turns out to be an accurate prediction. Let's just say that an epic battle ensues outside the base, involving walkers and TIE fighters. Fett manages to get the best of their forces, despite the incredible odds against him, and forces the remaining troops to retreat back into the base and wait. Another coincidence, perhaps, because Moff Gideon flying a TIE is yet another scene from the trailers that we haven't seen yet.
Eventually, Fett manages to get inside the fortified facility. He makes his way to the control room in sub level 3 to cut the garrison power and give himself a tactical advantage. That sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it? Oh, that's right! Mando went to the control room in sub level 3 on the New Republic prison ship to close off the exits and turn off the lights. A breadcrumb, or just another coincidence? I'll let you decide. The final question to answer, assuming the above is even roughly accurate, is why Mando would bother assaulting a fortified Imperial base, or even risk his life against these forces at all. I have two suggestions to offer. Either they somehow manage to get a hold of the Yodalorian, or they take the Armorer as a prisoner. Since this whole series has been about Mandalorian's attachment to the Yodalorian, my money is on the former. However, the Armorer is obviously found by Gideon's forces. Since she is the spiritual and cultural leader of the covert, it makes for an equally convincing reason.
Let me know what you think about these theories! Do you have any predictions of your own? Let us hear them in the comments or on social media!