The Mandalorian: An Episode-By-Episode Guide To The Star Wars References And In-Jokes

The Mandalorian

by Team Empire |
Updated on

Now that The Mandalorian is available to watch in the UK on Disney+, we can start to dig into the various callbacks, easter eggs and in-jokes that the show makes to the wider Star Wars galaxy. Let Empire take you on an episode-by-episode journey through the little details you might have missed...

FYI: We're going by UK release dates for each episode.

Episode One: The Mandalorian

Quarren-Seen

Mandalorian Quarren

We're introduced to a variety of villainous types in the bar on the frosty planet where the show kicks off. Among them is a tentacle-faced Quarren, a creature that shares a home world with the Mon Calamari (Admiral Akbar's race).

Besk-armour

The Mandalorian (crop)

The Beskar armour that the Mandalorian wears has been seen in Star Wars lore since Boba Fett sported it, but mostly in The Clone Wars and the comics. It's supposed to be tough enough to survive blaster hits and even a glancing blow from a lightsaber. Which will come in handy, as Mando certainly seems to get into trouble often.

Nosey Ferryman

Kubaz Mandalorian

A Kubaz pops up as a ferryman, organising passage across the dangerous ice fields. The creatures, who have more normally been seen as spies, first appeared in the original Star Wars. And the vehicles he summons are landspeeders, originally seen the very same film, as owned and piloted by Luke Skywalker.

Razor Crest's Edge

Transport Mandalorian

Mando's ship is the Razor Crest, which was built before the Empire. It's still mostly a mystery, but bears a resemblance to the Low Altitude Assault Transports used by the Republic to transport Clone Troopers in the prequel trilogy.

Life Day!

Life Day Star Wars

The blue-skinned Mythrol, Mando's bounty (played by Horatio Sanz) bemoans the fact that he won't be able to celebrate Life Day with his family. That's a reference likely to make George Lucas shudder, as it calls back to the much-mocked Star Wars Holiday Special, something that appears unlikely to appear on Disney+ any time soon. In fact, ever. Make that ever. And that's not the only reference – the stinger weapon that Mando uses on the creature is also seen in the special, as Boba Fett pops up in a cartoon segment.

Carbo-nice

Star Wars Han in Carbonite

The Mythrol, his escape thwarted, ends up frozen in Carbonite, a common storage system used by Mandalorian bounty hunters. Harrison Ford's Han Solo was most famously forced to chill out in the stuff starting in The Empire Strikes Back.

Gimme Some Credit

Mandalorian Greef Karga

The Mandalorian goes to meet with Greef Karga, played by Carl Weathers, who is a former Imperial Magistrate-turned-agent for the Bounty Hunters' Guild. He offers to pay Mando in Imperial Credits, which since the show takes place roughly five years after the Empire fell (you know, the whole Death Star kablooey thing), isn't a great deal. He also offers Calamari Flan (another reference to the Mon Calamari).

Door Droid

Gatekeeper droid Star Wars

When the Mandalorian reaches the building used by his latest, mysterious client, he has to get past a gatekeeper droid, which will be familiar to anyone who remembers Jabba's palace in Return Of The Jedi. Much better than a Ring doorbell.

GONK!

Star Wars gonk droid

Mando is led through the building by a GNK power droid. Better known as a Gonk droid for the noise they make. They first popped up in the original Star Wars but have become fan favourites.

Not-so Straight Shooters

Storm Troopers

The client is guarded by Storm Troopers (original flavour, known as Remnants), which points to his having been part of the Galactic Empire. Little is still known about him, but he's played by Werner Herzog, so he's a laconic blessing.

Salacious well-done

Salacious Crumb Star Wars

On his trip to the Mandalorian tribe house (not a theme restaurant), our hero passes a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard being roasted on a spit. It's the same species as the ever-cheerful Salacious Crumb from Jabba's palace. Bet he tastes like chicken.

Camp Mando

Mandalorian tribe base

The Mandalorian retreat is full of new information about them – they're a tribe, not a species and they honour a strict code. Much chatter has been made about the possibility that Boba Fett (hitherto the most famous Mandalorian in Star Wars) is lurking in the shadows here, but it's never been confirmed.

Oh, Blurrg

blurrg Mandalorian

The dino-cow creatures that the Mandalorian encounters are known as Blurrgs. They were first introduced in Ewok TV Movie Battle For Endor and have also been seen in Clone Wars and Rebels.

Ugnaught For You

Kuiil Mandalorian

You'll probably recognise Kuiil'z species as an Ugnaught, first seen doing manual labour on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. As for his voice? That's Nick Nolte, while Misty Rosas provided the performance capture for the character. He has spoken!

Did you Mythosaur it?

Mythosaur Mandalorian

Kuiil references Mythosaurs, which form part of the Mandalorian legend. The sigil based on the creatures are seen on armour in The Empire Strikes Back.

IG-Glee

IG-11

Voiced unmistakably by Taika Waititi (who is also directing episodes of the first season), logical bounty hunting droid IG-11 quickly makes an impact on the show, only to be killed off at the end of the episode. You might recognise his design as that of IG-88, one of the hunters Darth Vader recruits to hunt our heroes in The Empire Strikes Back.

Baby Yoda!

Buy Yoda

Yes, the true star of the show makes his –its? – first appearance at the end of the episode. Known in the series as "the asset" or "the child", it's the same species as famed Jedi master Yoda, and just as mysterious. Oh, and it's 50 years old already. Time takes a toll, but then this species lives to at least 900, so there's a trade-off.

Episode Two: The Child

Who's The Bossk?

Mandalorian Trandoshan

Mando is attacked early on by Trandoshans, fellow bounty hunters who are after his cute little charge. If they look familiar, that's because they're the same race as bounty hunter Bossk, who we briefly glimpse as part of the line-up in The Empire Strikes Back

Use the Force (healing)

Baby Yoda Force

Baby Yoda attempts to heal Mando's wound after the clash with the Trandoshans, but our masked hero doesn't seem to grasp what he's attempting. The technique will return in the show, and while it was used in Clone Wars, we had to wait until The Rise Of Skywalker before we saw it in live-action again, where it's a key story element.

Utinni troublemakers

Mandalorian Jawas

We briefly glimpsed one in Episode One, but Jawas, those cloaked troublemakers with the glowing eyes, form a major part of this episode. There's even a sandcrawler and Mando trying to climb it is straight out of a level of Super Star Wars on the SNES.

Wookiee Hole

Chewbacca

Chewbacca doesn't show up, but when Mando reluctantly meets with the Jawas to discuss a trade for the parts they stole from his ship, one of the diminutive beasts says he sounds like a Wookiee because of his dodgy attempt to speak their language.

More Force

Mudhorn force mandalorian

Once again, Baby Yoda uses the Force as Mando battles the Mudhorn, a creatures that is new to Star Wars. Our hero still doesn't seem to understand the child's power.

Episode Three: The Sin

Camtono? Camtoyes!

Willrow Reed Camtono

The container that Herzog's "Client" uses the store the Beskar bars forming Mando's payment for delivering the child might look familiar to eagle-eyed viewers of The Empire Strikes Back. It's the same odd object carried by a man named Willrow Hood as he runs through Cloud City. It always looked like an ice cream maker, but now we know it's a safe!

Droid Flashback

Super Battle Droids

When Mando returns to the tribe's hideout and receives newly forged armour (plus those funky Whistling Bird weapons), he has another flashback to his younger days and the attack on his home which left him a foundling in the care of the Mandalorians. The footage includes B2 Super Battle Droids, originally glimpsed in Attack Of The Clones.

Spa day?

Bib Fortuna

When Mando returns to the cantina on Nevarro to meet with Greef Karga about more work, the guild agent suggests a break and offers to take him to the Twi'lek healing baths. You might know the Twi'leks as Bib Fortuna's race, the tentacle-headed humanoids. See also: Oola, one of Jabba's dancers, who suffered a nasty death at the hands (and teeth) of the Rancour.

Mon Calamity

Admiral Ackbar

The job that Mando eventually takes (but quickly forgets about) is to bring in a bail jumper, the son of a Mon Calamari nobleman. It's another reference to the species that counts Admiral Ackbar among its number.

Question time

IT-O Interrogation Unit

During his assault on the client's offices to rescue the child after a change of heart, several storm troopers suffer his wrath. And he also takes out a floating IT-O Interrogation Unit, which you might recognise as the same model that menaces Princess Leia on the Death Star in the original Star Wars.

Driver droid

R6 droid

Ambushed by his fellow bounty hunters, Mando attempts escape on a speeder piloted by an R6 Astromech droid. They're rarely as reliable as, say, an R2 unit.

Flying rescue

Boba Fett

Confronted by a group of angry bounty hunters, Mando is rescued by his fellow Mandalorians, deploying their rocket packs in a way that Boba Fett could only have dreamed of. It's such a cool action sequence.

Episode Four: Sanctuary

Klatoonian Platoon(ian)

Kltoonian

The raiders attacking the peace-loving farmer folk of Sorgan were briefly seen in Return Of The Jedi and have since been popping up in other films, comic books and TV shows for years.

Like a rat

Womp Rats

Mando, on the hunt for somewhere to hide out with Baby Yoda, selects Sorgan as his destination, and says they'll law low like womp rats. Let's hope Luke Skywalker – who claims to bullseye them on Tatooine in Star Wars, doesn't happen along.

Love that Loth-cat

Loth cat

Check out the beast that scares poor Baby Yoda in the common house.

As with several elements of the show, the Loth-cat is carried over from Dave Filoni's Star Wars Rebels, but this is the first appearance in "live-action" (it's a CGI critter).

And Dune

Cara Dune

This episode introduces a character who will go on to become important in the show – Carasynthia "Cara" Dune (Gina Carano). She initially goes toe-to-toe in combat with Mando, but eventually becomes an ally. The shock troopers haven't been seen in Star Wars before, but she explains they're specialised infantry hunting down the remnants of the Empire. She's since left the Rebel Alliance and now works as a mercenary.

Walker this way

AT-ST

One of the best elements of this episode – beyond the entertaining use of the Seven Samurai/Western tropes – is the AT-ST. The scrappy cousin of the AT-AT walkers, it was seen at the Battle of Endor in Return Of The Jedi, where several were taken down by Ewoks. The walker used in this episode looks cooler than those, with the glowing red "eyes", but it is similarly doomed.

Kubaz kablooey

Kubaz Bounty Hunter Star Wars

Another Kubaz, this time a bounty hunter who takes aim at Mando before Cara takes out the long-nosed baddie.

--

Episode Five: The Gunslinger

Just deserts

Tatooine star wars

With episode five, the show finally reaches one of the most famous destinations in Star Wars history: Tatooine. The desert planet that kicks off the original film and has been seen endlessly ever since.

One in the Eisley

Mos Eisley

Our hero lands the Razor Crest at the Mos Eisley space port. Yes, that space port.

Got a Motto

Peli Motto Mandalorian

Peli Motto hasn't been seen in Star Wars before, we just wanted to note that she's played by Amy Sedaris, who is typically great in the role.

Gamble away

Sabacc Star Wars

Peli plays sabacc with her droids, the gambling game that has been referenced before and seen primarily in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Drink up

Mos Eisley Cantina

Another iconic Wars location: Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina, where Luke got into trouble, he met Han and Chewie and secured passage on the Falcon. It's worth noting that droids were not welcome at that time; now they work there.

Calican Man

Toro Calican

A newcomer to Wars lore, Toro Calican is a wannabe bounty hunter, played by Jake Cannavale, son of Bobby Cannavale.

Need for Speed(er) Bikes

Mandalorian Speeder Bikes

Mando and Toro head off on speeder bikes, which were a key part of the Empire's forces on Endor in Return Of The Jedi.

See to believe

Macrobinoculars

Calican has a pair of Macrobinoculars, as used by Luke Skywalker in Skywalker to spy on Tusken Raiders. Toro and Mando use them to observe...

Raid away

Tusken Raiders

...Tusken Raiders! They have giant, cow-like Banthas, because of course they do.

Back up

Dewback Star Wars

And, because this is Tatooine, there's a Dewback sighting. Related to Blurrgs? No one is saying.

Fennec's next stop

Mos Espa

Fennec Shand – played by Ming-Na Wen – is an assassin and Mando/Calican's target. Late in the episode, she makes mention of Mos Espa space port, as seen in The Phantom Menace.

Dead man's canyon

Beggar's Canyon Star Wars

Calican tries to double-cross our hero, but ends up dead. Peri tells her droids to drag his body to Beggar's Canon, as referenced by Luke Skywalker when considering the challenges of the trenches of the Death Star in the original Star Wars.

Episode Six: The Prisoner

Mayfield goals

Mayfield Mandalorian

One of the mercenaries headed on the mission to jailbreak an associate is Mayfield, played by Bill Burr. The character is described as a former sharpshooter for the Empire, which, purely based on Stormtrooper accuracy, sounds like an oxymoron. He denies it, by the way. Oh, and Burr is reportedly coming back for Season 2.

The Bight stuff

Canto Bight Star Wars

Mayfield describes the Razor Crest as "a Canto Bight slot machine", AKA the Monaco-style gambling world seen in The Last Jedi.

The Devaronian in the details

Devonian Star Wars

Another of the criminals is Burg, played by character legend Clancy Brown (who has also had voice roles in Clone Wars and Rebels). A member of his race is briefly glimpsed in the Mos Eisley Cantina in the original Star Wars.

Zero sum

Richard Ayoade/Zero Mandalorian

Q9-0, AKA Zero, is an addition to the long line of droids in the Wars galaxy. A droid similar in appearance shows up in episode three. And the machine is voiced by The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade.

Xi'an time

Xi'an Mandalorian

Natalia Tena (AKA Nymphadora Tonks in the Potter films) is Xi'an, another Twi'lek for the series, who forms part of the mercenary gang. She and Mando have history...

One Republic (Ship)

Republic Prison ship mandalorian

It turns out that the prison ship this unlikely alliance is breaking into (and hopefully back out of), is a New Republic vessel. AKA the good guys! From a certain point of view, at least.

Ghost story

Ghost Star Wars

This could be us reading too much into an off-hand comment, but Mando pal Ran says the Razor Crest is off both Imperial and Rebel radars, making it a Ghost. Which just so happens to be the name of the ship in Rebels.

Cleaning crew

MSE Droid Star Wars

One of the droids aboard the ship is an MSE-6 series repair droid (AKA a mouse droid), as famously scared by Chewbacca in Star Wars.

A beacon of hope

Homig Beacon Star Wars

The tracking beacon used in this episode is an example of something that has long been a plot point in Star Wars. There are tracking beacons and homing beacons all over the place.

X-Winging it

X-Wings Mandalorian

After all the betrayal, Mando escapes the space station and the beacon calls in three X-Wing fighters, who destroy the place. The ships are piloted by Trapper Wolf, Jib Dodger, and Sash Ketter, who also happen to be show co-creator Dave Filoni, and directors Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow.

Episode Seven: The Reckoning

Past sins

Kuill Mandalorian

When Mando and Cara bring Baby Yoda to Kuill's moisture farm on Arvala-7, The Ugnaught reveals that he fought on the "other side" – though he was an indentured servant of the Empire and paid off his debts before freeing himself.

Mary Robotins

IG-11 reprogrammed Mando

IG-11 is back! Did anyone really expect a character voiced by Taika Waititi to just vanish after one appearance. Kuill has reprogrammed him as an ally. He'll now guard the child, though Mando isn't convinced.

Klaatu Barada Nikto

Nikto mando

Among the bounty hunters accompanying Greef when he meets Mando in the desert are a Trandoshan and a Kadas'sa'Nikto male. The latter species first appeared in Return Of The Jedi, and are called Nikto for short.

Tattoo you

Cara tattoo mando

Greef worries about Cara's Rebel arm tattoo, which he sees as a red flag for any Imperial forces they may encounter on the way to deal with the Client (Werner Herzog's warlord). No one makes mention of the (admittedly small) Rebel insignia on her face.

Healing arm

Baby Yoda healing

Baby Yoda heals Greef's arm after the flying beast attack. As we mentioned previously, this was set up way back in the second episode and the ability also ties into Rise Of Skywalker.

Scout louts

Scout troopers

With a new plan in mind, Mando and the rest head into town, which is now crawling with Imperial forces. They encounter Scout Troopers, which had their Wars debut in Return Of The Jedi.

Spar-tender

RA-7 droid

The robo-barman in the cantina where Mando and co. meet the client is an RA-7 Protocol droid, more usually used in the past by the Empire as spies. Wonder if his memory banks know everybody's name.

Top Moff

Moff Gideon Mando

A holocall comes in, and we finally meet the Imperial baddie who seems certain to dominate the next season: Moff Gideon, played by Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul/so many things' Giancarlo Esposito.

Death From... er... outside

Death Troopers

Things take a turn for the violent when Death Troopers show up and start blasting. We first saw them (a helmet fragment at least) in The Force Awakens.

Toy heaven

Troop Transport mando

The troop transport that arrives carrying more Stormtroopers is a classic for anyone who was around at the initial toy release for Star Wars back in the 1970s. The transport doesn't show up in the movie, but was a toy released by Kenner.

Tie die

Outlander TIE Mando

Gideon has a frankly awesome TIE Fighter known as an Outland fighter. It can land! Usually those things dock with ships. Or, er crash.

Episode Eight: Redemption

Scouts (Dis)honour

Scouts Ep 8

The two Scout Troopers who so coldly murdered Kuill and snatched Baby Yoda live up to Stormtrooper cliche by hilariously being unable to shoot a piece of debris. They're played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally, and behave terrible towards poor BY. Which makes their run-in with IG-11 all the sweeter.

Blast 'em!

E-Web cannon

Gideon's troops roll out a classic Imperial weapon, the E-web heavy repeating blaster, which we first saw used on Hoth against the Rebel forces in The Empire Strikes Back.

A Right Old Din

Pedro P mandalorian

Not a Star Wars reference in itself, but something we've been waiting for: Moff Gideon reveals that Mando's name is actually Din Djarin. Oh, and that Cara was born on Alderaan.

Manda-lore

Mandalore

It's finally revealed that Mandalorians are not all from the planet Mandalore, but that it's a creed that takes in and trains foundlings. Including Mando... er... Din Djarin.

Flame on!

Incinerator trooper

The flamethrowing Stormtrooper is an Incinerator Trooper, the type first introduced in the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Bacta basics

Bacta Mandalorian

The spray that IG-11 uses to help treat our hero's wounds is the same liquid that Luke Skywalker was dunked in following his encounter with the Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back.

Great fighter

Mandalorian armorer

The armourer references an individual named Mandalore The Great who, she says, clashed with the Jedi. And she also says the Jedi have become myths, which seems awfully quick since Luke used force powers just a few years ago. Not to mention all the Jedi action a few decades before that. How quickly people forget!

Hello, Darksaber my old friend

Darksaber

Cutting himself out of his crashed TIE Fighter, Moff Gideon wields the Darksaber, a legendary weapon of Mandalorians that was created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi Order. It has been seen in both Clone Wars and Rebels. How Moff Gideon obtained it remains a mystery.

We'll be back next season!

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