The Mandalorian, season 2: Episode 1’s Easter eggs and secrets explained

The day has finally arrived, Star Wars fans: The Mandalorian has returned! Season 2 of Disney’s flagship series premiered October 30 on Disney+, continuing the adventures of bounty hunter Din Djarin as he attempts to find a safe home for his adorable, Force-wielding traveling partner, Baby Yoda.

Episode 1 of the second season of The Mandalorian is titled The Marshal and finds the pair journeying back to a familiar planet in order to figure out the next step in their quest. There’s a lot to absorb in every episode of The Mandalorian, so we’ll provide a recap of the latest episode each week and take a deep dive into some of its noteworthy elements. (There will be a discussion of plot points from the episode, so consider this a spoiler warning.)

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Recap

After a brief, violent visit to a shady outpost in search of information about where Din Djarin and Baby Yoda can find more Mandalorians, the pair end up back on the desert planet Tatooine. They reunite with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in Mos Eisley before heading off to the remote town of Mos Pelgo, where they meet Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) the town’s resident peacekeeper and protector. Vanth is wearing Mandalorian armor — specifically, the armor of iconic Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett — and the pair strike a deal: If Djarin helps Vanth eliminate a deadly sand creature terrorizing the town, Vanth will give the Mandalorian armor to Djarin.

Their efforts to kill the monstrous predator force them to forge an uneasy alliance between the residents of Mos Pelgo and the Tuskens, but the plan eventually pays off. The explosive, messy resolution to their agreement leaves Djarin with a battered set of Mandalorian armor, but he might also have a new enemy, as a mysterious figure watches him depart with the armor — a figure that could very well be Boba Fett himself.

Who is Cobb Vanth?

Although this might be many fans’ first introduction to Cobb Vanth, the lawman already has quite a history in the Star Wars universe. Vanth was first introduced in Chuck Wendig’s 2015 novel Star Wars: Aftermath, which follows a ragtag group of unlikely heroes brought together to hunt down former Imperial officers who went into hiding after the fall of the Galactic Empire. The book also features several side stories that explore events transpiring around the outer rim of the galaxy as various figures fill the void left by the Empire’s destruction.

In Aftermath, Vanth is revealed to be a former slave who freed himself and became the sheriff of Mos Pelgo. He acquired Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor in a deal with some Jawas who had scavenged the wreckage of Jabba the Hutt’s sand barge and used the armor to protect Mos Pelgo. While serving as the town’s sheriff and de facto leader, he repeatedly defended it from various crime syndicates and other threats, and at one point, counted Jabba’s former beast trainer and an infant Hutt among his allies.

This episode of The Mandalorian takes some liberties with the timeline and events described in Aftermath, but anyone interested in more information about Vanth should dive into Wendig’s trilogy of novels — which are considered part of Star Wars’ official canon — to discover what happened in and around Mos Pelgo prior to Din Djarin’s arrival in town.

Featured creatures

The season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian begins with a cameo by some familiar aliens from Star Wars lore: A pair of Gamorreans. The green-skinned, pig-like humanoid species made its first appearance in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, where they were seen serving as guards in Jabba the Hutt’s palace.

The massive creature at the center of the episode’s story also has a long history in Star Wars lore — in fact, it’s one of the first creatures introduced in the franchise. The skeleton of a Krayt Dragon (the creature’s official name) appears in George Lucas’ 1977 franchise-spawning film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in a scene featuring the main characters traveling across the sands of Tatooine. According to Star Wars mythology, Krayt Dragons (and not Sarlaccs) are the apex predators of Tatooine, as their ability to travel around the environment at will — along with their acidic venom and aggressive nature — makes them the most dangerous threat to inhabitants of the harsh planet.

It’s worth noting that there’s a brief scene near the end of episode in which the Tuskens are seen lifting a large, pearl-like object from the innards of the dead Krayt Dragon. These pearls formed inside the body of a Krayt Dragon are considered one of the most valuable resources on Tatooine, second only to water, which explains the Tuskens’ celebration after finding one inside the creature.

Boba Fett, we presume?

The closing scene of the episode features an unidentified character watching Djarin and Baby Yoda speed away with Vanth’s Mandalorian armor. The character is portrayed by Temuera Morrison, who entered the Star Wars franchise in 2002’s Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. In that film, Morrison portrayed Jango Fett, the mercenary whose genetic material was used to create the Galactic Republic’s massive army of clone troopers, as well as the father of Boba Fett, who witnessed his father’s death at the lightsaber of Jedi Master Mace Windu (Samuel Jackson).

Morrison was confirmed to be playing Boba Fett in the second season of The Mandalorian, but the circumstances behind his presence in the series — specifically, how Fett survived his fall into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi — remain a mystery. How he ended up separated from his precious Mandalorian armor is also unknown, as well as what he plans to do once he tracks Djarin down.

Disney’s The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+ with new episodes premiering each Friday on the streaming service.

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