There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but Star Wars fans can be sure of one thing: A new episode of The Mandalorian is available on Disney+. Episode 2 of the second season of The Mandalorian picks up where last week’s chapter left off, as bounty hunter Din Djarin attempts to find sanctuary for his adorable, Force-wielding traveling partner, Baby Yoda.
Titled The Passenger, the second episode is directed by Ant-Man filmmaker Peyton Reed, and has the pair reluctantly agree to ferry a passenger to a nearby planet in the hope of gaining valuable information for their quest, only to end up fighting for their lives in a harsh, frozen environment. 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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After fending off an ambush on Tatooine, Din Djarin agrees to bring an alien passenger to a nearby planet in exchange for information about the whereabouts of more Mandalorians. Their journey is interrupted by a pair of New Republic X-Wings on patrol, and Djarin’s attempt to evade their notice leaves the trio — Djarin, Baby Yoda, and the passenger officially identified as “Frog Lady” — stranded on a frozen planet. Things get more complicated when they wake up a nest of terrifying, spider-like creatures that send them on the run, only to be saved at the very last moment by the same X-Wing pilots they fled earlier in the episode.
As with so many of the creatures appearing in The Mandalorian, the creepy, arachnid-like inhabitants of the planet where most of the episode is set have some history in Star Wars lore. First described as “knobby white spiders,” they appear in concept art created by legendary Star Wars franchise artist Ralph McQuarrie for 1980’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. The spiders’ homeworld is reported to be Dagobah, where Luke Skywalker was trained by Yoda in the film, and at one point the movie was expected to feature a battle between Skywalker and one or more of the spiders.
Although they were excised from The Empire Strikes Back, the spiders eventually made their first, official on-screen appearance in the animated series Star Wars Rebels, where they were identified as Krykna — a dangerous predator that also happened to be immune to animal-taming applications of The Force.
The Mandalorian has always played coy with characters’ true names, identifying the character informally known as Baby Yoda as “The Child” in official marketing for the series, and labeling Werner Herzog’s character from the first season as “The Client,” for example. In this episode, rather than simply referring to the amphibian-like character who joins them on their journey as “The Passenger” — as the episode’s title would seem to suggest — the episode’s creative team went a step further, identifying her as “Frog Lady.” It’s an appropriate name, given everything we see of her in the episode, but the most interesting part about her might be her behind-the-scenes credentials.
Frog Lady is portrayed by dancer and actor Misty Rosas, who also provided the motion-capture acting performance for Kuiil, the Ugnaught moisture farmer voiced by Nick Nolte who assisted Din Djarin in the show’s first season. While Rosas provided the on-camera, physical portrayal of Frog Lady, the character’s voice was provided by veteran Star Wars voice actor Dee Bradley Baker. You probably won’t recognize his voice from the episode, but Baker is best known for voicing all of the clone troopers that appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. Given the multitude of recurring and one-off troopers appearing across the series’ seven-season run and animated movie, that’s quite a bit of history supporting the series’ Frog Lady.
If some of the references to Din Djarin’s past in The Passenger are lost on you, give episode 6 of season 1, The Prisoner another viewing. That episode has Din Djarin assist in breaking a prisoner out of a New Republic prison ship, only to be double-crossed by the mercenaries he teamed up with on the mission. He manages to escape in the end, of course, and the episode concludes with a squadron of New Republic X-Wings emerging from hyperspace to destroy the mercenaries’ space station.
Djarin’s actions during that episode end up saving him in The Passenger, as the New Republic pilots acknowledge that he saved one of their own and led them to the mercenaries’ station, so saving him from the frozen planet zeroes out any debt the New Republic owes him. In the Star Wars universe, like anywhere else, actions tend to have consequences.
The Passenger packed in plenty of cameos along with all of the action in the episode. Much like the aforementioned season 1 episode The Prisoner, the X-Wing pilots in The Passenger were portrayed by some noteworthy individuals. Veteran Star Wars writer and director Dave Filoni — who wrote and directed episode 5 in season 1 and directed the series premiere of The Mandalorian — plays one of the two X-Wing pilots, reprising the role he played in The Prisoner, when he portrayed one of the New Republic pilots in the final scene of that episode.
Joining him as the other X-Wing pilot is actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, best known for his featured role in the critically praised Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience. Lee’s character is identified as Captain Carson Teva in the episode.
Last, but certainly not least, another actor from season 1’s The Prisoner also makes a return in The Passenger: Richard Ayoade. The British actor voiced the droid Zero in season 1, and now his voice can be heard again in this episode when Frog Lady repurposes Zero’s head as a translator.
Despite all of the cameos, however, there’s one character who’s conspicuously absent from the episode: Boba Fett. After (possibly) appearing in season 2’s first episode, the character — or rather, actor Temuera Morrison, who was rumored to be playing the iconic bounty hunter — was nowhere to be seen in The Passenger. Will that change in episode 3? We’ll find out in a week.
Disney’s The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+ with new episodes premiering each Friday on the streaming service.
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