Look out for spiders and hide your eggs, Star Wars fans. A new episode of The Mandalorian is available on Disney+. Episode 3 of the second season of The Mandalorian continues bounty hunter Din Djarin’s quest to find a safe home for his adorable, eternally hungry traveling partner, Baby Yoda, and features plenty of callbacks to the greater Star Wars universe.
Titled The Heiress, the third episode of season 2 is directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed the season 1 episode Sanctuary. The episode has the pair journeying to the aquatic moon Trask in search of fellow Mandalorians who can help them in their search for the remaining Jedi. There’s a lot to absorb in every episode of The Mandalorian — and particularly in this episode — 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 their adventure with ice spiders in episode 2, Din Djarin and The Child (aka Baby Yoda) finally arrive on Trask with their passenger, Frog Lady. After following a lead on the whereabouts of local Mandalorians, they’re saved from an ambush by those same Mandalorians — a trio that includes the famous soldier and former ruler of Mandalore, Bo-Katan Kryze. Despite some misgivings about the trio’s faithfulness to The Way of the Mandalore he had been raised to follow, Djarin agrees to help them raid an Imperial ship transporting stolen Mandalorian weapons and armor. Their mission is successful, and the trio leaves with the stolen ship after telling Djarin to seek out a former Jedi named Ahsoka Tano.
That sound you might have heard while watching episode 3 is the collective gasp of legions of Star Wars fans when one of Djarin’s Mandalorian rescuers reveals herself to be Bo-Katan Kryze. A Mandalorian introduced in the fourth season of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Lady Bo-Katan Kryze was voiced by Battlestar Galactica actress Katee Sackhoff throughout that series, as well as Star Wars Rebels, and she also portrays the live-action version of the character in The Mandalorian.
A former member of a Mandalorian terrorist group who eventually became one of Mandalore’s most inspiring leaders, Kryze has one of the most tumultuous histories of any character in the Star Wars mythology. At various points in her history, Kryze was an exiled terrorist, an ally of the Sith, a freedom fighter for Mandalore, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ally and savior, the ruler of Mandalore, and the wielder of the legendary Darksaber. A staunch protector of Mandalorian culture, Kryze is the sister of Duchess Satine Kryze, who pushed Mandalore to embrace pacifism and neutrality during her reign — a reign that was opposed by Bo-Katan, who believed that Mandalore’s military culture was better-suited to preserve its future.
In the Star Wars timeline, Bo-Katan Kryze was last seen using the Darksaber to rally the Mandalorians to resist the Galactic Empire ahead of the Great Purge — an Imperial massacre that killed off most of the Mandalorians and scattered the remaining survivors across the galaxy.
While some fans of The Mandalorian might think that Djarin’s aversion to removing his helmet is “the way” for Mandalorians, this episode serves as a reminder that this isn’t actually the case for the greater Mandalorian culture. Anyone familiar with the Mandalorians introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels series knows that Mandalorian culture — as militaristic as it is — isn’t nearly as rigid as the system of beliefs Djarin was raised to follow.
As Bo-Katan explains in this episode, The Way of the Mandalore that Djarin follows was created by an intensely religious sect of Mandalorians who dubbed themselves “Children of the Watch” — or, as Bo-Katan calls them in the episode, “The Watch.” Considered religious zealots by much of Mandalore, the Children of the Watch nevertheless made protecting fellow Mandalorians one of the tenets of their beliefs, right along with never removing your helmet in front of any living creature. Having been raised by the Children of the Watch and taught that their rules were “the way” for all Mandalorians, Djarin naturally experiences some dissonance when confronted by a group of actual Mandalorians who don’t abide by that rigid system of beliefs.
One of the most-discussed moments of the season 1 finale of The Mandalorian was the closing scene in which it’s revealed that Imperial officer Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is in possession of the Darksaber, a Jedi-style lightsaber with a blade of dark energy. The Darksaber was created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi, a great many years before the Galactic Republic came into existence (and long before the events of the Star Wars prequel trilogy).
The Darksaber passed through several hands over the years, and grew to become a symbol of Mandalore and its ruler. Prior to the events of The Mandalorian, the Darksaber was last seen in Bo-Katan’s possession during the events of Star Wars Rebels as she attempted to rally her fellow Mandalorians to defy the Galactic Empire. At some point during the following years, likely during the Empire’s genocidal assault on Mandalore known as The Great Purge, Imperial officer Moff Gideon acquired the Darksaber. In the episode, Bo-Katan is shown interrogating an Imperial officer (played by Bosch star Titus Welliver) about the whereabouts of an important item — an item that is almost certainly the Darksaber.
With this episode of The Mandalorian set on an aquatic planet, it makes sense that it features some of Star Wars’ most famous aquatic species: The Mon Calamari and the Quarren. The two species are well-known to Star Wars fans thanks to their presence in nearly every Star Wars movie to date, as well as the popular animated series. One of the most famous, trap-sensitive Mon Calamari, Gial Ackbar, made his first appearance in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
Anyone interested in learning more about both species’ background would do well to watch the season 4 episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars titled Water War, which sends Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker to Mon Cala, the home planet of both species, in order to prevent a civil war from breaking out between them. Not only does the episode feature a young Ackbar, but the two-part adventure also brings in everyone’s favorite Gungan, Jar Jar Binks, among other familiar faces.
The Mandalorian seems intent on building a strong bridge between itself and the franchise’s most popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and the introduction of Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano go a long way toward reaching that goal.
Anakin Skywalker’s former Padawan student, the Jedi called Ahsoka Tano was the star of The Clone Wars and later played a pivotal role in Rebels, despite never appearing on screen in any of the live-action Star Wars movies. A fan-favorite character, Ahsoka could be heard in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker as one of several Jedi voices urging on Daisy Ridley’s Rey during the film’s climactic battle, but her impending debut in The Mandalorian will be her live-action debut in the franchise. Although Ashley Eckstein voiced Ahsoka throughout the franchise so far, actress Rosario Dawson is expected to portray her in The Mandalorian.
When that debut will take place, however, remains one of the biggest secrets of The Mandalorian season 2.
Disney’s The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes premiering each Friday on the streaming service.
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