Once again, The Mandalorian is back with a brand new episode. Funny enough, as Charles reported quite some time ago, this episode is directed by Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s Peyton Reed. The story of Din and the Child continues as they continue their search for others of his kind. Last week, he helped out a little town fight a rather unusual foe on Tatooine. Now, the episode continues where we left off. It leads him on a journey to an unknown planet that may have some unlikely dangers waiting for him. The first two episodes also have a rather curious connection that highlights one important aspect that makes the Star Wars universe feel alive, the creatures we meet along the way.
Here is your spoiler warning. I will be talking about some aspects of the story, so if you haven’t watched the episode continue at your own risk.
After losing the trail of other Mandalorians, he took on an escort mission. It didn’t go as planned, as they ended up in a chase sequence by the New Republic. At first, they were able to get away but crashed into an icy cave. Din’s new companion wanders off only for her to find a hot spring. Everything seems cozy until the Child ends up finding an egg that acts as his new lunch. The camera pans out and reveals Xenomorph-like eggs in the cave. After a quick snack, the other eggs start to hatch spider-like creatures, as their mother appears to snack on whatever may have entered their domain.
It is a great way to switch up the episode structure, as this felt like a small tribute to classic creature features. As I mentioned, the eggs alone were a tribute to the original Alien franchise. The selling point of this spider is also its deep cut from the Star Wars franchise. It is known as Krykna and first appeared in Star Wars Rebels. It almost had its debut many years earlier, as he was a design by Ralph McQuarrie that was going to be in The Empire Strikes Back on Dagobah. The Krayt Dragon from the last episode had a cameo in A New Hope as a skeleton. The Mandalorian uses some deep connections to establish the deep ties that exist between the various Star Wars franchises in creative ways. It interweaves these elements with the overall narrative by building upon classic storytelling arcs, such as Seven Samurai, Clint Eastwood Western films, and now Alien. The scene of them trying to stay safe in the cockpit was a personal highlight of the episode.
We have seen these connections weaved throughout the series and other franchises. Last season introduced the first live-action rendition of the Blurrg that made their debut in The Clone Wars. Every time we visit Tatooine, we see the Bantha make their appearance, especially accompanied by Tusken Raiders. Hell, the Mud Horn plays a key role in the discovery of the Child’s abilities and becomes Mando’s signit. These animals and their worlds highlight that these are living ecosystems. I believe we will see many more in the upcoming episodes, as the initial two had a strong focus on Mando facing the forces of nature. Hopefully, this means we will see a Mythosaur, which was even mentioned in the first episode, and Star Wars Rebels‘ Purrgil. Now, who wouldn’t want to see a whale floating in space?