Since it was announced, we’ve been breathlessly anticipating The Mandalorian. The first live-action TV series set in the Star Wars universe, the show came out the gate with exciting names attached: Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard. All of them lending their unique perspective behind-the-scenes, fleshing out the galaxy far, far away, from new planets and terrains, to important updates in the lore. The show is set seven years after the events of Return of the Jedi, a time that hasn’t really been explored onscreen. What is the state of the galaxy after the defeat of the Empire and the rise of the New Republic? And what darkness still lurks in the more volatile corners of this world? The Mandalorian is set to answer some of those big questions–and even more we hadn’t thought to ask.
The first episode, “Chapter One,” has arrived with the launch of Disney+ and ends with a shocking twist that opens up a world of possibilities, and could answer a longstanding and major question in Star Wars lore. Let’s dig into those closing moments of The Mandalorian premiere and what they could mean for the future (and past!) of Star Wars.
Major spoilers for The Mandalorian “Chapter One” below.
The premiere of The Mandalorian is a pretty straightforward episode for the first major chunk. In the style of a Western, with a pounding score by Ludwig Göransson, it follows a nameless gunslinging Mandalorian bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal, who weaves his way through various missions at the behest of Carl Weathers’ Greef Carga and Werner Herzog’s mysterious “Client.” The latter sends him after a 50-year-old bounty that, it turns out, is actually a tiny baby that’s the same species as Yoda.
Just as the bounty droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) is about to execute the cuddly little creature, the Mandalorian shoots him dead instead, and reaches a hand out to touch the baby’s finger. It looks like our big tough armored soldier has a soft spot for cute little aliens—and who can blame him—and might spend the rest of the series protecting this creature from the evil figures that want it dead. It also opens up a world of possibilities. Are we finally, after all of these years, going to find out more about Yoda’s species?
Almost nothing is known about Yoda’s species in official Star Wars canon. George Lucas has been famously cagey about the little green guy’s origins, choosing to keep him a mysterious figure in the story as part of his allure. “He’s a mystery character, he’s a magical character,” Lucas has said of Yoda. “He has no background. He comes and he goes. He’s the subversive secret mysterious stranger that enters the film and then exits at the end.” The only other character of his species that we know of is Yaddle, a female, who’s also Force-sensitive and a member of the Jedi High Council. We don’t know their race name, where they come from, or how many of them are left. All we really know, which is confirmed in The Mandalorian, is that they age very slowly.
In the Star Wars expanded universe, which is now referred to as Legends and isn’t canon, there are a few other known characters in this species: Vandar Tokare, Oteg, and Minch. Though still never named, they were all Force-sensitive Jedi. It The Mandalorian borrows from Legends, it may carry over this theme of every character in the species being Force-sensitive. That might be why the baby version is so sought-after. Jedi are a rare breed in these post-Empire days. Maybe the Imperial sympathizers that still exist in the galaxy—like Herzog’s Client, who is flanked by guards in Stormtrooper attire—want to round up Force users for whatever nefarious purpose. We know that somewhere in the shadows, the First Order is coming to fruition, likely on the orders of Emperor Palpatine. We’ll surely learn more about that in The Rise of Skywalker; maybe The Mandalorian is something of a companion piece.
The age of the baby alien is also curious. If it’s 50, that means it’s roughly the same age as Anakin Skywalker. But where did it come from, who are its parents, and where are they? We might be getting those answers courtesy of George Lucas himself. We know he visited the set, and he also allegedly had a hand in developing the show, at least as a consultant. What’s more, Lucas’s protege Dave Filoni is an executive producer on The Mandalorian and directed the first episode. Filoni is well-versed in Star Wars lore, as evidenced by his animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. If we’re going to learn more about Yoda’s species at long last, it appears we’re in good hands.
New episodes of The Mandalorian will air Fridays on Disney+.
Featured Image: Disney+