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We start the episode on an unknown world at night. It is infested with some unnamed creature from which you only see their glowing eyes. The easter eggs come right away with the graffiti, but not every bit of graffiti is quite clear. On the first wall that we see it appears that you can see a B1-series battle droid. The second wall has an IG-100 MagnaGuard, Aurebesh signs for HO and above the IG-100 Aurebesh reading BILLH DROID – we are unsure of its meaning. Bill Hader did some voicework for BB-8, but this seems far fetched. Then there are three white helmets, one of them possibly being a snowtrooper and the other most likely a stormtrooper. The second wall then gives a quick glimpse of a yellow/golden droid that at first glance appears to be a protocol droid, but if you pause it you can see flaps extending from the head, making it more likely a WA-7 waitress droid. 

More Aurebesh can be seen at the side of the entrance to the fighting ring, the word LIFE can be spotted below what appears to be a stylized Gamorrean head.

The Gamorrean gladiators from the trailer are seen and are indeed fighting with vibro-axes and we are glad to see the shockwaves that come off the weapons as they fight. Now they appear to handle their axes with two-hands, but it is not to be confused with the Arg’garok, a two-handed version that looks different due to a long pole that has the ax on it.

Among the spectators are some interesting aliens, even a few entirely new and colorful ones, but many of these have been seen before in Episodes VIIVIII and Solo and are still unnamed. Hopefully the upcoming The Mandalorian The Ultimate Visual Guide will change that. Species with a name that appear are a Kyuzo, a Twi’lek and a Zabrak. Gor Koresh is an Abyssin, one of those favorite cantina aliens, but one that actually have appeared less then you may expect. Not counting books and comics, statues of them could be seen in Return of the Jedi and The Clone Wars, and it is only in TCW episode 7×05 ‘Gone with a Trace’ that an actual Abyssin can be seen on your screen until now. The flags above the fighters appear to be all new ones and two of them appear to look like the ones for Spain and Belgium. 

Next stop is Tatooine where we are once again seeing plates shot at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley (the Tusken Raider with bantha as the Razor Crest flies by), which was used in Season 1 for Arvala-7. Those creatures we see are scurriers and were originally downsized raptor models of Jurassic Park that appear in the new Tatooine footage of Mos Eisley for the Special Editions. And with Mos Pelgo and the character Cobb Vanth we are suddenly opening a whole big can of references. Mos Pelgo was first mentioned in The Old Republic and later appeared as Freetown in the interludes of the Aftermath trilogy. This is also where Cobb Vanth comes from and his flashbacks references events from those interludes. The flashbacks show the destruction of the Death Star with the text in Aurebesh reading: ‘STRUCTION ON A NEW ARMORED SPACE STATION  EVEN MORE’.   

Considering that Vanth is wearing the old Boba Fett armor at one point you can hear the spurs sound, which we also identified as an important clue to the mystery person at the end of Chapter 5. Could it be that Vanth is this mystery person? He rides a speeder bike made of an old podracer engine that may recall that of Anakin, but if you compare it, you can see many differences. 

The Tusken Raiders are getting a big culture boost with more seen of their language, daily life and such, but many old staples of them return as you can also see the huts from Attack of the Clones along with the Massiffs, but also their famous cry of excitement and them riding single file even when they do not have to hide their numbers. 

And then there is the krayt dragon, after 43 years and various subspecies seen of it through art or games or comics, we are finally treated with an official look for them. While the sounds are new ones, it appears that they are still inspired by the cry of Obi-Wan, the original theatrical one that is and not the changed one for later releases. This can best be heard when the three Tusken Raiders are awakening the beast. The whole introduction of the Krayt Dragon with a terrifying rumble and something under the sand making its way to Mos Pelgo and through the town while people are making sure they are inside, also recalls the sandworm from the horror movie Tremors. At the end you see the Tuskens removing a pearl from its body, these have been around in various sources ever since the novel Darksaber (published in 1995) and are seen as rare, extremely value and the proof that one successfully hunted and killed a krayt dragon.

Various smaller returning things and mentions: beskar armor, whistling birds, camtono, Peli Motto and her pit droids, R5-D4 (now revealed as belonging to her) and the Gotra (being the Droid Gotra, a droid rights activist group so a weird thing for Koresh to swear by). 

Like the first episode of season 1, this first episode of the second season also ends with a big reveal at the end: the return of Temuera Morrison, the man who played Jango Fett and who returned to voice Boba Fett for later releases. Does this mean that Boba Fett is actually back? Is this the mystery man from Chapter 5? Or is an old clone that turned to bounty hunting? Time will tell, so join us as we unravel the episodes here on Fantha Tracks.

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The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season One)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Szostak, Phil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) - Abrams (Publisher)