The Mandalorian brings a fan-favorite Jedi from Star Wars animation to live action in “The Jedi,” which takes us to the wasteland planet of Corvus, where an Imperial warlord rules with an iron fist. Along the way, we learn more about Baby Yoda’s origin as well as where the show might be headed. We also get some pretty neat callbacks to the classic films of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa.
Here are all of the easter eggs and Star Wars references we’ve found in “The Jedi” so far:
– Fan-favorite Jedi hero Ahsoka Tano finally makes her live action debut in “The Jedi.” She’s played by Rosario Dawson here. As if she simply leapt out of the animated series and onto The Mandalorian, Ahsoka looks almost exactly like she did on Rebels, wearing similar attire and armed with the white lightsabers she used before the Galactic Civil War. You can even see the weapons have their signature curved hilts!
You can read way more about Ahsoka’s return and what it means for the show here.
– At one point, Ahsoka explains the Force is “an energy field created by all living things,” which are the same exact words Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker in A New Hope.
– Mando calls Ahsoka’s lightsaber a “laser sword,” a common misnomer for the weapon.
The Child formerly dubbed “Baby Yoda” now has an actual name. It’s Grogu. We learn in the episode that Grogu was once a youngling training to become a Jedi in the temple on Coruscant before Order 66 forced him to go into hiding. He has spent the decades since then hiding his powers so as to not attract those who would love nothing more than to kill him like the rest of the Jedi.
You can read more about Grogu’s backstory here.
Tython and the Jedi
– Ahsoka tells Mando that he must take Grogu to the ruins of a Jedi temple on the planet Tython, a mystical location first introduced in Legends canon as the birthplace of the Jedi Order. It was the setting of the Dawn of the Jedi comic book series by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. Read more about Tython here.
– There are several references to other Jedi lore, such as the Jedi Temple of Coruscant, the Jedi Purge, Anakin Skywalker, and Master Yoda. You know what all of those things are.
Calodan and Corvus
– We mentioned this in the easter egg guide for “The Heiress” but it bears repeating here: this is the first appearance of Corvus and the city of Calodan in the franchise. But as some people pointed out after that episode aired, “Calodan” could be a reference to Caladan, the planet that serves as the ancestral home of House Atreides in Dune. “Corvus” could also be a nod to Alpha Corvus, another planet mentioned in the Dune novels.
– As the Razor Crest zooms past Calodan while searching for a place to land, one of the soldiers scans the ship just like the Rebel sentry did with the Millennium Falcon on Yavin in A New Hope. It looks like the exact same shot.
– Many of the archways in the city are reminiscent of the ones found in old samurai films but also ones drawn by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie for the Original Trilogy.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
We learn in the episode that Ahsoka is looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Chiss Imperial villain who first debuted in the famous 1991 Legends novel Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. Since then, he’s appeared in countless books and was officially re-canonized in 2016 as one of the main villains of Rebels.
Thrawn was last seen in the Rebels finale, disappearing during the Liberation of Lothal while fighting Ezra Bridger. Ahsoka hopes that finding Thrawn will also lead her to Ezra, a Jedi apprentice whom she still holds dear all these years later.
Akira Kurosawa and Japanese Films
– Eagle-eyed viewers will undoubtedly note that this episode is heavily inspired by classic samurai films such as Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, which Filoni mines for the basic plot of “The Jedi.” Here, Mando kind of plays the role of Toshiro Mifune’s wandering ronin, while Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth and Ahsoka fight for the fate of Calodan like the crime lords did in Kurosawa’s film.
– Some people have pointed out that Grogu’s trial in the episode — to take first a stone and then a metal cylinder with the Force — is a reference to the test Ogami Ittō administers to little Daigorō in the 1970 manga Lone Wolf and Cub. In the book, Ogami Ittō asks one-year-old Daigorō to choose between a ball and a sword. If he chooses the sword, Daigorō will be taught the way of the ronin, but if he picks the ball, Ogami Ittō will kill him and spare him a life of violence.
If the stone is meant to be a weapon and the cylinder is the ball, then the reference kind of tracks. Grogu refuses to use the Force to call the stone to him but does take the cylinder. This is not really why Ahsoka decides not to train Grogu, but there does seem to be some connection.
You can read way more about how Lone Wolf and Cub inspired The Mandalorian here.
Cameos and Other References
– Michael Biehn plays Lang, Magistrate Elsbeth’s top enforcer in Calodan. You probably recognize the actor from Aliens and The Terminator. He also appeared in Planet Terror, the Robert Rodriguez portion of the double feature Grindhouse. Rodriguez actually directed an episode of The Mandalorian season 2.
– Morgan Elsbeth is played by Diana Lee Inosanto, an accomplished martial artist, stuntwoman, stunt coordinator, and actor. You can read more about Inosanto and her character here.
– Elsbeth’s fills out her army with assassin droids. These particular units are HK-87 models, a reference to the inimitable HK-47, a foul-mouthed Jedi hunting assassin droid introduced in the Knights of the Old Republic video game. Unfortunately, his successors don’t seem to speak Basic, which means we never hear them call anyone a “meatbag.”
– Elsbeth’s soldiers are armed with A350 blaster rifles, which appear for the first time in this episode. This model may be a successor to the A-300 blaster rifle used by the Rebels in Rogue One.
– You’ll spot tookas running around Corvus. These space cats first appeared in The Clone Wars.