Caution: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian's debut episode was a treasure trove of Easter eggs and references to the Star Wars universe, and the second offering continues that trend. Discussion surrounding the premiere of the first ever live-action Star Wars TV show may have been dominated by a cute green bundle of joy, but the episode also expanded greatly on major topics such as the Clone Wars, Mandalorian history and currency within the galaxy. There was also a tantalizing potential sighting of a certain Boba Fett and plenty of familiar aliens and droids.
Compared to that opener, "Chapter 2: The Child" is a more contained offering, with the Mandalorian stranded after Jawas disassemble his ship for parts. Understandably, there is also a heavy focus on the young member of Yoda's species the eponymous bounty hunter picked up at the end of last week's episode. Viewers who marveled at his cuteness previously will be blown away by him in The Mandalorian's latest installment.
Aside from pesky scavengers and an infant who could easily kill a grown man, however, episode 2 of The Mandalorian contains numerous nods to the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as the wider mythology of the franchise. And while some of these are little more than marks of respect to what came before, others could have significant implications for future stories.
"The Child" immediately picks up from the conclusion of The Mandalorian's first episode, with the bounty hunter heading back to his ship with baby Yoda in tow. Unfortunately, IG-11 wasn't the only mercenary in town, and Pedro Pascal is forced to do battle with a small group of Trandoshans. This species has deep connections to bounty hunting in the Star Wars universe, with Bossk being one of the famous elite hunters hired by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.
Exploring Jawa Culture
As one of the first alien races fans see in A New Hope, the Jawas hold a special place in Star Wars history, but precious little of them is actually seen on screen. The Mandalorian episode 2 revisits all of the familiar Jawa elements, from their cumbersome sandcrawler vehicles to their blunderbuss-esque rounded blasters. When the Mandalorian is scaling the side of the sandcrawler, one Jawa even brings out an electric stun weapon, the same device used to incapacitate R2-D2 in the very first 1977 Star Wars movie. Interestingly, the sandcrawler is also fitted with sails similar to those seen on Jabba's barge, suggesting wind power is commonly used on desert planets. Unlike the Star Wars movies, The Mandalorian goes further into Jawa culture, revealing the interior of their sandcrawler and a love of egg.
Darth Vader's Disintegration Line
Boba Fett doesn't have a large role in the original Star Wars trilogy, but his violent tendencies are revealed when Darth Vader specifically tells Boba "no disintegrations" during the bounty hunter mission briefing. The meaning behind this line was left unexplained, other than to make Boba seem like a particularly nasty mercenary, but The Mandalorian perhaps gives some insight into Vader's concerns. Attempting to fight off the Jawas decimating his ship, Mando uses a rifle that disintegrates his enemies upon impact. The character largely used a blaster last week, but episode 2 provides the best look yet at his most fearsome firearm, and it's highly likely Boba wielded the same weapon.
Similarities Between The Mandalorian & Jango Fett
While Boba Fett is the primary visual inspiration for the Mandalorian (and the reason the show exists in the first place), Pascal's character also exhibits several consistencies with Boba's old man, Jango Fett. Most notably, Mando is armed with a wrist-mounted flamethrower, the same kind Jango is seen using in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. This was briefly seen in The Mandalorian's opening episode, but gets a much bigger outing on this occasion. It could also be said that the grapple hook on the Mandaloarian's other wrist is a homage to Boba Fett, thereby representing both of the franchise's most famous bounty hunters.
The creature whose eggs the Jawas apparently enjoy is listed as a Mud Horn, but parallels can be drawn between the Mandalorian's fight and Jango Fett's tangle with a Reek in Attack of the Clones.
Wookiees Aren't Renowned Linguists
When the Mandalorian attempts to speak Jawaese, the small thieves mock his attempts, comparing the speech to that of a Wookiee. Clearly, Chewbacca's kind are notorious for their crude speech patterns in Jon Favreau's Star Wars world, and this perhaps references how people mimic Wookiee noises in the real world. Usually on YouTube with cheap novelty masks.
Parallels Between Baby Yoda & Older Yoda
It's currently not clear how the infant Yoda in The Mandalorian relates to the Yoda fans are familiar with from the Star Wars movies, but as far as Easter eggs are concerned, there are plenty of comparisons between the two. Firstly, the scene where Baby Yoda slowly leaves his pod and goes to use the force is highly reminiscent of when Yoda first lifts Luke's X-Wing in The Empire Strikes Back, but the Mandalorian hilariously cuts him short. "The Child" also shows that the youngster is clad in traditional Jedi-style robes, perpetuating George Lucas' assertion that the garb is Jedi uniform.
The fact that the kid eats a frog is perhaps also a subtle reference to how fans (and even Lucas himself) have historically referred to Yoda since his debut appearance in the Star Wars franchise.
Knowledge Of The Force
When Baby Yoda lifts the monster attacking the Mandalorian, viewers know exactly what's going on, but the same cannot be said for the bounty hunter himself or his companion, Kuiil, with both men apparently having absolutely no knowledge of the Force. While this may seem like an anomaly given the galaxy's history, both the original trilogy and the current sequel trilogy prove how many still view the Force and the Jedi as a myth. Neither Luke Skywalker nor Rey believed in the Force at first, and the Mandalorian's lack of knowledge continues this trope.
The Mandalorian's Western Influence
Star Wars has often been described as a Western movie set in space and The Mandalorian takes that notion to new extremes. Last week's finale felt like a deliberate mirroring of the classic Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid standoff, and this week it's the turn of Shane. When Kuiil thanks the Mandalorian for bringing peace to his valley once again, this is a clear nod to the "there aren't any more guns in the valley" line uttered at the end of the 1953 Western.
Guns Are Part Of Mandalorian Religion
Viewed in isolation, The Mandalorian has only hinted at the culture and history of its titular race, but there is plenty of information to be found in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. While being disarmed by the Jawas, the Mandalorian makes an offhand comment about his gun being part of his religion, and although it's not exactly clear how literal the character is being here, the claim is in keeping with what has already been established about the group. Combat is an integral part of Mandalorian tradition and this could certainly extend to disintegration rifles.
An Old-School Navigation System
When the Mandalorian boots up the on-board navigator on his reconstructed ship, the display bears a distinctly old-school aesthetic. Certainly, with Disney's endless pit of cash, The Mandalorian could've afforded more contemporary visual effects. However, this digital interface is very much in keeping with the designs seen in the original Star Wars trilogy. The X-Wing fighters and the Rebel Alliance's display screens, for instance. While such an old fashioned computer might feel jarring at first, the consistency between The Mandalorian and the Star Wars movies makes for a more immersive, integrated experience.
The Mandalorian continues November 22nd on Disney+.