Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Mandalorian season 1, episode 4.
The Mandalorian's latest episode brings a beloved creature from the animated series Star Wars Rebels into live-action. Created by Dave Filoni, the four-season Disney XD series introduced fans to a small band of freedom fighters operating in and around the nearby systems of the planet Lothal. Known as the Ghost Crew, Ezra, Kanan, Zeb, Hera, Sabine, and Chopper had been part of the Rebellion in its early days. The show not only expanded the franchise's mythos, it also introduced fans to new creatures - one of which just made its live-action debut in the Jon Favreau-created TV show.
In The Mandalorian's fourth episode titled "Sanctuary," (written by Favreau and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard) Dyn Jarren (Pedro Pascal) and baby Yoda in the new planet named Sorgan. There, they met ex Rebel shock-trooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and together, they helped villagers fend off Klatooinians. But before they even made it to the remote village, the Mandalorian and the Force-sensitive baby Yoda made a pit-stop to what seems like a cantina type of establishment where The Child got acquatinted with a familiar creature.
As Dyn and baby Yoda walked in the tavern, but before they can even pick a spot to sit, the latter was greeted by a Loth-cat. Fans will remember the creature from Rebels, where it appeared in a handful of episodes throughout its run. They are a subspecies of the tooka family, which are native to Lothal (hence the name) and are often found in the grassy plains of the Outer Rim planet. This explains why there's one in Sorgan considering that it's mostly an agrarian settlement. As seen in The Mandalorian, Loth-cats are known be very temperamental. While they look so adorable and harmless, they're able hunters with their sharp claws and teeth.
Given that Filoni is involved in The Mandalorian (he directed the show's premiere and has written and directed next week's outing), it's not surprising to see details previously introduced in his Star Wars animated shows in its first live-action project. It has already mined story details from the Clone Wars era - a period which was extensively covered in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and its subsequent TV series. The show ended abruptly back in 2014, but a final season has been ordered to properly wrap up its storyline, which is slated to debut on Disney+ next February.
The appearance of a Loth-cat in The Mandalorian may seem insignificant to the casual viewers, but for fans of Star Wars, it's a great Easter egg reminding them that all these stories regardless of the format belong in the same universe. Last week's episode included a subtle explanation to the puzzling ice cream maker prop from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back which a lot of people really liked. But aside from proof that Favreau and his team's impressive attention to detail, the creature's appearance in the show poses new questions about thee possibility of other Star Wars Rebels characters appearing in the show, perhaps like Sabine - who's a Mandalorian herself.