‘The Mandalorian’: Star Wars Fans Almost Missed This Subtle Easter Egg In Chapter 1

Star Wars loves Easter eggs so much, one half-expects their next movie or TV show to have some kind of space creature with rabbit ears that clucks like a chicken. Short of that, however, The Mandalorian offered plenty of references for longtime fans to notice.

Besides the fact that it’s the first live-action series the franchise has made, The Mandalorian is not quite like any other Star Wars show produced thus far.

While past Star Wars movies have been pastiches of sci-fi/action serials, The Mandalorian In particular aims to be a space Western. And since this series mostly departs from characters we’ve seen in the Skywalker saga, the Easter eggs serve as connective tissue to what has come before it. 

Even major fans might have missed this reference

Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau speaking onstage
Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Some of the eggs were easy even for casual fans to spot, but Screen Rant spotted one that was tricky because it’s based partly on a movie not so many people saw: Solo, the only Star Wars film so far to lose money from the theatrical box office. 

Debates about why that movie failed will probably percolate for a while, but it at least left a more positive legacy behind in the form of a card game called Sabacc. In the first episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+, there’s a cantina scene, which itself is a reference to the famous scene from the original 1977 movie. And within that cantina, two aliens can be seen playing the game. 

The cards are identical to those seen in  Solo and in Disney’s Star Wars: Rebels, if you want to go for a deeper cut. It’s an obscure reference, yes, but a scene of characters playing the space chess game on the Millennium Falcon probably would have been too on the nose. 

Other eggs ‘The Mandalorian’ cooked up

One of the fan-favorite sequences in the first episode is when the Mandalorian and a bounty hunter droid have a fierce gun battle toward the end.

Gamespot, which uncovered a ton of Easter eggs, That droid is called the IG-11, and it’s a variant of an older model called the IG-88, which appeared with all the other bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, in The Empire Strikes Back

Notice the stubby little alien dude looking on nervously as one of his kind is roasted on a barbecue? That’s none other than a Kowakian monkey lizard, the same kind of creature called Salacious Crumb that hung around with Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.

One wonders if Chewbacca thinks these taste better than the porgs from The Last Jedi

There are many more eggs than there is room to list here, but here’s a fun one that maybe even casual fans might get. The Star Wars Holiday Special is legendarily awful, yet it lives again in The Mandalorian when the titular bounty hunter’s target mentions that he wanted to spend Life Day with his family. Life Day is the Star Wars’ Holiday Special’s version of Christmas. No matter how much George Lucas may want it to, the Holiday Special will never go away 

How is the show faring overall?

Ten million people signed up for Disney+ on the first day alone, and The Mandalorian was the first show many people watched, as it was one of the relative few original shows to be ready at launch. The Marvel shows won’t be ready to go until next year. 

The Mandalorian has been positively received by both audiences and critics with it having an 89 percent critics score and a 94 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Forbes writes: “Only two episodes in, and The Mandalorian already feels more authentic, more Star Wars, than any of Disney’s film sequels.

A typical audience review reads, “Love it so far. Best thing since Return of the Jedi. Finally, a Star Wars storyline that does not (hopefully) involve blowing up a slightly bigger death star. Great original content. Cannot wait to see more.”