As The Mandalorian Season 2 premiere gets closer and closer, fans have been debating exactly how much Star Wars lore will be in the new episodes…and how much they actually want there to be. Just last month, my esteemed colleague Brett White wrote a piece begging the show to “cool it with the Jedi lore” in Season 2. He sagely argued that The Mandalorian‘s charms come from its disconnect from the Skywalker saga.
Here’s my thing: I actually want lots of Star Wars lore in The Mandalorian Season 2. Give me details about the Darksaber. Get Temura Morrison to play more than Boba Fett; let him be Captain Rex! The more we get of Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), the better. Please let Sasha Banks be Sabine Wren (or a new Jedi), and sure, I’m extremely down with the (probably wrong) internet rumor that Bly Manor standout Rahul Kohli is Ezra Bridger. Fill The Mandalorian Season 2 with Clone Wars and Rebels Easter eggs and make me a happy woman, Lucasfilm!!
The Mandalorian isn’t Star Wars’s first foray into live action TV storytelling — shout out to Life Day and those Ewok Adventures — but it’s certainly the most beloved. The adventure series following taciturn bounty hunter Din Djardin (Pedro Pascal) as he travels the galaxy became an instant hit when it premiered last year. That’s in huge part thanks to the visceral appeal of “the Child,” aka Baby Yoda, but it’s also due to the show’s deft approach to juggling story and lore.
Instead of throwing us into the familiar Skywalker saga, we see the Star Wars galaxy through the eyes of an outsider. Mando isn’t a member of the Rebel Alliance nor is he part of the Empire. He is just a man whose life has been marked by the pain of these incessant galactic conflicts. And he’s a man who has managed to survive them, to boot.
But that doesn’t mean that Mando doesn’t also have a part to play in the larger Star Wars saga. Judging by the fact that we’ve been introduced to a force-wielding creature from the same race as Yoda, gotten visual contact on the Darksaber, and know that Ahsoka Tano and Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan will appear this season… Well, let’s just say that Mando can’t stay on the sidelines of the Star Wars story for much longer. He’s getting pulled into the epic battle between light and dark whether he likes it or not.
Incorporating more Star Wars lore into The Mandalorian isn’t necessarily a death knell for the show. While I agree that other Star Wars properties — uh, namely The Rise of Skywalker — have found themselves weighed down by lore, The Mandalorian has always been able to keep Mando and the Child the show’s focus. Their bond is what drives their story. All the Easter eggs, callbacks, and references in Season 1 only enhanced the story while also providing context for Mando’s world.
So I think that the show can balance more lore with the show’s existing story!
Which brings me to what part of Star Wars lore The Mandalorian is planning to introduce: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Both these canonical animated series were shepherded to the screen by Mandalorian director and EP Dave Filoni and neither is anywhere close to being as mainstream as The Mandalorian. That means that the lore they represent isn’t so much another regurgitation of the Skywalker saga as it is more background on the wider Star Wars universe.
I want to know what Ahsoka Tano’s been up to since Rebels. I’d like to see the return of the greatest Clone warrior ever, Captain Rex. I’m dying to see Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, and even their cantankerous droid Chopper in the flesh. These characters, like Mando himself, help make Star Wars feel even bigger than the movies. That’s because these characters aren’t mythic heroes, but folks who got caught up in the fallout of those mythic heroes’ choices.
Furthermore, I just really love these characters. Maybe it’s selfish, but I just want more people introduced to how awesome they are. Ahsoka Tano was an important figure in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s lives, but you wouldn’t know that if you hadn’t seen The Clone Wars. Maybe fans will take her even more seriously now that Rosario Dawson is playing her.
No matter what, I’m psyched for more episodes of The Mandalorian to hit Disney+ this week. I will be thrilled if the lore is kept to a minimum, but the fangirl in me wants to see my guys onscreen again. Given how well The Mandalorian Season 1 dealt with Star Wars lore, I think Mando, Baby Yoda, and their friends can handle a few more Easter eggs hurled their way…
Watch The Mandalorian on Disney+