The Mandalorian kicked off with one of the biggest surprises in the history of Star Wars by introducing fans to the adorable little asset known as The Child, but lovingly referred to by everyone as Baby Yoda. However, throughout the first season of the series on Disney+, there are plenty of other secrets, Easter eggs, and references to the rest of the Star Wars saga that you might not have known about. Many of these were revealed or discussed as each episode of The Mandalorian was released, but the biggest one that no one seems to have known about involves one of the most important stars of The Skywalker Saga.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian has focused on a different aspect of the production of the Star Wars series in each episode. For the season finale available today on Disney+, the documentary series looks back on the various connections, homages, and Easter eggs that tie back into Star Wars history, from the original trilogy of films to the more obscure references to the likes of the made-for-TV projects like The Star Wars Holiday Special and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. For example, you probably didn’t know Mark Hamill lent his voice to a character in one episode, and it’s a character from Return of the Jedi.
Mark Hamill’s Secret Role in The Mandalorian
In Chapter 5 of the first season of The Mandalorian, “The Gunslinger,” we return to Tatooine. More specifically, we return to Mos Eisley spaceport, home of the cantina where Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi hire Han Solo and Chewbacca for transportation to Alderaan. There’s been one major change in the bar since we last saw it in Star Wars: A New Hope. The cantina didn’t allow droids back then, but now it has plenty of them around, including a familiar one at the bar.
There’s a droid bartending who looks exactly like EV-9D9, the droid that was responsible for registering new droid acquisitions in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi. In fact, the bartender is EV-9D9, and he just so happens to be voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, who has made several little voice cameos throughout the new trilogy of Star Wars movies, in addition to reprising his role as Luke Skywalker.
There’s another little bonus in this exact same scene. If you look around the cantina, you’ll see a little droid that looks like R5-D4, the unit that Uncle Owen tried to buy from Jawas before it was revealed to have a bad motivator. The droid in the cantina is one in the same, and executive producer Dave Filoni even had the prop department give the droid a little extra detailing with some oil and grease stains around the hole where the motivator popped out of his head.
Kuill Originally Didn’t Speak English
Kuiil is the Ugnaught character who becomes a sort of mentor to The Mandalorian and helps him throughout the first season of the series. Nick Nolte was tasked with voicing the pig-faced alien, but in the early stages of development, Kuiil actually didn’t speak English and would have had his dialogue subtitled.
Some of the early scenes with Kuiil written by Jon Favreau required the character to speak to Jawas, in their language, by making his own alien sounds, which were similar to pig snorts. Dee Bradley Baker, who has voiced all the Clone Troopers in The Clone Wars, even did the temporary voice track for Kuiil at the time. It was this test that made Favreau realize that having Kuiil not speak English was a mistake. The scene went on for too long with characters speaking in subtitles to each other while The Mandalorian looked on expressionless and not saying much of anything, resulting in a sequence that was difficult to watch.
George Lucas Wasn’t Impressed with The Holiday Special Homage
One of the more interesting, nerdy details about The Mandalorian’s weaponry is that the long rifle with the electric prongs was lifted from Boba Fett’s debut in The Star Wars Holiday Special. The bounty hunter had a drastically different color scheme, and he was carrying the same weapon Mando wields throughout the first season of the series.
Jon Favreau was so happy and proud to be including that detail from Boba Fett’s debut that he attempted to seek approval from George Lucas for bringing such a deep cut canon reference back. But Lucas was quick to tell Favreau that he didn’t really have anything to do with that, and it was clear that he was not excited in the least. Oh, George Lucas.
The 501st Legion Had No Idea They Were Appearing in The Mandalorian
The 501 Legion is a group of homemade Stormtroopers comprised of Star Wars fans. They make their own armor and have chapters all over the world. It’s one of the biggest and most famous Star Wars fan clubs, so much that Lucasfilm film often invites them to appear at various premieres and charity events to make the Star Wars presence even bigger. And they helped beef up the number of Stormtroopers in the big finale showdown with Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).
Jon Favreau remembered preparing to shoot that scene, and they realized that they would need more than the 30 Stormtroopers that they had at their disposal. So he and Dave Filoni, who was already a member of the group, decided to call up members of the 501st to appear in the scene. Those who answered the call were given quite the surprise because many of them weren’t told in advance that they were needed to shoot an actual scene in The Mandalorian, so they were expecting another publicity appearance. Instead, they were turned into real Stormtroopers, and their homemade suits are now screen-used props, which is pretty damn cool.
The Mandalorian Used an X-Wing from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
In Chapter 6 of The Mandalorian, “The Prisoner,” three of the first season’s directors make cameos as X-wing pilots. Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow and Rick Famuyiwa are all seen inside the cockpits of the Rebel starfighter. The shots of the three pilots in the vehicle are fantastic recreations of similar shots from the original trilogy, and they achieved them by using an X-wing that was created to be on display at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World.
The X-wing used on set was ready to be shipped off to Orlando. But before it made the journey, The Mandalorian crew had to tear it apart a bit and modify it so the three directors could hop in the cockpit and shoot their scenes. There was a steel bar where the pilot would normally sit in order to provide firm reinforcement for the vehicle so it could withstand being outside for an extended period of time in the elements. The bar was removed, some lights, switches and levers were added, Favreau gave the directors their dialogue on the day of shooting, and the rest is history.
That’s all for our recaps from Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. Hopefully the documentary series will be back with new episodes after the second season of The Mandalorian arrives this October. In the meantime, be sure to check out our previous highlights of the most interesting details revealed from behind the scenes of the documentary series.
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