Well, we are back in the world of The Mandalorian, which means that with the arrival of each episode comes an accompanying flood of theories, predictions and, of course, questions. And the first episode of Season 2, “The Marshal,” is no different. This episode dug even deeper into existing Star Wars lore in a way that never felt pandering or unnecessarily cluttered. It was a total joy, start to finish. But that said, we did have some questions about the episode. Some will undoubtedly be answered in future installments and some might linger for longer.
As is customary, consider this your spoiler warning. We will be discussing the episode in depth now. If you haven’t watched yet, go check it out and come back after. It’ll still be here.
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Mandalorian, Season 2, Episode 1, “Chapter 9: The Marshal.”]
What Were Those Red-Eyed Monsters at the Beginning?
At the start of “The Marshal,” we follow the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal, most likely) and the Child as they enter a shadowy, unnamed world to meet an underworld informant. Clearly this is one of the many planets that have fallen into lawlessness following the events of Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Galactic Empire. The walls are covered in graffiti, there is clearly some kind of illegal underground boxing thing going on with a couple of Gamorreans (the species that guarded Jabba’s palace on Tattooine) and there seems to be a sizable criminal element at play. But there’s also something more elemental – in the shadows of the city are some kind of unseen, red-eyed monster. It’s unclear who, or what, they are, but they clearly stick to the darkness and are very, very scary.
How Did Boba Fett Lose His Armor?
In a flashback, we see that Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) was rescued by Jawas after his town, Mos Pelgo, descended into chaos following the destruction of the second Death Star (which is played on a holographic loop inside the town’s dusty cantina). He had a cargo of valuable crystals, which he traded for the Mandalorian armor the Jawas had come into possession of. Armor that once belonged to Boba Fett. (Similar material was covered in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novels, which is where the Cobb character comes from.) But the question remains: how did the Jawas get the armor? It’s alluded to that the giant krayt dragon killed a sarlacc; did it kill the sarlacc that (supposedly) gobbled up bounty hunter Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi? And that the empty pit, now devoid of a tentacled, toothy monster, was where they scavenged the armor? Or did the sarlacc spit it out, displeased with its tinny, metallic taste? Or did Boba Fett emerge from the pit, which he clearly did (more on that in a minute) and desperately sell of his armor? Something tells me that we’ll get a full download soon enough, now that the Mandalorian has possession of the armor.
What is the Orb Inside the Dragon?
At the tail end (pun intended) of the episode, we see Jawas combing through the innards of the downed krayt dragon. (The Mandalorian even took a big hunk of meat, seemingly for the long ride to wherever he’s off to next.) We finally get a look at what those Jawas were looking for – a glimmering orb found deep in the viscera of the dragon. Not only is this a lovely callback to the Season 1, when different Jawas tasked the Mandalorian with retrieving an egg, but it actually has origins in the deepest Star Wars lore. Apparently the orb is a krayt dragon pearl; in the monster it is used to aid digestion, the way some birds have stones in their stomach that help to break down food. But this pearl has other properties, and is both highly valuable and widely sought after. Monetarily, it can fetch a pretty penny, but more than that it is a sign that you have downed a krayt dragon. Never underestimate the importance of bragging rights. Additionally, if you refine the pearl correctly, it can actually be used to power a lightsaber, like a kyber crystal. Crazy, right?
Was Cobb Vanth Riding Anakin’s Podracer Engine?
When Cobb Vanth and the Mandalorian are riding towards the dragon’s lair (wait what show is this?), Vanth’s speeder bike boasts a familiar element – an engine from a podracer. More specifically, it looks like it could be a podracer engine from Anakin’s podracer. Anakin’s podracing days took place on Tatooine and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the engine has been repurposed for this vehicle. (We’ve seen a podracer engine used as a grill in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland and Walt Disney World.) Even if it isn’t the same engine, it gives off a similar enough vibe that we can’t help but wonder.
What’s Up with Fennec Shand?
Now we’re dealing with a lingering question from Season 1 – at the end of Episode 5, “The Gunslinger,” fallen bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) is approached by a character wearing Boba Fett’s trademark cape and cowboy-ish spurs. After the events of Season 2’s premiere episode, we now have more questions than answers. Is Fennec still alive? Was that Boba Fett who approached her or Cobb Vanth? There are a lot questions, which hopefully won’t wind up buried in the Tatooine sand.
Will Boba Fett Be Tracking Our Hero Now?
At the end of the episode, we got the big reveal: Boba Fett is very much alive (played by Temuera Morrison, who played Boba’s father, Jango, in the prequels). He’s bald. He’s scarred. But he’s very much alive. So that begs the question: will Boba Fett spend the rest of the season tracking the Mandalorian and his beloved? Has he been on Tatooine this whole time? And if so, why has he not made a go at grabbing the armor back from the relatively unfortified sheriff? Could it be that he was so out in the boonies that this was the first time he saw his armor since the pit? The idea that, in Season 2, the hunter could become the hunted, is tantalizing indeed.