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The Mandalorian Season 3's Space Whales: Why They're Important To The Star Wars Universe

Contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" Season 3, Episode 1 – "The Apostate"

In what felt very much like an RPG we weren't playing, this week's return to the world of "The Mandalorian" saw Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) doing rounds with old friends and making new enemies while Grogu continued to be adorable (as was we predicted). No change there, then? And yet, during our initial stint back among the stars, we were given a slew of stunning sights, from space gators to Mando trying to haggle while Grogu attempted an in-store theft. One of the biggest highlights, though, was a moment that our titular hero didn't see, but instead caught the eye of Grogu in all its massive monster glory.

During one of their many quick flights around outer space, Mando shifted things into hyperdrive, leaving Grogu to take in the blurry view passing at lightspeed. Nothing new for any average "Star Wars" fan. Ships have zipped in and out of hyperdrive with impressive effect, either to outrun, outgun or tactfully decimate an opposing force (RIP Admiral Holdo). Here though, something caught that little guy's opal eye that may baffle some audiences — space whales. Giant tentacled space whales in a pod are just casually flying alongside Din's N-1 starfighter without a care. So what are these immense organisms, and could they be friends or foes for our bounty hunter and his young ally? There's a high chance it will be the former, considering their earlier appearance in the "Star Wars" universe that ran with a decisive rebel streak.

The Purrgil from Star Wars Rebels could be making a splash in The Mandalorian

While we only got a peek at their silhouette, there's a good chance that the passers-by to Grogu and Din in this week's episode of "The Mandalorian" were most likely purrgil, a species of space whales that appeared in the final season of beloved animated series "Star Wars Rebels." The four-season show from 2014 to 2018 told the story of Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), who joined a group of rebels aboard the Ghost to strike back like so many others against the Empire.

In "Star Wars Rebels," Ezra, a gifted Jedi-in-the-making, uses the purrgil in a brave stand against Admiral Thrawn, which, while relocating the ghastly Empire goon to an unknown spot, accidentally snagged Ezra along for the ride, as well. With his whereabouts unknown, the series ended with the remaining rebels, Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano (brought to live-action by Rosario Dawson and set for her own spinoff). This was five years before Anakin Skywalker's former Padawan would cross paths with Mando and Grogu in the latter's series. With that in mind, there's a chance that Grogu's recent whale-watching isn't just a coincidental spot but one that might actually — ahem — Bridge(r) the gap between these two shows in a very exciting way.

Could The Mandalorian set up the return of Ezra Bridger?

When it comes to a show that's being watched over by lore-storing legend Dave Filoni, you don't just drop a pod of space whales into a "Star Wars" story for the sake of it. This simple occurrence that only Grogu has witnessed could indeed be a simple tease to the return of Ezra to the "Star Wars" universe and his debut to the live-action side of things. While it was reported back in 2022 that Eman Esfandi was down to play Ezra in "Ahsoka," what are the odds that we might see him sooner than that?

It's nothing new to see the legendary Torguta appear in other shows, popping up in both "The Mandalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett." With that in mind, what are the odds that we could be reunited with Ahsoka and Sabine Wren on their search for Ezra here? It'd make for a great little link into the upcoming show and be a smooth intro for those that might not be up to date on "Star Wars Rebels" like the rest of the world. For now, we can only wait and see how this unfolds as the show continues but be sure to keep an eye out when "The Mandalorian" returns next week on Disney+.