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The icy planet from The Mandolarian season 2 trailer might not be what you think

Star Wars fans are quick to make associations and connections, and who can blame them? The franchise stands as a sort of grand mythology, and myths are known for repeating themes and symbols as they're passed down through generations. Red lightsaber? Must be a Sith. Strange things happening wherever this character goes? Must be Force-sensitive. Lost a limb? Yep, they're in the right galaxy.

That galaxy is a big, big place, though, and not everything is always what it seems, which Star Wars knows and plays off time and again. The most prominent example has to be Luke Skywalker's experience on Dagobah, where he initially fails to realize that the little green alien he meets is the greatest Jedi who ever lived. "Size matters not," and looks can be deceiving.

The trailer for The Mandalorian's second season takes all this into account, using the power of Star Wars nostalgia to make viewers think one thing when, in reality, it's probably another. This is especially true of the ice planet that features several times in the trailer, which might not be what you think it is.

Hoth, the original Star Wars ice planet

The Empire Strikes Back takes place around three years after the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star — a huge and decisive blow to the Galactic Empire. Confident in their victory but smart enough to figure they'll face retaliation at some point, the Rebels choose one of the most remote and environmentally extreme planets in the galaxy on which to hole up: Hoth.

A frosty wasteland, Hoth is all but devoid of life, save for tauntauns (lizard-like mounts perfect for traversing the harsh landscape) and the occasional wampa (predators that give Luke a run for his money). If not for the construction of Echo Base, the Rebels would have surely frozen to death, leaving their previous efforts in vain and the Empire victorious.

As aforementioned, though, retaliation was going to come sooner or later, and come it did, right after an Imperial probe droid discovers Echo Base. In one of the most memorable battles from the Star Wars franchise, the Empire takes the unprepared Rebels by surprise, setting a blockade in orbit and sending AT-ATs to wipe out ground troops. Darth Vader himself heads the invasion force, overwhelming the Rebels entirely.

A crushing defeat like that isn't easily forgotten by the Rebels or anyone watching Star Wars. So, when an ice planet pops up in a trailer for The Mandalorian, the first thing that comes to mind is understandably Hoth. By all means, it could be Hoth, but don't count your porgs before they hatch. It's just as likely to be another, less generally well-known frozen Star Wars world.

Ilum, planet of kyber crystals

"This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight," Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Luke in A New Hope after handing him Anakin's lightsaber. "Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age." Audiences in 1977 agreed with that sentiment as Luke ignited the weapon a moment later, gazing at the glowing blue blade in awe. The rest is movie history.

But where do lightsabers come from? How are they made? These questions aren't answered in any of the main series films, but they are addressed in the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In the episode "The Gathering," a group of Jedi younglings is tasked with navigating the Crystal Cave of the ice planet Ilum and finding kyber crystals, vital to the construction of (you guessed it) lightsabers.

Those same crystals are later harvested to power both Death Stars and Starkiller Base — though the latter is a bit more interesting, lore-wise. The Force Awakens marks Ilum's first big-screen appearance, but blink and you'll miss it, because Starkiller Base is Ilum. The Empire mined kyber crystals so ferociously that a trench formed around the planet's equator, in which the First Order later built its prized superweapon. It seems Star Wars villains despise ice planets no matter what era they're from.

Is the ice planet from The Mandalorian trailer Ilum?

All this talk of crystals is why the ice planet featured in The Mandalorian trailer may be Ilum rather than Hoth. Both are frosty, nearly-uninhabited tundras; at first glance, telling them apart would be next to impossible unless you got attacked by a wampa.

In the few shots in which the mystery planet features prominently, however, there's a sort of crystalline quality to the place. A brief shot of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) walking into what seems to be a crystalline cave only bolsters the theory. The Mandalorian takes place a few years after Return of the Jedi, so the First Order wouldn't have constructed Starkiller Base just yet.

Two lines from the trailer bolster the theory even further. Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), a Mandalorian herself, says that Din must "reunite [the Child] with its own kind." That could mean others of his species (the same as Yoda), or it could mean Jedi, as the Child is Force-sensitive. "The songs of eons past," she continues, "tell of battles between Mandalor the Great and an order of sorcerers called Jedi." What better place to begin tracking down Jedi than Ilum, birthplace of lightsabers? Luke is the only Jedi around at this point in the series, but that shouldn't change much.

Come October 30th 2020, when Season 2 releases on Disney+, fans ofThe Mandalorian will unravel the planet's mystery — and many others — for good and all.