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The aliens in The Mandalorian season 2 trailer mean more than you realize

When so much as a passing whiff of Star Wars news wafts through the collective cultural atmosphere, it cannot be allowed to merely come and go. It must be dissected, held beneath a microscope, and relentlessly milked for every potential detail. This is the way.

And so, once again, a tired world turns its bloodshot, binge-weary eyes to Disney+ and the highly anticipated second season of The Mandalorian, currently scheduled to drop on the streaming service on October 30, 2020. A new trailer has been released, with plenty of fresh footage to speculate about. With that trailer, we get a look at some old, familiar Star Wars faces, and a reminder that there are still dozens of ways to glue prosthetics to an extra and trigger audience nostalgia.

Yes, the myriad species of a galaxy far, far removed from our own have always been the series' meat and potatoes, visually speaking. But The Mandalorian's season two trailer was less than two minutes long, and things moved pretty quickly. Let's break down just which peculiar creatures made an appearance, and what their presence could mean for the forthcoming adventures of a stoic bounty hunter and his infant ward.

The Mandalorian? More like the Sand-alorian, am I right?

Now, what you've got right there is your boilerplate Tusken Raider, also known colloquially (and somewhat pejoratively) as the "Sand People." Passing overhead is the Razor Crest, the titular Mandalorian's sick whip, so you know Din's (Pedro Pascal) in the vicinity of this familiar desert-scape.

We know that Tusken Raiders, as well as their trusty bantha steeds, are native to Tatooine. Since their talent pool is less about interstellar travel and more centered around getting murdered, scared off, or overlooked, we can guess that Mando is headed for the desert planet the Skywalkers made famous. 

Maybe Din and the Child will go looking for work among the scum and villainy in Mos Eisley. Maybe they're following echoes of the Force left by the Skywalker clan. Maybe Boba Fett, whose imminent arrival on the series was hinted at in season one, is still hanging around his old stomping grounds, sulking about that time when he fell into a Sarlacc Pit like an absolute chump. Whatever the case, the Sand People outfits and full face coverings make them prime for one of those faceless Star Wars celebrity cameos that the franchise has become so fond of in recent years.

Quarren scenes for quarantines

See those cephalopod-looking fellas? Those are the Quarrens, A.K.A. "Squid Heads," first spotted in 1983's Return of the Jedi and later finding their place as a staple background species throughout the prequel trilogy. They're an amphibious race. "So what," you might think. "Lots of things are amphibious. Salamanders, for example. That doesn't make them special."

Well hold on, hot shot, because eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that Quarrens aren't the only fish-faced space creatures in frame. There are also a few Mon Calamari, the Star Wars species with the most on-the-nose name since George Lucas stayed up all night coming up with "Sand People." The Mon Calamari are notable for many reasons, not the least of which is their preternatural ability to tell whether or not something is a trap. 

With both Quarrens and Mon Calamari in the picture, you can bet your last Republic credit that the show is making a pit stop on Mon Cala, the native planet of both civilizations. This would mark the first time that the aquatic world has been seen in a live-action Star Wars production, though it has popped up in the comics, novels, and the Clone Wars animated series. How the planet factors into The Mandalorian's second season remains a mystery, but with The Child's penchant for nibbling on amphibians, it should make for great TV.

The Mandalorian is finally bringing back Gamorreans

Gee whiz, if those don't look like a pair of Gamorreans. Mind you, they're lithe, svelte and relatively aerodynamic compared to the Gamorreans we've seen in the past. Apparently competing in a vicious bloodsport is better exercise than minding Jabba's palace all day. Who knew?

You probably remember the Gamorrean guards from Jabba's palace back in Return of the Jedi, where they split their time evenly between being choked out, getting fed to monsters, and generally filling in as the Hutt's favorite heels.

Here, we see a pair of the pig-lizard folk engaged in a little hand-to-hand combat, swinging at one another with their signature vibro-axes while maintaining a steadfast policy of not oinking about Fight Club. Not much is known about the species, outside of the now defunct Legends canon, but we can be fairly sure that The Mandalorian, with its history of leaving no man unexploded, will leave audiences with a new perspective on bacon by the end of their fight sequence. Since the Gamorreans have been shipped all around the galaxy, they don't provide many clues as to their location in the episode, but they do hint at the area's seedy ambience.

Abyssin the night away

It's been a while, and some of you might not be old enough to remember, but there was a time when Star Wars was the name of just one movie, now called Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope. In that first movie, audiences got a taste of the larger universe at play during a trip to the Mos Eisley Cantina, where a quick glance around the room revealed a veritable monster mash of colorful species, including what appeared to be a guy in a werewolf mask and the actual devil. Also, there was a cyclops.

In the years that followed, the universe filled out in a major way. The wolfman became a Shistavanen, the devil was a Devaronian named Kardue'sai'Malloc (pronounced the way it's spelled) and that cyclops was what's known as an Abyssin, a member of a brutal race from the planet Byss. Another of the species whose history has become murky since the Disney retconned the whole Expanded Universe, they were previously depicted as violent and tribal, possessing the ability to regenerate from almost any wound. Whether that extends to whistling bird attacks remains to be seen.

Za-brak street's back, all right!

Who's that funny fella with the seemingly fatal chest wound and the "aw shucks, look at that seemingly fatal chest wound" look on his face? If the horns and basic body structure are any indication, it sure as heck looks like a Zabrak.

Long-time fans of Star Wars will recognize the Zabrak as the species that spat out the spiky Sith Lord who phantomly menaced Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. We speak, of course, of Darth Maul. Interestingly, according to Wookieepedia, Zabraks have two hearts apiece, meaning that Mando's latest stab-ee might actually be as copacetic with his wound as he looks in this still.

The Zabrak first entered the Star Wars galaxy in Episode I, and soon carved out a place for themselves in the universe thanks to their distinctive features and the way that production teams could just kind of stick horns on a person, say "that's an alien," and take an early lunch. Old favorites of the Clone Wars animated series, the species doesn't cotton to motivations painted with broad strokes — some of them are good, helping to fight on the side of the Rebellion after the rise of the Empire, while others are nasty customers with double-sided lightsabers and an indomitable torso-is-half-full attitude about the odds of surviving after getting cut in half.

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