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Why Dr. Mandible In The Mandalorian Chapter 10 Is More Important Than You Realize

Yes, Disney+'s live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian is back. And even as the galaxy continues bow down at the unimaginable adorableness of The Child, season 2 of the series has already featured more galaxy-inspired creatures than you can shake a Bantha horn at. That's especially true of the latest episode of The Mandalorian "The Passenger," which should probably have come with a pre-episode warning for viewers with a bad case of arachnophobia.

Luckily, those triggering arachnophobic moments don't come until later in the episode. "The Passenger" actually opens with Mando (Pedro Pascal) and The Child still on Tatooine and (after discovering the other Mandalorian on the planet wasn't exactly what he seemed) plotting next moves in their ongoing quest to reunite The Child with his people.

The episode also finds Mando stepping back through the doors of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Though Mando was only there to reconnect with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), the ghastly creature she was playing sabacc with got a very noticeable closeup. That creature was named Dr. Mandible, and die-hard galaxy fans no doubt recognized the good doctor as a Killik, a giant ant-like species first introduced in the pages of Star Wars literature.

While the introduction of a Killik to The Mandalorian is intriguing in its own right, it seems unlikely that Dr. Mandible will have an impact on the show's overarching narrative. That being said, the creature's appearance is more than notable as "The Passenger" episode was directed by Peyton Reed, who has more than a little bit of experience working with cinematic ants of all sizes.

Dr. Mandible was likely a sly wink at director Peyton Reed's MCU movies

More specifically, Peyton Reed has experience working with an Ant-Man on the big screen, as he's also the director in charge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Ant-Man franchise. Reed took the helm on that franchise after Marvel infamously parted ways with Edgar Wright (Shaun of the DeadBaby Driver) in 2014, and has gone on to deliver two of the more delightful additions to the MCU (thanks in no small part to the brilliant work of stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly). 

Reed is currently set to complete his Ant-Man trilogy with the in-the-works Ant-Man 3, tentatively slated for a 2022 release date. And while it hasn't been confirmed by Reed or The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau, Dr. Mandible's episode 10 closeup was almost certainly a sly wink from the director to his Ant-Man background.

Dr. Mandible's appearance in "The Passenger" wasn't the first time he showed his bug-eyed face in The Mandalorian, though. Seems the creature is a regular in the not so hallowed halls of the Mos Eisley cantina, and was first glimpsed there in the season 1 episode "The Gunslinger." 

The scene in question was far more notable as it featured Mando having a word with the droid barkeep EV-9D9, who fans would come to discover was voiced by Star Wars icon Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). Savvy viewers no doubt took notice of the ant-like creature waiting for service as they talked business.

It has not, however, been confirmed that it is in fact the very same Killik in both episodes. Either way, Dr. Mandible's moment in season 2 of The Mandalorian is one of the more clever Easter eggs the series has yet produced.