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Star Wars: Who Are The Nite Owls?

Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 3 — "Chapter 11: The Heiress"

This season of Disney+'s The Mandalorian has been a frog egg buffet of callbacks and connections to the outer reaches of the Star Wars canon. Fans of the novels, comic books, and animated series have been treated to the live-action debut of creatures that appeared in those works, as well as character introductions that tie all the disparate properties together. 

The latest episode of The Mandalorian, "Chapter 11: The Heiress," is no different. In it, Mando (Pedro Pascal) and the Child cross paths with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), a fan-favorite character from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. 

After Mando successfully drops the Frog Lady off on Trask, he meets Bo-Katan and her associates, who are members of a rebel group called the Nite Owls. They, too, are from Mandalore, but are on a different notch of the complex political spectrum that has kept the planet in almost perpetual civil war. One of the clearest differences between how our Mandalorian and the Nite Owls operate is demonstrated when they take their helmets off without a second thought — much to the horror of Mando, who practices a more conservative interpretation of the Mandalorian code. However, despite their differences, Mando and Bo-Katan find common ground in the form of a raid on an Imperial freight ship.

While viewers of The Mandalorian get a rundown of Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls' backstory on the show, the group has a much deeper history within the larger Star Wars universe.

The origins of the Nite Owls

If The Mandalorian is like a Western set in the Star Wars universe, then the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars is like a military epic. The show, which is set between the events of the live-action prequel films Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, sees countless factions from across the galaxies warring with each other over the course of its seven seasons. It's a complex saga filled with shifting alliances and shocking betrayals, and the story of Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls is important to the overall narrative.

The Nite Owls, led by Bo-Katan, were a part of a group called the Death Watch, who were working against the Mandalorian leader Satine Kryze (Bo-Katan's sister — told you this was complex) and her desire to form a new pacifist society on Mandalore. Everything changed after a struggle for leadership within the Death Watch lead to its former Mandalorian leader being overthrown and killed by none other than Darth Maul. Not wanting to see someone from outside Mandalore in control of the planet, Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls broke away from the Death Watch and allied themselves with Satine in an attempt to oust Darth Maul. The Nite Owls were eventually able to dethrone Darth Maul and install Bo-Katan as the regent of Mandalore. However, this only resulted in Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls facing new challenges as the Empire's imperial occupation strangled their home world.

The Nite Owls' appearance on The Mandalorian is yet another fantastic connecting thread between the Disney+ series and the wider Star Wars world. Now, fans can look forward to Mando and the Child meeting up with a certain Jedi Padawan made popular by the animated series.