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Every Plot Twist In Mandalorian Season 2 Explained

Season 1 of The Mandalorian lived deliberately on the edges of the Star Wars galaxy, telling stories with little or nothing to do with Jedi or emperors or Skywalkers. It focused on the titular bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), who accepts a bounty on an adorable baby alien (we'll eventually learn his name is Grogu) and then rescues him, instead. As the Mandalorian and "the Child" avoid the Imperial forces that remain scattered throughout the galaxy in the years after Return of the Jedi, they have adventures and help people on various planets.

However, season 2 opened up their world considerably. Although it keeps the focus on Din Djarin and Grogu, more and more characters and plot elements from other Star Wars properties begin to appear until the series feels much more woven into the larger tapestry of the franchise. Even more impressively, it manages to make this turn without losing its enjoyable "space Western" flavor. So, let's take a look at the most surprising moments and shocking plot twists in The Mandalorian season 2 and see how they relate to the larger Star Wars saga.

(Warning — major spoilers below.)

Cobb Vanth has Boba Fett's armor

In the season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian, "The Marshal," Din Djarin goes looking for a Mandalorian on Tatooine, but the man he finds turns out not to be of his people. The marshal of the tiny mining town of Mos Pelgo wears the recognizable if heavily damaged Mandalorian armor of Boba Fett, but he's not Boba Fett, either. The marshal (Timothy Olyphant) is a human named Cobb Vanth. For many viewers, Cobb was an entirely new character, and the episode does an excellent job of introducing him. For readers of Star Wars novels, however, he's been around for years.

Cobb Vanth first appeared in the Aftermath trilogy of books by Chuck Wendig, which began in 2015 in the lead-up to the release of The Force Awakens. In keeping with what we see in The Mandalorian, Wendig's Vanth is a former slave on Tatooine who becomes the sheriff of Mos Pelgo, protecting the village from criminal syndicates and Tusken Raiders alike. Wendig also tells the story of how Vanth acquires Fett's armor, although this longer version involves him shooting a rival in the shoulder along the way. It's likely the novel's story is the "true" version, and Cobb simplified the tale (and made himself sound more innocent) when relating it to Din Djarin.

A familiar face appears in season 2 of The Mandalorian

In return for Din Djarin helping to kill a krayt dragon that had been terrorizing the area, Cobb Vanth freely gives him Fett's armor. As the Mandalorian leaves with it, a bald man in black robes watches from a distance. When he turns toward the camera, the actor is recognizable as Temuera Morrison, who originally played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. Because Jango was cloned many times, becoming the template for an entire army of Clone Troopers, some fans expressed doubt about what character Morrison might be playing here. Those expecting a misdirect were ultimately proven wrong, however. After all, why would a random Clone Trooper be tracking Boba Fett's armor? No, this could only be the unaltered clone that Jango raised as his son — Boba Fett himself.

This cameo was the first canonical confirmation that Boba survived his fall into the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. In the old Expanded Universe, of course, Boba Fett escaped the sarlacc and had many more adventures. With the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney and the launch of new movies and series, however, those stories were declared noncanonical, becoming "Legends." So, in the version of the Star Wars galaxy that we're following now, this was when we learned that Fett is still alive, making it a very exciting revelation for fans of the character.

Bo-Katan Kryze leads the way to Ahsoka Tano

In the third episode of season 2, "The Heiress," Din Djarin finally finds more Mandalorians on the watery moon of Trask. This trio is from a very different sect than his own, and he's surprised when they freely remove their helmets in front of others. They represent the Mandalorian freedom fighters known as the Nite Owls, and their leader is Bo-Katan Kryze. They soon overcome their differences, and Din Djarin helps the other Mandalorians take down an Imperial ship. In return, Bo-Katan gives him directions to a Jedi who may be able to help with Grogu — a woman named Ahsoka Tano.

Fans of the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series and its follow-up, Star Wars: Rebels, already knew Bo-Katan Kryze from her recurring appearances on those shows, where she was voiced by the same actress who plays her here, Katee Sackhoff. Bo-Katan isn't just a formidable warrior (although, she is that), she's a former ruler of Mandalore. When we last saw her on Rebels, she was wielding the legendary Darksaber, an ancient Mandalorian weapon, which we learned in the Mandalorian season 1 finale is now in the hands of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Naturally, Bo-Katan is looking for Gideon and hoping to get the Darksaber back.

Of course, the Jedi name that Bo-Katan gives Din Djarin is even more exciting for animation fans. Ahsoka Tano is one of the lead characters on Clone Wars, also appears on Rebels, and has a huge fan following. And once her name was spoken, her live-action debut became inevitable.

What's that Imperial cloning facility up to?

In the fourth episode of season 2, "The Siege," Din Djarin stops on Nevarro for repairs to his ship before can make the journey to find Ahsoka Tano. While he's there, he helps his friends Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) destroy the last Imperial outpost on the planet. The base turns out to be far better staffed than expected, and it functions as a cloning facility. According to a recording by Imperial cloner Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), they're using the midichlorian-rich blood of Grogu to make ... something. Before the base is destroyed, the heroes catch a glimpse of what appear to be cloning tubes with vague, possibly deformed bodies within. They never learn exactly what was going on there, but it's a safe bet the work will continue elsewhere.

What are the Imperial scientists making, and why do they need the blood of a powerful Force-user to do it? Is this the origin of Supreme Leader Snoke? Are these cloned bodies for Emperor Palpatine? Whatever the exact story is, it definitely looks like a direct link between The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker.

Ahsoka reveals Grogu's name in season 2 of The Mandalorian

Din Djarin and Grogu finally make it to Ahsoka Tano in the aptly titled "The Jedi," which is episode 5 of season 2. In fact, it's Ahsoka who reveals to the Mandalorian and the viewers at home that the character we'd just been calling "the Child," "the Kid," or "Baby Yoda" is in fact named Grogu. She also reveals that he was at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant before the events of Revenge of the Sith

In revealing these facts, she also confirms something we'd begun to suspect. Although Grogu is pre-verbal, he's far more cognizant and aware of events around him than a human infant at his physical level of development. He's much more than just a baby Yoda. He's a sentient, thinking being who's constantly learning from everything around him, even if he also likes to play with shiny things and put stuff in his mouth.

Furthermore, this episode introduces Ahsoka Tano — easily the most popular character to emerge from Star Wars animation — to the live-action franchise. Whereas the animated version was voiced by Ashley Eckstein, she's played here by Rosario Dawson, who's both a bigger star and a better physical match for the character.

Ahsoka is also looking for someone

Ahsoka Tano helps Din Djarin and Grogu on their way, but she declines to take custody of the tiny Jedi. She has her own mission beyond just ending the tyranny of a local Imperial magistrate (Diana Lee Inosanto) over the city of Calodan. Upon defeating the magistrate, Ahsoka demands to know the location of her commander, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Unsurprisingly, that's another name that longtime Star Wars fans will recognize, although he's yet to make a live-action appearance.

Grand Admiral Thrawn was originally created by Timothy Zahn, as the main villain of his Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels that launched the now-disavowed Expanded Universe way back in 1991. After the Disney acquisition, Thrawn was brought back into canon by the Star Wars: Rebels series and new novels, which kept his character very much the same. Thrawn is a rare non-human in the Imperial command — a Chiss with blue skin and red eyes — and a leader with ambition and strategic skill to rival Emperor Palpatine himself.

Soon after this episode aired, Disney announced that Ahsoka Tano will be getting her own live-action series, in which Thrawn is almost certain to appear. We don't know for sure who might play him, but it's worth noting that Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced the character on Rebels, would very much look the part with the appropriate makeup.

Season 2 of The Mandalorian brings new allies we've seen before

As the title implies, things go very badly for Din Djarin in "The Tragedy," the sixth episode of season 2. His ship is destroyed, and Grogu is captured by Moff Gideon's forces. Fortunately, the Mandalorian also gains some allies along the way. Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) returns after being left for dead in the Tatooine desert way back in season 1's "The Gunslinger." She's accompanied by the man who saved her life, whose mysterious boots we saw approaching her at the end of that episode, although we didn't know whose they were until this one — Boba Fett.

Fett is after his armor, of course, and in return for it, he agrees to help rescue Grogu. Din Djarin is reluctant to return the armor at first because he objects to it being worn by a non-Mandalorian, but Fett reveals that his father was a foundling taken in by Mandalorians, just like Din Djarin himself. So not only does this episode finally reveal who found Fennec Shand in the desert, it answers the longstanding question about whether or not Jango and Boba Fett were Mandalorians. Jango was raised to be one, it seems, but he didn't raise Boba that way.

Gideon uses Dark Troopers to capture Grogu

After the formidable trio of Din Djarin, Boba Fett, and Fennec Shand kill quite a few Stormtroopers, Moff Gideon is able to capture Grogu by sending in the Dark Troopers, a group of black-armored droids who are much tougher than humans. Plus, these guys can fly. In the season finale, "The Rescue," we really see how formidable they are when Din Djarin is just barely manages to defeat a single Dark Trooper in combat, with only his indestructible beskar helmet keeping his head from being crushed like a melon by the droid's fist. Far tougher than the Separatist battle droids of the prequels, the Dark Troopers are unlike any foe seen in Star Wars before. That is, unless you play the video games, in which case you know they've been around for 25 years.

The original Dark Troopers first appeared in Star Wars: Dark Forces, a first person shooter game released in 1995. They returned and became part of the modern canon in Star Wars: Commander, a 2014 mobile game. With The Mandalorian, they became part of the live-action fabric of the Star Wars galaxy.

Migs Mayfield participated in Operation: Cinder

In the seventh episode of season 2, "The Believer," Din Djarin must team up with his old criminal accomplice, Migs Mayfield (Bill Burr), a former Imperial sharpshooter who can help access Gideon's location through a computer terminal at an Imperial base. While inside the base, Mayfield and the Mandalorian run into Mayfield's old commanding officer, Valin Hess (Richard Brake), who insists on sitting and reminiscing about their service together. It comes out that they were on the planet Burnin Konn as part of Operation: Cinder in the wake of the Battle of Endor, and that Hess intentionally caused the death of an entire city of civilians — as well as most of his own division — in the service of the Empire. Mayfield can't stomach Hess bragging about his despicable actions and shoots his former commander, meaning he and Din Djarin have to fight their way out of the base.

Operation: Cinder was the focus of the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II, and it's appeared in other media along the way, including the comic book series Shattered Empire. Fans familiar with those sources know that it wasn't just Valin Hess who committed atrocities in that campaign. The entire goal of Operation: Cinder was to reduce a number of inhabited planets to ruins in the wake of Emperor Palpatine's death, essentially burning the Empire down so it couldn't exist without its leader. It's no wonder Mayfield was left so disillusioned by his experiences.

Mando wins the Darksaber

Din Djarin finally comes to blows directly with Moff Gideon in the season 2 finale, "The Rescue." He's able to hold his own against the Darksaber with a spear made of beskar, the same metal as his armor and one of the few materials a lightsaber can't slice through. Gideon quickly proves himself a dishonorable fighter by attacking the Mandalorian from behind after offering a truce, but his combat skills are no match for Din Djarin, and Gideon is defeated. The Mandalorian takes the Darksaber and offers it to Bo-Katan Kryze, but to his surprise, she refuses it. As Gideon explains, the Darksaber can't be given, it must be won in combat. That makes Din Djarin the Darksaber's rightful bearer, and therefore, he's the theoretical ruler of Mandalore, whether he likes it or not.

Bo-Katan's history with the Darksaber goes all the way back to Clone Wars, and it weaves its way through Rebels, as well. She wanted it to unite the Mandalorian people, so it's possible that job may now fall to Din Djarin, although he doesn't seem interested in it. On the other hand, his quest to find someone to train Grogu is over, at least for the time being, so Mandalorian politics could turn out to be a major focus of The Mandalorian season 3.

Luke Skywalker arrives in The Mandalorian season 2

Before Grogu is captured in "The Tragedy," he sends a message through the Force to find a Jedi who might train him. At the end of "The Rescue," that Jedi arrives. Long before his face is shown, he boards Moff Gideon's ship in an X-wing fighter and defeats an entire platoon of Dark Troopers using his Force powers and a green lightsaber. So it's not that surprising when he reveals himself to be Luke Skywalker. After an emotional farewell with Din Djarin, Grogu leaves with Luke to be trained as a Jedi.

Since The Mandalorian is set a few years after Return of the Jedi, Luke is the obvious Jedi to take Grogu in, but it's still a huge surprise to see the original protagonist of the Star Wars saga show up for a Mandalorian cameo. That's especially true since digital effects were used to recreate a younger Mark Hamill's face (your mileage may vary on how good it looks).

Of course, Grogu leaving with Luke raises questions about his future. Will he still be in Luke's Jedi school when Ben Solo and the Knights of Ren destroy it and kill the students? That seems unlikely, since Grogu has proven so popular, and Disney is unlikely to let him die off-screen. Not to mention, would anyone buy Kylo Ren's redemption in Rise of Skywalker if he was revealed to have slaughtered Baby Yoda? We don't really know the rate at which Grogu will mature or how much Luke has to teach him, so perhaps he'll have left by then. Or perhaps he'll leave much sooner, deciding not to become a Jedi but a Mandalorian like his adopted dad. Whatever happens, Grogu's story — and Din Djarin's — are now tied up with Luke Skywalker's, which makes them far more central to the Star Wars mythos.

Boba Fett kills Bib Fortuna

The season 2 finale of The Mandalorian adopted a strategy of Disney's other blockbuster action franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, by using a scene during the credits to set up another upcoming spin-off. Suddenly, we see Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine, where the late Hutt's former majordomo, Bib Fortuna, now sits on the throne. Fennec Shand and Boba Fett enter, easily taking out all of Fortuna's guards. Boba Fett then kills Bib Fortuna and takes the throne with Fennec Shand by his side. And that's when a title appears on the screen: The Book of Boba Fett.

Disney has since confirmed that The Book of Boba Fett will be a new series premiering in December 2021, starring Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen and following on from their storylines on The Mandalorian. In addition to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, acclaimed crime/action filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is being brought on as a third executive producer. Rodriguez directed the Fett-centric episode "The Tragedy" this season, and he should have a lot to bring to the spinoff.

In addition to that new series, there's also a third season of The Mandalorian in development, along with all the other Star Wars stuff Disney has planned. It's an exciting time to be a fan, and we can barely imagine what the future might hold.