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The Rogue One Connection You Missed In The Mandalorian

To help brighten up an otherwise chaotic 2020, the second season of The Mandalorian hit Disney+ at the tail end of the year. In doing so, it yet again captivated fans the world over, ranging from die-hards to casual viewers who missed spending quality time with Baby Yoda a.k.a. Grogu — and not just because he's actually cute according to science. Many audiences found this season especially engaging thanks to its plethora of Easter eggs and references connecting the show to the established galaxy far, far away. These nods to other projects in the Star Wars universe have become a hallmark of The Mandalorian, beginning in its inaugural season, but turned up to eleven for the second round.

Relative to its successor, The Mandalorian's premiere season didn't make its cameos and connections to the canon nearly as overt. That's why you may have missed all those Easter eggs. As a matter of fact, it didn't contain an appearance from a single existing character from the Star Wars franchise writ large, aside from a few nameless Imperial Stormtroopers and Death troopers (There's a difference. It gets complicated, so here's every type of Stormtrooper explained). 

That's not to say that season 1 didn't make viewers test their knowledge of Star Wars history now and again. In the first season finale, for example, there's a vague mention of an entity introduced in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that likely slipped past you upon first viewing.

The Mandalorian indirectly mentions Rogue One's Bor Gullet

The Mandalorian's season 1 finale, entitled "Chapter 8: Redemption," saw Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and his ragtag band of heroes fighting off hordes of imperial soldiers. Trapped inside a local cantina, the likelihood of their capture at the hands of Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) forces seemed increasingly likely. Before coming up with an escape plan, Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) talk about their fate should they end up in imperial custody. The former brings up the possibility of being hooked up to a mind flayer, but Karga doesn't believe such a thing exists, shrugging it off as "wartime propaganda."

Contrary to his belief, Screen Rant deduced that they're very much a real thing in the Star Wars galaxy, and played a considerable part in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Per the paranoid Saw Gerrera's (Forest Whitaker) command, former Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) underwent a thorough mental examination by a creature known as Bor Gullet — a member of the Marian species. It wrapped its tentacles around him and "could feel his thoughts," which allowed Gerrera to determine if Rook was a trustworthy ally or an imperial spy.

As implied by Greef Karga's Mandalorian comment, the Empire apparently used Marians to invade the minds of its captives, but he was never near enough to the action to see it happen. To him, they're an urban legend, but Cara Dune, on the other hand, knows better. Having run with the Rebellion for some time as a shock trooper, she very well could've seen these telepathic beasts up close in the worst possible way. Thankfully, neither she nor Karga had to endure such a fate. They escape Gideon's onslaught with their minds and bodies intact.