The Mandalorian's third season was filled with more Easter eggs and delightful deep cuts than ever before. Now that it's over, here are all the best Star Wars connections and references you might have missed:
During the opening scene of "The Apostate," which depicts a Mandalorian initiation ritual, one of the flags we see features the logo of Clan Vizsla. That's a famed Mandalorian clan descended from Tarre Vizsla, the creator of the Darksaber and the first Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order. In The Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla led the terrorist group Death Watch, which Bo-Katan joined, and Paz Vizsla is a follower of Din Djarin's religion, the Children of the Watch, in The Mandalorian.
In "The Apostate," Grogu notices some creatures floating through hyperspace while he and Din are traveling. Those are Purrgils — space whales, essentially — and they popped up in the animated series Star Wars Rebels. Rebels ended with its lead, Ezra Bridger, facing off against the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn before a group of Purrgils wrapped around their ship and the two disappeared into hyperspace, never to be seen again. It's believed that the upcoming Ahsoka show will be about trying to find Ezra, hence why Ahsoka was looking for Thrawn in The Mandalorian season 2. So the presence of the Purrgils here is likely planting the seeds for that plot.
On Nevarro, we see a group of Kowakian monkey-lizards in a tree as Grogu and the Mandalorian arrive. They're of the same species as Salacious B. Crumb, Jabba the Hutt's court jester in Return of the Jedi. We previously saw one of them being roasted on Nevarro in The Mandalorian's first season.
The Hydian Way
Greef Karga notes in "The Apostate" that Nevarro is now an "official trade spur of the Hydian Way," a deep cut to a hyperroute that has been mentioned in various Star Wars media, including novels and episodes of The Clone Wars. In the Clone Wars episode "R2 Come Home," for example, Plo Koon tells his fellow Jedi, "We shall reinforce our fleet along the Hydian Way."
One of the most notable background aliens on Nevarro, who we can glimpse after Greef Karga says he's "got to level with you," appears to be a Kyuzo. That's the same type of alien as Constable Zuvio from The Force Awakens, who fans famously expected to have a prominent role in the film given he received his own toy, only for Zuvio to briefly appear in the background of a single shot. The species originated in The Clone Wars.
A cook droid
Also on Nevarro, we see the same kind of cooking droid that was in Jabba's Palace during The Book of Boba Fett.
Din Djarin turns to a group of Anzellans to repair IG-11, the same species of alien as Babu Frik, who helped access information within C-3PO in The Rise of Skywalker. Hey hey!
Kalevala and Sundari
At the end of "The Apostate," Din goes to visit Bo-Katan on Kalevala, a planet in the Mandalore system previously mentioned in The Clone Wars as the homeworld of Bo-Katan's sister, Duchess Satine Kryze. She's referred to in the animated show as "Duchess Satine of Kalevala," though The Mandalorian is the first time we're seeing the planet.
Bo-Katan also mentions Sundari, which was the capital city of Mandalore in The Clone Wars, and we previously saw Satine ruling from Sundari in that show. We later see the ruins of the civic center of Sundari in the episode "The Mines of Mandalore," and it looks fairly accurate to how the city was depicted in animation.
At the start of "The Mines of Mandalore," Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) mentions not wanting to work on Boonta Eve, a major holiday. In The Phantom Menace, the pod race Anakin Skywalker competes in was the Boonta Eve Classic.
The droid R5-D4 is a major part of the episode "The Mines of Mandalore," as Din takes him on his journey to Mandalore after he's unable to get IG-11 fixed.
In A New Hope, R5-D4 was the droid that Luke Skywalker and Owen Lars were originally trying to buy from the Jawas along with C-3PO, only for it to suddenly catch fire, leading Luke to buy R2-D2 instead. A short story in the book From a Certain Point of View later explained that R5-D4 malfunctioned intentionally because he knew R2-D2 was on an important mission to deliver Princess Leia's message to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Peli Motto asks Grogu who "taught you how to leap like a Lurmen," a reference to a monkey-like species. In the Clone Wars episode "Jedi Crash," Ahsoka Tano and Aayla Secura come across a village of Lurmen, pacifists who want no part of the war with the Separatists.
Din Djarin mentions in "The Mines of Mandalore" that he grew up on the moon of Concordia. We previously saw Concordia on The Clone Wars, which established that this is where members of Death Watch were exiled during Duchess Satine Kryze's pacifist rule. Bo-Katan is a former member of Death Watch, and Din's religion, the Children of the Watch, presumably has its origins with this group.
The creature that pulls Din Djarin into the living waters at the end of "The Mines of Mandalore" is a Mythosaur, a legendary beast whose skull is depicted in the logo of the Mandalorians. The Mythosaurs have been mentioned in The Clone Wars and earlier in The Mandalorian, including when Kuiil noted that "your ancestors rode the great Mythosaur" in the first episode of the show. But this is the first time we've ever seen a living one depicted in live-action.
The opera house
When Dr. Pershing gives a speech near the start of the episode "The Convert," this is taking place at the same opera house where Palpatine famously told Anakin Skywalker about the "tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise" in Revenge of the Sith.
During his speech in the opera house, Dr. Pershing mentions the "groundbreaking work of the Kaminoans," a reference to the aliens who created the Republic's clone army in Attack of the Clones. We've also recently been seeing them on the animated show The Bad Batch.
The mantabog of Malastare
The droid piloting Dr. Pershing's ship after his speech recommends he visit the Holographic Museum of Extinct Animals and gives a shout-out to the "mantabog of Malastare," one of the displays. Malastare was a planet briefly mentioned in The Phantom Menace — a representative says "the congress of Malastare concurs" during a Senate scene — and it was featured in The Clone Wars during the episode "The Zillo Beast." That episode introduces a massive creature, the Zillo Beast, which is said to have once roamed Malastare but was thought extinct. The mantabog is also the name of a creature from a Star Wars roleplaying game.
Plus, the droid references the "Mysses blossoms" at the botanical gardens, a reference to a type of plant found on Kashyyyk, the homeworld of the Wookiees, in the pre-Disney "Legends" continuity.
The Resistance theme
When Dr. Pershing and Elia are walking together in the Coruscant plaza and eating ice cream in "The Convert," we can hear a rendition of the Resistance theme from the sequel trilogy. This music appears to be diegetic, suggesting the theme is an in-universe anthem for the New Republic. We previously heard the Resistance theme in the season 2 episode "The Passenger" after Din encounters two New Republic pilots.
Elia offers to buy Dr. Pershing a Photon fizzle, referring to a type of drink available at Dex's Diner from Attack of the Clones and featured in the cookbook for Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Star Wars theme park area. It was also mentioned in the recent video game LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
Benduday and Taungsday
We hear in "The Convert" that two names for days of the week in Star Wars are Benduday and Taungsday. In Star Wars Rebels, Bendu was the name of a key Force-sensitive character who balanced the dark and light sides, and George Lucas' original plan for the Jedi was for them to be called "Jedi Bendu." Taungsday also likely gets its name from the Taungs, a species from the pre-Disney "Legends" continuity.
Elia tells Dr. Pershing to touch the peak of Umate, the highest mountain on Coruscant. We previously saw this mountain in the Clone Wars, including during the episode "Duchess of Mandalore," and this whole plaza was originally inspired by concept art from Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary artist who worked on the original trilogy. Umate also popped up in the 2021 book Light of the Jedi.
'It's a trap'
At the end of "The Convert," Dr. Pershing tells a Mon Calamari doctor that "it was a trap," which sure seems like an intentional reference to Admiral Ackbar's infamous "it's a trap" line from Return of the Jedi.
While The Mandalorians are discussing their game plan for rescuing Ragnar Vizsla in "The Foundling," Bo-Katan says that the mountains are "no higher than the peaks of Kyrimorut," referring to a stronghold on Mandalore that has previously been mentioned in Legends books.
"The Foundling" finally reveals who rescued Grogu during Order 66: Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, a character introduced on a kids' game show called Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge.
Kelleran is also played by Ahmed Best, the actor who portrayed Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy. Best has previously opened up about the fact that he received so much hatred for playing Jar Jar, a divisive character, that he contemplated suicide. Almost 25 years later, though, Star Wars fans celebrated his return to the franchise.
And the return of Jar Jar himself could potentially be around the corner. Kelleran mentions he's bringing Grogu to friends of his, and he's aided by security forces from Naboo, Jar Jar's homeworld.
Early in "The Pirate," Greef Karga tells Gorian Shard that he gunned down one of his men because "he shot first," to which Gorian responds, "Well, now I will shoot first." This could be a reference to "Han shot first," the infamous rallying cry among fans who were unhappy that a special edition of Star Wars: A New Hope adjusted Han's encounter with Greedo so that Greedo fires the first shot.
Also in "The Pirate," Gorian Shard tells Greef Karga that "this isn't sabacc," referring to the card game in which Han Solo beat Lando Calrissian to win the Millennium Falcon, as seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
After Captain Teva gets his message from Greef Karga in "The Pirate," he shares a few words with an alien at the bar before setting off. This alien is Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, one of the main characters of the animated series Star Wars Rebels. The credits confirm it is Zeb himself and not merely a member of his species. Like with the Purrgil appearance, this cameo (the alien's first in live-action) is likely setting the stage for Zeb to return in the Ahsoka series.
Also in the bar scene in "The Pirate," three Mandalorian directors can be seen chatting in the foreground: Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, and Rick Famuyiwa. All three previously had cameos as New Republic pilots in season 2's "The Prisoner." This time, though, Filoni gets to wear his signature hat, for which he has become known in real life.
When Gorian Shard is urged to retreat during the final battle in "The Pirate," he declares, "In a puffer pig's eye." A puffer pig is a type of creature that can inflate like a balloon, as previously seen in Star Wars Rebels. In the Rebels episode "Idiot's Array," Lando Calrissian is transporting a puffer pig and explains that the creatures are valuable because they have a "nose for precious minerals" and can "do the job of a dozen mining scanners."
Tom Holland's brother
"Guns for Hire" features a number of notable cameos, namely Jack Black and Lizzo, who make their surprise Star Wars debuts. But one feature you may have missed is Harry Holland, brother of Spider-Man star Tom Holland, showing up at the start of the episode to play the Mon Calamari nobleman.
Christopher Lloyd's character mentions a stockpile of Imperial robotics scheduled to be scrapped at Karthon, referring to the prison moon where Migs Mayfeld was serving his sentence in season 2.
They don't serve our kind here
In "Guns for Hire," Din Djarin and Bo-Katan visit a bar consisting entirely of droids, where Din remarks, "I don't think they get many of our kind here." It's the inverse of a scene from A New Hope where Luke and Obi-Wan visit a cantina on Tatooine but have to leave C-3PO and R2-D2 outside because, as the bartender says, "We don't serve their kind here."
The bar in "Guns for Hire" is filled with familiar droids, including a pair of RX-Series. That's the same kind of droid as RX-24, a.k.a. Rex, the pilot on the classic Disney ride Star Tours. After that ride was revamped, Rex was turned into a DJ at Galaxy's Edge.
The Techno Union
In "Guns for Hire," Din and Bo-Katan learn that the nano-droids were manufactured by the Techno Union, referring to the guild that originated in Attack of the Clones. It allied with the Separatists during the events of the prequel trilogy.
Moff Gideon meets with a council of Imperials at the start of "The Spies," one of whom is Brendol Hux. This is the father of General Armitage Hux, played by Domhnall Gleeson in the sequel trilogy. In fact, the character in The Mandalorian is portrayed by Gleeson's actual brother, Brian Gleeson. Brendol Hux has previously appeared in the expanded Star Wars media, which revealed that Armitage is his illegitimate son. Captain Phasma ends up becoming Brendol's protégé, only for her to murder him in the novel Phasma.
Another member of this Imperial council is Gilad Pellaeon, who had an extensive role as Grand Admiral Thrawn's right-hand man in the old Legends continuity. The character was originally created for Timothy Zahn's Thrawn novels. Pellaeon has also been established as someone who worked with Thrawn in the current Disney continuity, and we heard his voice in the finale of Star Wars Rebels in 2018.
Moff Gideon's Imperial council mentions that Brendol Hux is working on something called Project Necromancer. We don't exactly know what that is, but it's likely connected to the efforts to bring back Emperor Palpatine following his apparent death in Return of the Jedi, which will eventually lead to his return in The Rise of Skywalker. The same way The Clone Wars retroactively improved the prequel films, The Mandalorian could soon provide much-needed context to the infamous declaration that "somehow, Palpatine returned."
Once Grogu is in the IG-11 suit, he passes by a shop and grabs some fruit. This appears to be a meiloorun fruit, which we previously saw on Star Wars Rebels. In the episode "Fighter Flight," Hera sends Ezra and Zeb on a supply run and demands they not return "without at least one meiloorun fruit," and they bring her back one at the end.
At the end of "The Spies," Paz Vizsla is apparently killed by three Praetorian Guards, who were first introduced as guards for Supreme Leader Snoke in The Last Jedi.
The barrier shields
In the finale "The Return," Din Djarin has to fight through a series of barrier shields, which he instructs R5 to deactivate one at a time. This seems like an intentional callback to the end of The Phantom Menace, where Qui-Gon Jinn fights Darth Maul through a series of barrier shields that keep opening and closing. This separates Qui-Gon from Obi-Wan Kenobi, leading to the former's death.
R5 is spotted in Moff Gideon's base by a group of mouse droids, a.k.a. MSE-6-series repair droids, which we saw on the Death Star in A New Hope. They've also popped up in The Last Jedi, The Clone Wars, and more.
An RA-7 protocol droid
When the camera pans over to show the droid head that helps repair IG-11 in "The Return," on the far left next to all the Stormtrooper helmets, we can briefly see the head of an RA-7 protocol droid. This type of droid was first seen on the sandcrawler in A New Hope, though perhaps its most memorable role was as the droid AP-5 on Star Wars Rebels.
Another Dave Filoni cameo
When Din Djarin makes his deal with Carson Teva in the bar at the end of "The Return," Mandalorian producer Dave Filoni once again makes a cameo in the background, just as he did earlier in the season — meaning his pilot character, Trapper Wolf, seems to just constantly hang out at this bar. Perhaps it's the Cheers of the Star Wars galaxy, and Filoni is the Norm.
Update April 20, 2023: This article has been updated to reflect the final batch of Easter eggs and callbacks in season 3 of The Mandalorian.