It's all true. The Mandalorian just slapped us around the face with a stitched sack full of answers and rumor confirmations. We’re not over it.
Though many big reveals that took place in Chapter 11 have been rumored for months, there is now no doubt whatsoever that this live-action Star Wars show has, and will continue, to prove those rumors to be true. Han Solo is standing right in front of us, saying, “... it’s all true. All of it.”
We should have been ready, but we weren't. At all.
WARNING: From this point forward, there will be huge spoilers for Chapter 11 of The Mandalorian. If you haven’t watched yet and don’t wish to be spoiled, hop that Gozanti freighter and get out of here as quickly as you can.
A hearty welcome back to Bo-Katan Kryze! The character was introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, appeared again in Star Wars Rebels, and then appeared once more in Season 7 of The Clone Wars. Now, she’s moved from animation to live-action, and she's still played by Katee Sackhoff.
This doesn’t happen. This never happens. The closest we've come to this is Saw Gerrera going from Season 5 of The Clone Wars to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but even there, Andrew Kishino voiced him on the animated series and Forest Whitaker took over for live-action (and then all animated appearanes afterwards). In this instance, not only is a character who was created for an animated series making the jump to live-action, she is also being played by the same actor. Sackhoff, a veteran of Battlestar Galactica (and many other series), proves to be just as perfect as Bo-Katan in live-action as she was when the character was animated.
It’s a game-changer all around, a huge moment for the connection between Star Wars animation and live-action, and obviously a big step for Bo-Katan herself. Normally, this reveal alone would be more than enough for one episode... but the last member of House Kryze brought a flurry of other reveals with her. Thanks, Starbuck! What do you hear?
Why do the Mandalorians on this series have a strict code of never removing their helmets, while others (like Bo-Katan) have no problem taking them off whenever they please? It turns out that our main Mando (Pedro Pascal) is a part of a fractured group called "The Children of the Watch" and they are looking to return the whole culture to a more ancient way of doing things. The catchphrase "this is the way" has a somewhat ominous meaning now.
Speaking of ancient ways, Bo-Katan goes one further when she refers to the ruler of the Mandalorians as “The Mandalore.” This is a deep cut back to the books of Star Wars Legends, and is a big re-canonization of the rank.
She seeks to put someone (likely herself) into that role, but she’s going to need a certain object to do it. We’ve seen the object in question in the hands of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), and soon enough Bo-Katan is referencing the darksaber by name in this episode, the one lightsaber that can unite them all. She proceeds to say that it was taken from her, while simultaneously confirming that the “great purge” often referred to in this series happened after the events of Star Wars Rebels and before the fall of the Empire. Both she and Moff Gideon were heavily involved in that event, and it doesn't sound like they were part of the same sewing circle.
Not enough for you? Good, because this chapter ain't done. Our Mando is hot on the hunt for Jedi, and we know that Bo-Katan has had plenty of dealings with them. They are no mythical band of sorcerers to her — she’s worked with them. We saw her working with one recently, come to think of it! Season 7 of The Clone Wars featured her fighting alongside Ahsoka Tano.
Ahsoka appearing on The Mandalorian is likely the most rumored rumor to ever rumor, and though Lucasfilm never confirmed it, Bo-Katan goes ahead and confirms it for them in this episode. She puts Mando on the trail to go and find Ahsoka, and tells him to tell her that Bo-Katan sent him.
Yes, she mentions Ahsoka Tano by name.
It is now a very, very safe bet that Ahsoka Tano is going to hit the scene this season. While this will be another instance of an animated character making the live-action jump, it will be a bit different. The rumors have all pegged Rosario Dawson as taking the role, meaning that Ashley Eckstein, the actor who created the character, will sadly not be making the Sackhoff leap.
This is unfortunate, but there’s no way around it now. Bo-Katan dropping the name all but guarantees that Tano will appear. Everything we’ve heard about this season (thus far) has turned out to be true (Timothy Olyphant and Temuera Morrison both present, hey guys), so it now seems that Dawson showing up in full Togruta makeup is well and truly inevitable.
You wanted answers? You wanted rumor confirmations? You wanted Ahsoka Tano? You wanted Katee Sackhoff? Welcome to Chapter 11 of The Mandalorian. They've done it, and they are doing it. This is the (ancient) way. It’s true. All of it.
For more on everything and anything Star Wars, be sure to take a listen to our heroes over on Jabba the Pod.