Warning: this is the way towards major spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5 – so stop here if you haven't seen the latest episode!
The Mandalorian season 2 has had no shortage of links to the wider Star Wars universe. From Bo-Katan Kryze appearing in Chapter 11 to Ahsoka Tano making her live-action debut in Chapter 13, Mando’s connection to the galaxy is only growing. Now, we’ve found out that two particularly sinister characters could be making a return.
First up, Ahsoka name drops Grand Admiral Thrawn, an Imperial leader of strategic brilliance who first appeared in the now-defunct Legends continuity, then returned in Star Wars: Rebels and a trilogy of novels by Timothy Zahn.
The last time we saw Thrawn, he vanished along with Ezra Bridger, the young Jedi at the centre of Rebels. Ezra had a genius plan that involved some huge space-whales zapping himself and the Grand Admiral into lightspeed to an unknown destination. The plan somehow worked, and Ezra and Thrawn were lost in space.
Ahsoka vowed to find Ezra's location, though it seems unlikely the pair will still be together after all these years. Maybe Ezra will be the Jedi who turns up to meet Grogu – that's Baby Yoda, in case you forgot his real name – on Tython, the planet Mando's heading to next? Hopefully, we will find out soon enough.
The next villain referenced is a little more obscure and doesn't get quite such an obvious name drop. We are, of course, talking about Darth Revan.
The villain originally appeared in the Legends continuity, which was later made non-canon when Disney bought LucasFilm. The character was initially a Jedi who fell to the Dark side during the Mandalorian Wars. This conflict brought the Jedi and the Republic into battle against the Mandalorians – and, ultimately, Revan turned away from the Light after being corrupted by the Emperor of the Sith (not Palpatine, another one). This all happened about 3000 years before the events of the original trilogy – and none of it is canon anymore.
However, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, written by Pablo Hidalgo, namechecks the character. It turns out a legion of Palpatine’s army on Exegol, the Sith Eternal, was named after Darth Revan. With Darth Revan officially existing in the Star Wars universe, it appears the character could be on for making a comeback.
Two references are made to Revan's Legends past in The Mandalorian. In those old stories, the Sith Lord created an assassin droid called HK-47. In Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian, Mando comes up against “HK-87 assassin droids” who are guarding the town. The HK-47 droids went after the Jedi and these HK-87s – which look exactly the same – chase down Ahsoka. Seems far from a coincidence.
As well as the droids, Tython is mentioned. The planet was once attacked by the Order of Revan, a group within the Sith who followed Darth Revan’s teachings. It’s also where the Jedi order originated in the old canon.
As The Mandalorian continues its place in the wider Star Wars universe only becomes clearer, and it’s exciting to imagine what could be coming next. For now, check out our The Mandalorian season 2 release schedule to make sure you don’t miss the next episode.