The Mandalorian season 3 episode 7 features major sequel trilogy and Ahsoka connections

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian season 3 episode 7 has set up what's to come in the Star Wars universe with major references to the sequel trilogy and the upcoming Ahsoka show. A warning that the following will contain major spoilers, so turn back now if you're not up to date! 

The episode begins with a meeting of the galaxy's dark side, as Moff Gideon plots and schemes with his fellow Imperials. A reference is made to Grand Admiral Thrawn's return, but, as Gideon points out, he has yet to actually materialize. 

Thrawn is set to play a huge role in Ahsoka. At Star Wars Celebration 2023, it was announced that he'll be played by none other than Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced the character in the animated show Rebels. In the trailer released to the public, we catch a glimpse of his head – though those lucky enough to be seated at the Celebration Stage were treated to an exclusive, front-facing look of Mikkelsen with the blue skin and red eyes. 

The Imperial was last seen vanishing with Ezra Bridger thanks to the Purrgil, hyperspace travelling space whales that have made an appearance in The Mandalorian already. How Thrawn and Ezra will return is a mystery for now, but we'll likely see it all play out in the Ahsoka series. 

The Mandalorian's bad guy meeting also features a very significant participant: Brendol Hux, played by Brian Gleeson. If he looks familiar, that's because he's the real life brother of Domhnall Gleeson, who played General Armitage Hux in the sequel trilogy. Brendol is Armitage's father, though he dies before the events of The Force Awakens, explaining his absence from the movies. 

Similarly, what eventually happens to Thrawn remains to be seen; despite being a major presence in Ahsoka, he is missing from the sequel movies.

All this means that the seeds are sown for the return of the Empire – or, as it will be known, the First Order. Coupled with the references to cloning that seem to be establishing Snoke's origins, The Mandalorian is well and truly bridging the gap between the original and sequel trilogies. 

You can keep up to date with our The Mandalorian season 3 release schedule, and check out our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and Disney Plus TV shows through the link, as well as everything announced at Star Wars Celebration 2023

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.