Disney+’s The Mandalorian has had a new episode each Friday, but this Wednesday’s date makes room for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s theatrical release. Is it because there’s a link between the two?
Although the two are set far apart on the Star Wars timeline, there’s a ton of mystery about the TV series and the film. It’s the first live-action show and the definitive conclusion to the Skywalker saga.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways as to how this unlikely pair could be tied together.
Baby Yoda, clones and Emperor Palpatine
The Mandalorian is set only about five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. That’s approximately 25 years prior to the events of The Rise of Skywalker.
One of the big storylines in the upcoming movie is the return of Emperor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious. Last we saw Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, he was thrown down a reactor shaft in Darth Vader’s ultimate redemption moment.
It’s vital Episode IX doesn’t undercut Vader’s heroic act of saving his son, Luke Skywalker. How is co-writer/director J.J. Abrams going to pull that off?
Well, one possibility is Palpatine created a clone and transferred his essence to that clone through the Force, as he did in non-canon Legends stories. Perhaps Palpatine had a long-gestating backup plan in the event he was killed off.
This is where The Mandalorian tie could come into play. Much mystery surrounds “Baby Yoda.” If he isn’t the son of Yoda, it’s very possible Yoda could’ve been cloned somehow.
And maybe Palpatine was behind it all. It’s unclear why the remnants of the Empire are so interested in pursuing Baby Yoda. Mando has been protecting him. The Client is clearly second on the food chain in his pursuit of the adorable 50-year-old child.
So, is the Client serving Palpatine? Or…is it someone else?
Who is/was Supreme Leader Snoke?
Another big unknown in the sequel trilogy is Snoke. If he were in The Mandalorian, we’d have probably heard by now. Having said that, the Baby Yoda secret remained under wraps until the show’s premiere in November.
Presuming Palpatine did in fact die in Return of the Jedi, as we all thought, could this dark side-savvy Snoke have been the one to take up the mantle in building the First Order?
Kylo Ren killed Snoke in The Last Jedi before we got anything more of the latter’s backstory. In a recent The Rise of Skywalker clip, Kylo enters a mysterious Sith dungeon, following the Emperor’s voice:
The implication is Palpatine has been pulling the strings to draw Kylo to the dark side this whole time. It’s even implied Palpatine used Snoke as a vessel to manipulate Kylo.
Is Snoke his own person? If so, maybe we’ll see him in The Mandalorian at some point, perhaps in Season 2. Palpatine didn’t resurface in the sequel film trilogy before Episode IX, so it seems more likely Snoke would make a Mandalorian cameo instead.
Wild card: Ahsoka Tano
The Rise of Skywalker has so many characters to juggle, while The Mandalorian has focused on the criminal underworld far more than the Jedi.
Consider, though, this recent exchange between Abrams and an interviewer:
Abrams: Who’s your favorite character?
P.K.: Me? Ahsoka Tano.
[…] Abrams: Hmmm, Ahsoka, huh? Well then you’ll probably want to watch closely during The Rise of Skywalker.Sora News 24
It’s very possible Ahsoka makes at least a cameo in The Rise of Skywalker, but what about The Mandalorian?
While the Client and bounty hunters guild is pursuing Baby Yoda, isn’t it possible a forgotten Jedi is as well? Here’s the show’s brief, final-episode synopsis: “The Mandalorian comes face-to-face with an unexpected enemy.”
Speculation swirls that the mystery character at the end of “Chapter 5” will be Mando’s “enemy.” However, that could be a massive misdirect that pays off in Season 2.
What if the “unexpected enemy” is Ahsoka? Jedi and bounty hunters aren’t traditionally friends, and Ahsoka’s appearance would add complexity and layers to the conflict of Baby Yoda’s storyline that someone like, say Boba Fett, wouldn’t.
Sure, Boba vs. Mando would be epic. On the other hand, it’d only delay the payoff for Baby Yoda, which is arguably the more compelling mystery at the center of the show.
If Ahsoka factors into The Mandalorian and helps with Baby Yoda matters, perhaps she can be of some assistance in The Rise of Skywalker. That’s especially so if the cloning aspect of Star Wars is the means by which Baby Yoda comes to be — and how Palpatine makes his long-awaited return.