Here’s Why Much of ‘The Mandalorian’ Seems Familiar
These connections aren't just characters and props but whole plots and arcs.
Star Wars is a never-ending saga, but many of the stories end up intertwining and being told across decades of movies, shows, and cartoons. The Mandalorian owes a debt to many Star Wars properties, but the connections to The Clone Wars are some of the most important, if not the most obvious. So here are all The Mandalorian characters, actors, settings, props, and plots that first appeared in The Clone Wars.
Star Wars characters
I previously wrote about this in the article about translating animated Star Wars characters into live-action. Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano were both iconic characters from the Clone Wars who have since been brought onto The Mandalorian. We also had a unique case with Jon Favreau voicing two related Mandalorians, Pre Vizsla and Paz Vizsla.
The recent episode, “The Mines of Mandalore”, especially had me interested to see how the show will explore Bo-Katan’s characters as the last surviving member of Mandalore’s royal family. Will they talk about the nephew she lost? Will we get a flashback to her childhood with her sister, Duchess Satine?
Actors in both Star Wars’ titles
Many actors from The Clone Wars have returned to the Star Wars galaxy for roles in The Mandalorian.
Obviously, we have Katee Sackhoff, who is a rare instance of a voice actor getting to play their character in live-action. A surprise but a very welcome one.
We also have Omid Abtahi as the Imperial cloning Doctor Pershing; he had previously voiced Cadet Amis, a Mandalorian cadet and friend of Korkie Kryze (Bo-Katan’s nephew) in The Clone Wars.
Season 1 Episode 6 “The Prisoner” was basically a speed run of Clone Wars cameos:
- Clancy Brown, who voiced Savage Oppress (brother of Darth Maul), played the Devaronian criminal Burg.
- We got Matt Lanter in the same episode; The Clone Wars voice actor for Anakin Skywalker played New Republic soldier Lieutenant Davan, who was unfortunately killed during the prison break.
- Dave Filoni also got in on the action, playing an X-wing pilot named Trapper Wolf.
Chapter 10 has the Frog Lady voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, best known for voicing the clone troopers, as well as various other characters and creatures.
Star Wars’ props, vehicles, creatures, and planets
The Dark Saber was first introduced in The Clone Wars. While it was originally just meant to be a stolen Jedi relic, the show has since made it a symbol of who leads Mandalore … as well as a symbol of their warrior culture, for better or for worse.
The Blurrg (the creature that Kuiil the Ugnaught taught Din Djarin to ride) was first shown as the steeds of the Twi-Lek resistance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Technically, the creatures had been featured in some Legends stories, including The Old Republic, but their appearances in Clone Wars and Rebels are the obvious influences for their current appearance.
The Death Watch
While their name has not yet been said in the show, the Death Watch’s influence has affected all of the Mandalorian’s story. Fans of the Clone Wars immediately recognized the Mandalorians in Din’s flashback to be members of Death Watch, a terrorist group fighting to restore the warrior ways. Bo-Katan essentially confirmed that Din’s rescuers were a splinter group, calling them “The Children of the Watch.” And she should know, having been a member of the Death Watch until Darth Maul took over.
I am hoping that the show eventually addresses Bo-Katan’s less-than-shiny past, as well as the dark side to Din’s cabal.
Plots of Star Wars titles
There are many plots in the show that harken back to episodes to The Clone Wars, though that is partially due to many Clone Wars episodes also being references to other movies/shows that are not Star Wars.
You could argue that the whole show was based on a Clone Wars plotline: The Children of the Force. At the start of Season 2, Bounty Hunter Cad Bane kidnaps several Force-sensitive children for Darth Sidious, who intends to experiment on them to make them spies and assassins for his future Empire. This was the start of the Imperial Inquisitorius program that was featured in Rebels, Fallen Order, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. In The Mandalorian version of this plot, the bounty hunter hired to kidnap the child ended up adopting them instead.
What’s more, The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 4, “Sanctuary,” was basically the Seven Samurai episode, featuring Din Djarin and Cara Dune teaching a village to defend themselves from raiders. This plotline originated in the Akira Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai, and went on to inspire many Samurai and Western films, as well as an episode of The Clone Wars called “Bounty Hunters.” In “Bounty Hunters,” Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka teach a village to defend themselves, alongside four bounty hunters the people hired to protect them from pirates.
Yes, I am talking about Lassie the Dog. Season 3 Episode 2 of The Mandalorian also featured a plot line previously seen in The Clone Wars Season 2 “R2 Come Home.” After Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu are trapped in the debris of a wrecked Star Destroyer, R2-D2 must simultaneously divert bounty hunters away from the trapped Jedi while also trying to contact help. The plotline is repeated in “The Mines of Mandalore,” with Grogu going to get help for a trapped Mando, much like R2 and Lassie the dog before him.
What’s your favorite holdover from The Clone Wars that has appeared in The Mandalorian? Comment below!
(featured image: Disney/Lucasfilm)
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