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'Mandalorian' trailer breakdown: Easter eggs suggest prequels-era flashback

The action of The Mandalorian will take place roughly five years after the end of Return of the Jedi, which means any Imperial Stormtroopers or other folks loyal to the Empire will be on the run from the victorious Rebel Alliance. How that fits into the story of The Mandalorian isn’t clear, but it now seems some of this story will begin in another era entirely. A few rapid-fire Easter eggs in the second Mandalorian trailer suggests the Disney+ show will feature flashbacks, and those flashbacks might connect to the controversial prequel-era of Star Wars.

Trailer spoilers and speculation ahead. The writer has no advance knowledge of the plot of The Mandalorian

Unlike the previous trailer for the series, everything about this trailer subtly suggests that the Mandalorian has some kind of tragic backstory, and that backstory is, at least partially, connected to the Rebel Alliance beating the Empire. In the opening narration, Werner Herzog’s character says: “

“It’s a world more peaceful since the revolution. It’s a shame your people suffered.”

Okay, so from the context of the trailer, it seems like Herzog’s character is probably an Imperial governor, maybe even the former Imperial governor of Tatooine? It looks like he’s the guy surrounded by Stormtroopers, and if you look closely he’s wearing a medallion that looks like it might have the Imperial logo on it.

Herzog in 'The Mandalorian'Lucasfilm

So what does this mean? Well, for one thing…

Flashbacks could be key to the show’s central mystery

Whatever Herzog’s role ends up being is slightly less interesting than what he says. He refers to the Mandalorian as “Mandalorian” and again, mysteriously says “It’s a shame your people suffered.” What people?

Basically, there are two answers here. Either the Mandalorian is literally a Mandalorian from Mandalore. Or, he’s something else entirely. Like, say, a clone.

If the first answer ends up being true, then the show will suddenly inherit a lot of complicated canon from The Clone Wars and Rebels. During the war against the Empire, one portion of the Mandalorians was loyal to the values of the Old Republic, while the Mandalorian Super Commandos who lived on Concord Dawn supported the Empire.

If the main character in this show was part of either faction, then it makes sense there could have been some conflict. Both Mandalore and Concord Dawn have seen tons of transfers of power over the years, so if the Mandalorian’s family lived on either planet, things could have been rough.

Is this the Mandalorian as a young child?Lucasfilm

The trailer suggests we will see the childhood of this character

As Herzog’s narration continues, we see several images that suggest a backstory for this character. There’s a young kid in a red hood, reaching out, and you know, he could be the younger version of Pedro Pascal. And then, there are scenes of a family, also all clad in red, running from explosions, and very notably, Super Battle Droids, from the Star Wars prequels.

A family runs from Battle DroidsLucasfilm

During these same scenes, a ship that files overhead is also connected to the battle droids from the Star Wars prequels. If you look closely, it appears to be an HMP Droid Gunship.

HMP Droid Gunship? If so, this ship first appeared in 'Revenge of the Sith'Lucasfilm

So, what do these images reveal? Well, these are almost certainly flashbacks. IMDb tells us there are actors named “Mother” and Father” in the series. They are played by Bernard Bullen and Alexandra Manea, and they look a lot like these people running in these shots. So, if we proceed from the premise that these are flashbacks to the Mandalorian’s childhood, it’s then tempting to nail down an exact time frame.

Could part of the Mandalorian’s childhood have taken place during the Clone Wars? Chronologically, it’s possible, even if it’s a little unlikely. If the Mandalorian is about the same age as Han Solo or Lando Calrissian (or maybe even a little older) then sure, it’s totally possible he was like 6-years-old or so during the Clone Wars. But, just because their are battle droids and droid ships used by the Trade Federation and the Separatist army, it doesn’t necessarily follow that these flashbacks happen during the Clone Wars. In truth, they could happen at any time.

Am I a clone?Lucasfilm

What if the Mandalorian is a Clone?

One possibility that would connect the backstory of the Mandalorian to Boba Fett and Jango Fett is the idea that one of his parents was a clone. In the TV series Rebels we learned that some Clone Troopers (like Captain Rex) were able to resist their programming and specifically not participate in Order 66. In other words, these Clone Troopers remained loyal to the Republic and grew old. (Some canon even suggests Rex fought in the Battle of Endor!)

So, what if the Mandalorian’s dad was a former Clone Trooper (aka, a clone of Jango Fett) and he deserted? The Clone Wars TV series has at least one episode that deals with a Clone Trooper deserting, meaning, it could have happened a lot more. And, so, if that Clone Trooper ended up having a family, and settled down somewhere, it stands to reason that at some point, after Order 66, the Empire and or what was left of the Separatists could have retaliated. It’s a long shot, but maybe, just maybe, what we’re seeing is Separatist Droids, fulfilling their mission to take out Clone Troopers?

Or, and perhaps even more chillingly, what if someone else is using those Battle Droids? They are just robots after all and can be reprogrammed. So, here’s another theory: what if the Rebel Alliance or the New Republic decided to get rid of all vestiges of the Empire, which, includes hunting down the guys who killed the Jedi? In that case, the backstory of the Mandalorian could get messy. If he hates both the Empire and the Rebels — and blames both for the death of his family — then it’s possible this is the most unique Star Wars character of all time.

The Mandalorian his Disney+ on November 12.

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