The Mon Calamari are yesterday's news.The Mandalorian gives the lesser-known species of the Star Wars universe more time to shine.
Frog Lady was featured in the cantina in the fifth episode of Season 1, only to be brought back and fleshed out with a feisty, maternal personality in Season 2. And Chapter 11 featured a live-action take on Quarren, a species of squid-faced beings who often get a bad rap in Star Wars lore.
Unfortunately for Baby Yoda, The Mandalorian was no different. Here's what you need to know about the Quarren.
The Quarren are squid-headed humanoid life forms native to the planet Mon Cala. Much like their neighbors the Mon Calamari, they're amphibious, which makes them perfectly suited to life on the water planet of Mon Cala or the estuary moon of Trask, as seen in The Mandalorian Chapter 11. The Frog Lady and her husband are also amphibious, which explains why they would want to emigrate there from the polar opposite desert planet of Tatooine.
At first glance, the Quarren seem to have one personality trait — betrayal. Twice in the comics and once in The Clone Wars, Quarren were secretly allying themselves with the Empire/Separatists while putting on a good show to the Rebellion/Republic. Much like how all Mon Calamari are portrayed as strategic geniuses after Admiral Ackbar realized "it's a trap!" the difficult-to-read Quarren make for the perfect Benedict Arnolds.
In the Season 4 premiere of The Clone Wars, Anakin and Amidala were sent to Mon Cala to broker peace negotiations between the Mon Calamari and the Quarren, but did not know Count Dooku and the separatists were using the Quarren in order to stoke unrest in the planet. Luckily, a shared enemy in Riff Tamson keeps the peace. This sort of story, where the villains use the Quarrens' combative nature for ulterior motives, more or less encapsulates their involvement in Star Wars lore.
You might think their role in The Mandalorian this week was the live-action debut of the Quarren, but actually, a Quarren was one of Mando's very first victims. In the very first minutes of the series, Din Djarin rumbles with a group of thugs in a bar, including a very menacing-looking Quarren who swiftly takes a punch to the gut before having his triangular head bashed into the bar.
The Mandalorian Season 2 didn't do much to repair the Quarren reputation. While at first they were just seen as dockworkers and industrious sailors, just like every Quarren before them, they had an ulterior motive. While these Quarren were merely motivated by the high price of Beskar, not Empire sympathies, they still betrayed Mando's trust. More than that, they put his life, and the life of Baby Yoda, in jeopardy.
They paid the price, but it's unknown when Quarren as a whole will get their due. Perhaps next time they make an appearance in Star Wars they'll actually keep their word. But after four appearances where they do a complete about face, it makes you wonder why anyone would trust them at all.
The Mandalorian Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+.