In the words of Ron Weasley: Why spiders? The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 2 (or Chapter 10, if you prefer) wasn't very heavy on plot, but it did feature one important Star Wars monster that's finally getting its live-action moment: the Krykna (aka, those terrifying giant spiders).
The history of the Krykna is fascinating, but the appearance of these Star Wars spiders in The Mandalorian could also reveal how the show is changing Star Wars canon, and maybe setting up an epic crossover from series co-creator Dave Filoni's other show: Rebels.
Warning! Spoilers below for The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 2.
In "The Passenger," Mando agrees to take a frog-like alien and her eggs to a nearby planet so her husband can fertilize them. In exchange, he'll get information about a covert of Mandalorians hanging out on that planet (sidenote: did anyone else think it was suspicious that they never actually named the planet Mando and Baby Yoda are headed to?).
The only problem is, they can't travel by hyperspeed because it would kill the frog babies (seems like a convenient plot device, but whatever). As a result, Din Djarin gets pulled over by a pair of space cops (New Republic X-Wing pilots) who end up chasing him to a nearby ice planet where he crashlands to evade them — yes, this is the mysterious ice planet from the Season 2 trailer, but, no, it doesn't appear to be Illum or Hoth or any other interesting Star Wars location.
While Mando works on repairs to his ship, Baby Yoda accidentally angers a hive of giant spiders, who almost kill the dynamic duo and their new amphibian friend. If you're unfamiliar with these spiders, they're called Krykna, and they have a long history in this galaxy far away.
The Krykna were first invented by Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie in his concept work for The Empire Strikes Back. These giant spiders were supposed to show up on Dagoba where Luke meets Yoda, but that obviously didn't happen.
However, Dave Filoni eventually made the Krykna canon in his animated series Star Wars Rebels when the crew encountered them on the planet Atollon. In that show, the Star Wars spiders are mostly invulnerable to laser blasts (lucky for Mando, that wasn't the case here), though Sabine Wren (a Mandalorian character in Rebels) manages to kill a few by shooting them in the eye. In the same plotline, the Krykna capture Rex, a renegade Clone Trooper who works with the Rebellion.
Does any of this matter to The Mandalorian? It's probably too soon to say. Chapter 9 felt very much like a standalone episode with little connection to the larger plot. I'm sure that whatever planet Mando is headed to next will be very important, but Season 2 Episode 2 felt a bit like filler (very fun filler, but filler nonetheless). Aside from a few opening scenes, "The Passenger" was practically a bottle episode.
That said, Dave Filoni seems to be building some interesting bridges between The Mandalorian and the broader Star Wars galaxy, and these creepy Krykna spiders could be crucial to his planet.
If you want to get really farfetched, the arrival of the Krykna could be a clue that Luke Skywalker will show up in The Mandalorian Season 2. We've already noted that this is possible from a narrative perspective, and introducing the monster he was supposed to fight in Episode V might be a hint that he'll show up at some point this season to help Mando, Baby Yoda, or even Ahsoka Tano.
Speaking of Ahsoka, the more obvious connection here is with Rebels. We already know that Dave Filoni is bringing one of his favorite animated characters to The Mandalorian, with Rosario Dawson playing the ex-Jedi Ahsoka Tano. However, rumors are flying that other characters including Sabine Wren, Ezra Bridger, or even Rex the Clone could show up as well. After all, who's better equipped to take on these Star Wars spiders than the ragtag group that already did it once before?
Then again, maybe this really was just a bottle episode and we'll never see the Krykna again. And honestly, I wouldn't be mad about that either.
The Mandalorian Season 2 is streaming now on Disney+.