Star Wars, for better or worse, is fascinated with itself. It loves the past, even as it rails against it, an existential back and forth between adding to its vast tapestry or enriching what came before (or, more often than not, simply repeating it because it rhymes). But today’s episode of The Mandalorian, in a moment of nostalgia, instead chose to do something a little new.
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Today’s drop of Chapter 11, “The Heiress,” put Din Djarin and his occasionally wayward son on a new trajectory. Having found more of his kind in the form of none other than Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and the Nite Owls, Din also secured information for the next vital step of his quest — because to bring Baby Yoda to his own kind, Din needs to find remnants of the Jedi Order.
It just so happens to be that Bo-Katan knows where to find one. Well, a Jedi no more, perhaps.
Yes, ever since the rumours began swirling, we finally have the tease we’ve been waiting for this season: Din Djarin must find Ahsoka Tano. Bo-Katan doesn’t just give Din a name for him to pursue, she’s actually surprisingly specific. Din, and we, will find Ahsoka in the city of Calodan, on the forest planet of Corvus.
Usually, this is the kind of blog where we’d then tell you that Corvus first appeared in an issue of Marvel’s Star Wars comic in 1984, or maybe it came up in the West End Star Wars Roleplaying game rulebooks, a perennial source of classic old-school canon influences. Maybe it was in a book! Maybe it was in a video game (it was, kind of, as a ship name in Battlefront II, but I digress)! Maybe it was an obscure piece of merchandising history now made canon, like those very silly Imperial troop transports seen in Rebels and The Mandalorian season one!
Corvus, home to this hugely important Star Wars character — one who will now bridge all eras of the Star Wars movies together, transcending its animated and live-action halves in the process — is just...an entirely new place. We’ve never seen it before, it’s not a reference to something in Star Wars’ past. It is familiar because of Ahsoka, and yet, unknown. That’s exciting!
It really is, because Star Wars — The Mandalorian in particular — has conditioned us to prepare for a more insular, smaller-feeling galaxy far, far away. Already this season we’ve had a return to Tatooine and Boba Fett, the familiar sight of New Republic X-Wings and monsters ripped right out of Ralph McQuarrie art (and not even the first time that art inspired something!). Now we have Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls, talk of the Darksaber, and soon Ahsoka. What was once heralded as a great unknown coming into this series has become a vehicle for nostalgic hints at what we already know and love. In some ways, loving Star Wars involves accepting the dual joy and frustration that fan service can bring: for every little bit of newness, we are couched in the imagery of what came before.
Which means it’s nice when we do get that little bit of the new, or when Star Wars canon hints at one path and goes another — lending a sense of banal normality to something we would expect to be so much grander. We put so much importance on the canonicity of its world that we are sometimes robbed of the simple joy of refreshingly being in the dark about something that seems, right now, so important. Even as we look forward to meeting Ahsoka once more, it’ll be nice to do so in an environment we aren’t so intimately aware of.
Whether ol’ Snips will actually show up in next week’s episode remains to be seen, however. We’ll have a lot to say about her arrival once it happens though.
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