Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker about the Tusken Raiders in A New Hope, and while he wasn’t always right, he did nail down one thing.
The Mandalorian brought back the Tusken Raiders from season 1 and introduced new concepts about their culture and way of life into canon, and one of those things paid off a line from Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. One of the best things about The Mandalorian is that it’s borrowing heavily from the Expanded Universe, but not in leaps; the series is taking baby steps in re-establishing the deeper lore that Star Wars fans had come to love in the time before Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm.
But even beyond what The Mandalorian is doing with the Expanded Universe (some of which has been an expansion on what’s been included in Disney’s Star Wars movies), Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are going back to George Lucas’ original concepts and ideas, and they’re bringing them back into the fold. That can be seen with Boba Fett’s return and krayt dragon in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1. However, the biggest additions The Mandalorian made in that episode focused on the Tusken Raiders.
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The Mandalorian season 2 premiere humanized the Tusken Raiders in ways that Lucas failed to do; a massive part of that was due to the stories being told, which gives The Mandalorian a significant advantage. In the episode, the Tusken Raiders join forces with Mando, Cobb Vanth, and the people of Mos Pelgo to take down the nearby krayt dragon. And when they all first, viewers can see the Tusken Raiders riding in single file on their Banthas. It’s a brief moment, but it pays off what Obi-Wan told Luke Skywalker about the Tusken Raiders when they found a destroyed Jawa sandcrawler: “Sand people always ride single file to hide their numbers.”
Funnily enough, while Obi-Wan was right about the Tusken Raiders, he was wrong – to some extent – about the stormtroopers. Sure, it was true that the stormtroopers shot up the sandcrawler and later killed Luke’s aunt and uncle, but over the years, it’s been proven time and time again that stormtroopers can’t shoot properly. In fact, The Mandalorian made a joke about the stormtroopers having terrible aim in season 1, when Bill Burr’s Mayfeld took offense to being compared to a stormtrooper (he was an Imperial sharpshooter).
By giving the Tusken Raiders language, traditions, and actual intelligence, The Mandalorian has done more for the Sand People than any other canon material has in Star Wars. Sure, the Expanded Universe/Legends took those first steps for the franchise, but seeing it all come to fruition on-screen is exciting. On top of that, seeing concepts from A New Hope pay off in The Mandalorian season 2 premiere goes to show just how deeply connected to the original trilogy the Disney+ series is. After all, the first time someone saw a krayt dragon was in the first act of Lucas’ original Star Wars movie. It’s just taken a few decades to see one come to life.
Next: The Mandalorian: Every Star Wars Easter Egg In Season 2, Episode 1
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