The Mandalorian “Chapter 13: The Jedi” dropped a number of name drops and references for us to explore.
Warning! Spoilers for Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian follow below.
Ahsoka Tano’s live-action debut was a welcome one in the Dave Filoni written-and-directed episode, “Chapter 13: The Jedi” of The Mandalorian. With her appearance came a number of name drops and indirect references to what the story will entail going forward for characters who have not yet appeared in the series.
While we got a name for The Child (Grogu), there were two specific name drops that made us sit up and pay attention: Yoda and Grand Admiral Thrawn. There was even one indirect reference: Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka’s former (and late) Jedi Master and friend. However, there were two things that weren’t addressed: Sabine Wren and what this means for her and Tano’s search for their missing friend, Ezra Bridger.
We’re about to go over all of these references and name drops and explain what they all mean. We’ll start with the Grand Admiral Thrawn name drop and what it means for Ahsoka and Sabine’s quest.
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Grand Admiral Thrawn and what this means for Ahsoka and Sabine’s search for Ezra
In the finale of Star Wars Rebels, Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn go missing during a large scale conflict. Some unspecified time later, Ahsoka is seen teaming up with Sabine in a quest to search for their lost friend. However, we don’t know when this rescue mission takes place or whether they found Bridger.
The Mandalorian “Chapter 13: The Jed” might have given us a clue to what’s going on with that storyline. While Sabine wasn’t mentioned, it should be noted that the cloak Ahsoka is seen wearing in her live-action debut is similar to what she was wearing in her last animated appearance.
Now, this is only a theory at best, but what if Ahsoka and Sabine’s mission takes place after the Battle of Endor or a couple of years afterward? They started their quest together but then decided to split up to cover more ground with Tano going in pursuit of a lead which landed her on Corvus. This might end up being the case as she is after the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is (or was) the master of Morgan Elsbeth, the magistrate of Calodan where the former Jedi had been stationed.
Could this mean that Ahsoka is one step closer to finding Ezra? Perhaps, where does this put Sabine given she agreed to join the former Jedi in her search. It’s unlikely this will be explored in The Mandalorian, but perhaps in the rumored Rebels sequel series if that ever comes to pass.
Does this mean that Ezra, Thrawn, and/or Sabine could appear in the show? We don’t think it will happen, seeing as there’s more to the story that largely doesn’t include Din and little Grogu.
Yoda in The Mandalorian?
Din’s mission almost ended when he tried to give Grogu (Baby Yoda) to Ahsoka to train. During one conversation, Tano names-drops one specific individual who happens to be of the same species as The Child, Yoda.
Now, by this point in the timeline, Yoda has been dead five years as he died in 4ABY, the same year as Anakin Skywalker (more on him in a moment). This statement means it’s clear that Ahsoka knew only of the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, but not of his female counterpart, Yaddle. This may mean that she died sometime after Qui-Gon Jinn did, which might explain why Tano doesn’t know about her.
Yoda is the second-most important of the name drops in the episode after Thrawn, as it indicates that he might’ve taught Grogu as Ahsoka mentions “many masters” taught him.
Ahsoka senses Grogu’s fears are similar to Anakin
We did not expect an Anakin name drop for the obvious reason that The Mandalorian is not meant to be linked to the Skywalker part of the Star Wars franchise. Sure, Ahsoka is a part of that mythology, but she was also part of something else that is not technically related to her former master’s legacy: Star Wars Rebels.
During the training session where Grogu stubbornly refuses to use the Force to return the stone, Ahsoka secretly realizes that he has an attachment to Din that he is unwilling to shake and that she can sense his fear. She explains to Din that his adopted son has hidden his abilities away to allow him to keep surviving. It’s here she suggests they trade places to see if the baby will take the rock from him rather than from her.
When Grogu still refuses, he blows a raspberry as an act of defiance. Din then decides to replace the rock with his son’s favorite toy: the nob from the Razor Crest that he’s always stealing. When it works, Ahsoka tells Mando she cannot train the child as his fears are linked to his connection to his paternal figure.
When the topic of Grogu’s anger comes up, Din says it’s more than enough reason to train his kid. It’s here that we hear the fear in Ahsoka’s voice when she says:
"I’ve seen what such feelings can do to a fully trained Jedi Knight. To the best of us. I will not start this child down that path. Better to let his abilities fade."
It’s clear, too, who she’s talking about and how the last encounter with her former master and friend she had has still left her shaken from what she experienced. Seeing Anakin’s face under the black mask likely made her realize that the Jedi were better off in the past.
The way Filoni wrote the episode was amazing as he figured out a way to have Anakin be referenced but not have his name actually come up was genius. For all those Clone Wars and Rebels fans who would be watching the episode, the way Ahsoka’s dialogue is in this moment was written served as a great “read between the lines” reflection of how the former Jedi views the Order in which thought her guilty of a crime she did not commit.
What are your thoughts on Ahsoka’s appearance, the name drops, and indirect references that were made? Tell us below!