'The Mandalorian': Who Is the Heiress and Those Other Mandalorians?

This week, The Mandalorian started tying together some storylines and delivered some excellently executed action sequences for the best episode of the young season so far. Much credit goes to Bryce Dallas Howard, who made an impressive return to the director's chair after helming the fourth episode of the first season. (That episode, "Sanctuary," found Din Djarin, aka Mando, landing in a village on a planet in the Outer Rim, where we first met the former Shock Trooper Cara Dune.)

In Episode 3 of Season 2, entitled "The Heiress," Mando reunites the nameless Frog Lady with her husband on the ocean moon of Trask. Mando receives a tip on where to find other Mandalorians, which turns out to be a set-up out on the seas—Star Wars on a boat!—that nearly costs The Child his life when he is swallowed by a huge, squid-like monster on the vessel. However, a trio of Mandalorians arrive via jet pack to rescue Mando and The Child just in the nick of time.

Mando soon learns these Mandalorians are different from his kind when they remove their helmets. As we were taught many times before, that's not something Mandalorians do. But this group is different from the Marshal, who was wearing Boba Fett's old armor in the debut episode. The leader of the trio introduces herself as Bo-Katan Kryze, who fans of the animated shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels know is the deposed leader of the Mandalorian homeworld.

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Bo-Katan Kryze, seen here in animated form from 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars,' appeared in tonight's episode of 'The Mandalorian.' Disney

A little bit about the casting: Sci-fi fans will recognize the actress who plays Bo-Katan is Katee Sackhoff, who portrayed Lieutenant Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on the Battlestar Galactica TV series. Her casting also serves as another nod to the Star Wars animated shows, as Sackhoff voiced Bo-Katan on those.

Wrestling fans no doubt recognized WWE star and real-life cousin of Snoop Dogg, Sasha Banks (credited under her real name, Mercedes Varnado). After a brief scene that teased she may be a Jedi—shown in a dark cloak, suddenly disappearing—she's revealed to be another Mandalorian under Bo-Katan named Koska Reeves. Her character is new to the Star Wars universe, as is the other new Mandalorian, Axe Wolves (played by Simon Kassianides).

But Bo-Katan is the central focus here, and her backstory is much too long to fully capture in one story, but here's a primer. Her pacifist sister's death shaped Bo-Katan's stance as a fierce warrior who was a lieutenant in the Death Watch, a terrorist organization that opposed Mandalore's peaceful government during the Clone Wars. The Death Watch teamed with Darth Maul, but when he declared himself the leader of Mandalore, Bo-Katan turned on him to save her home. Long story short, Bo-Katan became the leader of Mandalore and was given the prized Darksaber.

At some point, there was a battle between the Empire and Mandalore called the Great Purge and Moff Gideon gained possession of the Darksaber. Bo-Katan is set on taking back Mandalore and finding the saber. (The search for the Darksaber is a major plot point in this episode, obviously.)

Mando at first thinks these other Mandalorians are imposters, due to the helmet removal, but we learn from Bo-Katan that he is a "Child of the Watch," a "cult of religious zealots" whose goal was "to reestablish the ancient way," which apparently includes never removing their helmets.

Bo-Katan promises to help Mando on his journey to find more of The Child's kind, as long as he helps her on a strike against an Imperial cruiser. That mission doesn't go as planned, but we see Moff Gideon return (in hologram form) and learn about Bo-Katan's quest to find the Darksaber.

In the end, Mando parts on good terms with the other Mandalorians, and Bo-Katan tells him of the location of former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, who may help him. Ahsoka Tano, who will be played by Rosario Dawson, has her own lengthy backstory, but we'll get to that in due time. We'll also likely see much more of Bo-Katan in the future.

A lot of other significant events happened in the episode that can best be appreciated by watching, like the birth of a Frog Baby and Mando's Razor Crest ship being "fixed" up.

Something you can use this weekend on your Zoom trivia night: Bo-Katan's helmet design is meant to invoke a barn owl, and her name comes from The Mandalorian's executive producer Dave Filoni's cat, "Boogie," to which he added "cat" and his wife's name, Anne.