After a first season that felt like it took place on the fringes of the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian season 2 has begun to incorporate all kinds of important characters.
The latest episode, called “The Jedi,” saw the live-action debut of one of Star Wars best, and most beloved, characters, and the tease of another more villainous presence. But, aside from those two there was another more subtle reveal lurking under the surface.
[Ed. note: this post contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 episode 5, as well as Star Wars: Rebels]
Din Djarin’s first encounter with Ahsoka Tano is something that’s been rumored since the season 2 went into production. In the season’s fifth episode, the rumors finally came true. Din seeks out the former Jedi in hopes that she can sheds some light on who exactly Baby Yoda is and who can train him. She’s more than happy to help, as long as Mando does something in return for her. The Mandalorian, being extremely familiar with quid pro quo, obliges.
Ahsoka needs Din’s help to take get some important information from an Imperial ally named Morgan Elsbeth, who’s defended by her own personal army. After the pair cut through her forces with ease, Ahsoka confronts the war criminal on the whereabouts of her master, Grand Admiral Thrawn. While teasing the potential return of Thrawn is a pretty big deal, it also reveals a hidden possibility: Ezra Bridger might be coming back, too. Enough people read between the lines that “Ezra” began trending on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning after the episode’s premiere.
The last we saw of Ahsoka before this week’s Mandalorian was in the finale of Star Wars: Rebels, setting off with Mandalorian friend, Sabine Wren on a mission to find Ezra Bridger. Ezra, an important figure in the early rebellion and a Jedi himself, disappeared into deep space while aboard Thrawn’s ship, the result of a desperate attempt to stop the Imperial Admiral from bombing Lothal City, where Ezra’s allies were at the time. Ahsoka’s interrogation of Elsbeth suggests that Thrawn survived their trip to deep space. Her pursuit of the Jedi in Rebels, combined with this revelations, suggests Ezra may also be alive, but still missing. This is our first real update on where Ezra might be. For fans of Rebels, that’s huge.
While this indirect mention doesn’t necessarily mean that Ezra is on his way to The Mandalorian, there was another hint that could have teased his return to the Star Wars universe. Ahsoka tells Djarin that she can’t train Baby Yoda, instead he needs to be taken to Tython, an ancient and powerful planet with a deep connection to the force. On Tython, Ahsoka explained that Baby Yoda would have the chance to reach out with the Force, a call that would be heard by any remaining Jedi, who could then choose to come and train him if they wanted.
Now, which Jedi do we know of who’s been MIA for a few years, doesn’t have a sequel trilogy storyline to keep track of, and might be in the right place in his life to train a young force-user? Ezra Bridger is a great candidate.
Now who could play an older Ezra? The Haunting of Bly Manor, who’d actually be great, caused an internet frenzy when he joked about securing the role … in September.
I’ve gotten into that Lothal orphan, force sensitive, trained by Kanan Jarrus kind of shape. For no particular reason.
— Rahul Kohli (@RahulKohli13) September 24, 2020
“I was trolling,” he told Inverse later. “I heard rumors that there was a casting call looking for a live-action Ezra that was looking for Asian actors in their late twenties, early 30s.”
While the hunt may be on, Ezra’s involvement in The Mandalorian is still just speculation. Din Djarin and The Child may not actually make it to Tython for a while, and there are plenty of other Jedi who might (or might not) come to their aid once they’ve reached the planet. But with so many Rebels characters popping up in this season of The Mandalorian so far, it at least seems possible that Ezra could be next.