A popular 'Star Wars' animated character makes live-action debut in latest 'Mandalorian' episode (spoilers!)

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read
Mercedes Varnando as Koska Reeves in 'The Mandalorian' (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney+)
Mercedes Varnando as Koska Reeves in 'The Mandalorian' (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney+)

Warning: This post contains big spoilers for the latest episode of The Mandalorian

Star Wars fans will be happy to know that no additional frog babies were harmed on this week’s episode of What’s Baby Yoda Eating?, a.k.a. The Mandalorian. The pint-sized gourmand kept his appetite in check, consuming a bowl of chowder instead of more eggs from a near-extinct alien race. In fact, Baby Yoda may have actually learned a lesson this week: while his protector was off on an important mission, the Child watched one of those eggs hatch into an adorable frog child, and had a blast playing with a fellow youngling. Between that and the ice spider attack he narrowly survived last week, maybe now he’ll think twice before snacking on any other alien babies.

But Baby Yoda’s appetite wasn’t the main item on the menu in this season’s third episode, “The Heiress,” which was helmed by returning Mandalorian director Bryce Dallas Howard. Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year, the actress and filmmaker teased that she had been assigned another action-heavy episode after cutting her teeth on Season 1’s Seven Samurai homage, “Sanctuary.” “I’m loving the action,” she said. “I might not seem like the type, but I love it!”

And “The Heiress” definitely arrived with all laser guns blazing, introducing Pedro Pascal’s Mando, Din Djarin, to a trio of Beskar steel-clad pirates who hail from a very different Mandalorian tradition. The leader of those pirates will be instantly familiar to anyone who watched the Star Wars cartoon series The Clone Wars. Bo-Katan Kryze has officially made the jump from animation to live action, and Battlestar Galactica veteran Katee Sackoff plays her in both incarnations. This is the way... that Twitter flipped out over this major reveal.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of Bo-Katan’s Holocron file: during the Clone Wars, she led an elite team of Mandalorian female soldiers known as the Nite Owls, fighting first against Mandalore’s pacifist ruling class — led by her own sister, Satine — and then against a Sith insurgency led by a revived Darth Maul. In The Mandalorian’s post-Imperial timeline, Bo-Katan is still looking to retake control of her home world, and needs the Darksaber to aid her in that quest. That means she and her Nite Owl sidekicks, Koska Reeves (played by WWE star Mercedes Varnado) and Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides), are taking the fight to the remaining Imperial forces that have rallied around the Darksaber’s current owner, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who has a brief cameo in “The Heiress.”

But our Mando doesn’t care about any of that: he needs to make contact with the Jedi, and Bo-Katan is his only lead on where to find them. After a side mission to seize an Imperial ship, she gives him his next co-ordinates: the city Calodan on the forest moon of Corvus. That’s where he’ll find another Clone Wars fan favorite: Ahsoka Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker in his pre-Darth Vader days. On the cartoon series, Ahsoka was voiced by Ashley Eckstein, but she’ll reportedly be making her Mandalorian debut in the form of Rosario Dawson.

For the record, Bo-Katan has another vital piece of information for Pascal’s Mando, but it’s not something he wants to hear. After hearing his surprised reaction to the fact that the Nite Owls willingly remove their helmets, she determines that he’s a Child of the Watch — a breakaway religious cult that didn’t want to keep up with the more progressive Mandalorian culture. We already know that the orphaned Din was adopted into a clan that prized ancient traditions above all else. That he may be on the wrong side of history is something he’s not ready or willing to accept just yet. It may be up to Ahsoka to teach him a new way... of the Jedi.

The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+.

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