The Mandalorian Season 3 Teases The Return Of A Certain Star Wars Character

This article contains spoilers for the season premiere of "The Mandalorian" season 3.

"The Mandalorian" is finally back with season 3, and with it the cutest creature in all of "Star Wars" — Baby Frik! Fine, Grogu too, but you get the idea. This is a show with as many highs and lows as, well, any other "Star Wars" project, with some of the coolest creature designs and some of the most memorable moments, but also one of the worst examples of fan service in recent years. 

When "The Mandalorian" focuses on its titular character and his small sidekick, it is fantastic, but it often loses itself in side stories that detract from the core of the show — kind of like Pedro Pascal's other TV show about a lonely gunslinger and his small companion. This happened all throughout the second season of the series, which constantly had pseudo backdoor pilots with new characters and plot points to be explored in future shows, like the "Star Wars" equivalent of "Age of Ultron."

And yet, "The Mandalorian" can still deliver great Easter eggs and references that feel like more than just mandatory Glup Shitto moments. Case in point, "The Mandalorian" season 3 premiere — which somehow didn't include the very important events of "Book of Boba Fett" in its recap — dropped a potentially huge hint towards the plot of "Ahsoka" and the return of a fan-favorite character, and it's all thanks to space whales.

'Like many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace'

Space whales have become the unlikeliest animal star of the 2020s, between "Avatar: The Way of Water" and now "The Mandalorian," not only delivering some very memorable moments but looking majestic while doing so.

The moment in question comes early in the season 3 premiere, as Din Djarin and Grogu travel back to Nevarro to find aid in their quest to go to Mandalore. But before they get there, they have to travel through hyperspace, an essential part of "Star Wars" that we've seen in every movie and show, but never really paid much attention to it. 

More often than not, hyperspace is portrayed as just instant teleportation, rather than a high-speed highway lane that still takes enough time to go anywhere that the pilot can simply take a nap while his tiny son looks out the window — but that is exactly what happens in the episode, with Grogu catching a glimpse of a bunch of space whales casually cruising through hyperspace lanes without any technology. These guys are actually called purrgils, a race of space whales mixed with squids capable of hyperspace travel. They were first introduced in "Star Wars: Rebels,"  where they were called pests due to how often they caused crashes in hyperspace.

More importantly, they serve a key role in the "Rebels" finale, where Ezra Bridger used purrgils to defeat Thrawn by having them teleport his whole ship to some unknown location — with both Thrawn and Ezra still on board. It was an emotional moment full of that sweet "Star Wars" mysticism, with the fate of both characters left unknown. And yet, it seems "The Mandalorian" just planted the seeds to finally give us an answer as to what happened, and how Ezra returns.

'Whatever happens next happens to both of us'

We know that "The Mandalorian" is tied to the upcoming "Ahsoka" show (for better or worse), which will presumably follow the titular character as she aids Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren in locating Ezra and Thrawn. After all, when Ahsoka made the jump to live-action in "The Mandalorian" season 2, she was on the hunt for the Grand Admiral, and we do know Ezra is also part of the cast of "Ahsoka."

We still don't know exactly how this will all play out or how Ezra is set to come back. And yet, given how much "Rebels" made it clear it is hard to predict where purrgils go, it is likelier that they will be a key to his return rather than just Ahsoka or Sabine randomly stumbling upon them on the far edge of the galaxy. 

If the Mando-verse shows are to be connected as they seem to be, then the best way to hint at future tie-ins and plot threads is not to introduce a whole character that talks about their story like it was an NPC giving you a quest. Instead, having some cool creature for what could otherwise be just a cute Grogu scene eventually play a bigger role feels more organic, and the world of "Star Wars" more lived-in. 

Plus, who knows, maybe Ezra spent all these years becoming spiritual brothers with all the purrgil, and will make his triumphant return riding one of them into battle like Payakan in "The Way of Water."