The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 Delivered A Low-Key Aliens Easter Egg

This post contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" season 3, episode 5.

The latest episode of "The Mandalorian" ended with a pair of movie nods that are sure to resonate in the minds of any cinephile. The first arrived in the form of a "Jaws" reference, with Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) coming across a downed Lambda shuttle much like Hooper and Brody stumble upon Ben Gardner's damaged boat in Steven Spielberg's classic horror movie.

But Carson Teva needs more information than just a visual of the shuttle. He has to go in deeper. To that end, he has his droid enter and then scan the interior of the ship. Popping off one of its panels, Teva's droid goes in and starts beaming out a thin blue light, looking over the insides of the ship.

Eagle-eyed movie fans will see this for exactly what it is: a nod to the opening of James Cameron's "Aliens."


At the end of Ridley Scott's "Alien," Ellen Ripley engages the self-destruct sequence on her ship, the Nostromo, and gets into a smaller ship to escape. There, she goes into hypersleep and sets off toward Earth, hoping for an easy rescue.

She won't be found for another 80 years by a salvage team in deep space in James Cameron's "Aliens."

At the beginning of that film, after the credits roll, the camera moves in closer and closer to the derelict ship. A droid arm enters the scene and casts its thin blue laser light across the remains of the ship until it hones in on Ellen Ripley in her hypersleep pod, covered in glittering space dust.

The path of the laser, scanning right into the camera, is unmistakable. When Carson Teva's droid did the exact same thing on "The Mandalorian," any "Aliens" fan watching at home was doing the "Leonardo DiCaprio points at the screen."

Star Wars and Aliens

Since the original "Star Wars" film came out in 1977, there's been a loop of inspiration between "Star Wars" and "Alien." Ridley Scott commented to Deadline in 2015:

"By the time the movie was finished, it was so stunning that it made me miserable. That's the highest compliment I can give it; I was miserable for a week. I hadn't met George [Lucas] at that point, but I thought, 'F**k George.' Then, somebody sent me this script called 'Alien.' I said, 'Wow, I'll do it.' I was the fifth choice. They'd been to people like Robert Altman. How could you offer Robert that movie? He'd be like, 'This thing comes out of his chest, are you kidding?' But I knew what to do. I read it and said, 'I'll do it!' I'd been in Hollywood 22 hours. They said, 'Do you want to change anything?' Nope. 'Do you...?' Nope. I love it. I love it. I'm in."

There have been many episodes of "Star Wars" on television that have cribbed from the "Alien" franchise as well. "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" set episodes on Geonosis, watching our heroes walk through alien tunnels, fearful of what might pop out of them. The episode "Brain Invaders" took it even further, having an alien entity infect the young Jedi Padawan Barris Offee. One prominent actor from "Aliens," Michael Biehn, who played the Colonial Marine Hudson, starred in an episode of "The Mandalorian"'s second season. There are also unofficial reports that Mark Rolston — the Colonial Marine Drake in "Aliens" — has jumped into the "Ahsoka" show as a character named Captain Hale.

This episode definitely wasn't the first time "Star Wars" borrowed a moment from the "Alien" franchise and I doubt it will be the last. And with a new "Alien" movie in production, I'd be shocked if it, too, doesn't find at least some inspiration in "Star Wars."

New episodes of "The Mandalorian" premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.