The Mandalorian Season 3 Pays Tribute To The Scariest Scene In Jaws

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

The latest episode of "The Mandalorian," which is titled "Chapter 21: The Pirate," makes it clear that it is growing increasingly difficult for any planet to remain independent during a great time of transition between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic. High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) is still in the midst of improving his little corner of the Outer Rim on Nevarro when the pirate named Gorian Shard (who's quickly becoming one of our favorite characters) lays siege to the planet surface in his incredibly intimidating and fully operational Corsair ship. Through back channels, Karga enlists the help of X-wing pilot Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) with hopes that the New Republic will protect a planet that's not an official member yet. That plan does not go well, leaving Din Djarin, Bo-Katan, and the other Mandalorians to decide whether to come to the rescue.

At the end of "The Pirate," Carson Teva makes a gruesome discovery when he comes across a marooned shuttle in the deep reaches of space. His worst suspicions are confirmed when Teva realizes that this was the ship that was transporting Moff Gideon to trial on Coruscant. Gideon's body is nowhere to be found in the wreckage but there's still plenty of carnage that startles Teva as soon as his droid's scanning light flashes over the dead.

The scene is intentionally creepy and, visually, the ship floating in stasis looks an awful lot like it's underwater. The pacing and feeling of dread in these final minutes are eerily reminiscent of the scariest scene in "Jaws" — as in, the scene featuring one of the best jump scares of all time.

Carson Teva and Matt Hooper are one in the same

There's certainly been no shortage of "Star Wars" references in Steven Spielberg's films, most notably in "E.T" where a costumed trick-or-treater dressed as Yoda walks through the frame as E.T. waddles up to them shouting "Home!" Just like most kids in the early 1980s, Elliott's room is filled with "Star Wars" action figures, including Greedo, a TIE Fighter, an X-Wing, and Han Solo's blaster. George Lucas returned the favor in "The Phantom Menace" with a lightening quick cameo of a Senate pod full of Spielberg's extra-terrestrials.

Now, it appears that there may have been a direct reference to "Jaws" during the climax of this week's episode of "The Mandalorian." As Captain Carson Teva X-Wing approaches, the ship's spotlight drags across the outer hull of the derelict shuttle. It may be unintentional, but the sequence looks just like the scene early on in "Jaws" where Matt Hooper's (Richard Dreyfuss) research vessel discovers poor Ben Gardner's abandoned boat. When the bodies are revealed in "Chapter 21: The Pirate," they come out of the darkness into the light just like Ben Gardner's eyeless head in "Jaws."

There are some serious horror vibes happening in both scenes, showing that "Star Wars" can still explore some of the scarier aspects of the galaxy to incorporate a little more mystery and intrigue. Adding that kind of ominous atmosphere also makes Moff Gideon seem even more menacing and formidable if (or, rather, when) he eventually reappears. And the callback to one of the more frightening scenes in Spielberg's filmography makes it all the more fun to keep track of these subtle references, whether they're intentional or not.

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