The Mandalorian Season 3 Offers A Direct Connection To One Of The Last Jedi's Best Scenes

This post contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" Chapter 23 – "The Spies."

At the beginning of the newest episode of "The Mandalorian," Moff Gideon addresses the Imperial Shadow Council with a demand and a request. He demands they consider new leadership, and requests reinforcements. It's not so curious that he's asked for more squadrons of TIE Interceptors, especially since we watched Lady Bo-Katan Kryze and Din Djarin make short work of them in an episode earlier this season. But it is curious that he asks for bodyguards in the form of Praetorian Guards. We've heard that name before, but never this early in the timeline — and it doesn't bode well for our Mandalorian heroes.

Rian Johnson and the Praetorian Guard

The Praetorian Guard originated in Rian Johnson's masterpiece of a Star Wars movie, "The Last Jedi," and he designed them to be lethal. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson said:

"The Emperor's guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn't. They looked like they were more ceremonial, and you never really saw them in action. The Praetorians, my brief to Michael Kaplan was that those guys have to be more like samurai. They have to be built to move, and you have to believe that they could step forward and engage if they have to. They have to seem dangerous."

He fulfilled that promise. The Praetorian Guards were central to one of the most thrilling fights in Star Wars history. As Kylo Ren killed his master, Supreme Leader Snoke, the eight elite bodyguards stepped into battle and gave Kylo and Rey a desperate fight for the ages.


When we first see the Praetorian Guard enter the battle in "The Mandalorian," we notice they have devolved a little bit from where we've seen them in "The Last Jedi." They have more Mandalorian/clone trooper-style masks and slightly different weapons. They're obviously early versions of the same line, the same way the stormtroopers have similarities to the clone troopers. This helps connect the world visually to the future of Star Wars, even though so much of what Jon Favreau has referenced in "The Mandalorian" tends to look at the past. This episode is chock full of future connections, though, and it seems as though it's going a long way to connect the long gap between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy of the Skywalker Saga.

And since there's a Mandalorian vibe to their helmets, is there a chance their armor could be made of beskar, too? If Moff Gideon is mining it for the use and greater glory of the Empire, it finding its way into Praetorian armor would make a lot of sense.

The road to Snoke

This also makes one wonder where Snoke is at this point. We don't have any solid information about when he came around, though Han and Leia seemed to know who he was in "The Force Awakens" and that he'd had an influence on their son. When exactly does he pop up? And does the Praetorian Guard imply the First Order has already been to Exegol? The red armor of the Empire had previously been reserved for Palpatine's elite royal guard. Then we saw it with Snoke, knowing Snoke was merely a puppet of Palpatine. Then, the entire Final Order fleet — stormtroopers and everything — were decked out in this same crimson armor. Is there a chance the First Order is more advanced than we might have thought? It seems likely, especially since the Imperial Remnant is working its hardest to seem as though they're as scattered as possible, despite their tight coordination.

It also makes one wonder whether or not Thrawn might interact with Snoke and the nascent First Order. It would definitely make them seem a lot more dangerous.

We might learn more in future episodes of "The Mandalorian" and "Ahsoka." But in the meantime, we're left with a brilliantly choreographed fight between the Praetorians and Paz Vizsla to match the equally kick-ass throne room fight from "The Last Jedi." And I, for one, want more.

"The Mandalorian" is streaming on Disney+. The season finale airs next Wednesday.