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Many spoilers ahead for Season 1 of The Mandalorian on Disney+ and the events of Star Wars Rebels.
The first season of The Mandalorian has come to an end, and the finale concluded with a new mission for Mando that could ideally place him in the path of none other than Ezra Bridger of Star Wars Rebels fame. Mando has been tasked with a new mission and purpose that goes beyond simply surviving and staying one step ahead of any bounty hunters and former Imperial pursuers, and Ezra may be perfectly set up to lend a hand.
But before we get into what about Ezra Bridger, a.k.a. the kinda sorta Jedi trained by one of the most unconventional Jedi in the Star Wars franchise, makes him a good fit for the live-action series, let's dive into what Mando's new mission is for Season 2.
The Mandalorian's New Mission
Mando, Greef Karga, and Cara Dune managed to evade Moff Gideon thanks to the arrival of IG-11 and Baby Yoda, and they retreated to the former Mandalorian covert in the sewers. Unfortunately there were no Mandalorian warriors to help them, but just their discarded armor and the Armorer, who was melting the beskar down after the previous owners' deaths.
Mando wasn't at his best, after sustaining a serious head wound that was only improving thanks to IG-11 using the technicality that he's a droid and not a living person to get Mando to remove his helmet. So, when the Armorer dropped an exposition bomb on him, I was a little surprised he kept up.
When she learned that Mando had risked so much to help a baby of a species that can move things with their minds, she revealed that Mandalorians had previously fought an order of "sorcerers" called the Jedi who had this ability. Fortunately for Mando, she clarified that Baby Yoda isn't an enemy, even if these sorcerers/Jedi could be. She then tasked him with caring for the "foundling" baby like his own child.
Since Baby Yoda is too young and weak to be trained like a Mandalorian, the Armorer decreed that Mando either must reunite him with his own people or care for him until he's of age. Mando realized that he's facing the task of finding Baby Yoda's people, a.k.a. "a race of enemy sorcerers," and delivering him there. Greef and Cara both decided to stay on Navarro, and Mando took to the stars on his all-but-impossible mission with nobody but Baby Yoda for company.
I'm not quite sure why Cara didn't chime in with some info about Jedi as something as other than "enemy sorcerers," since her work as a Rebel shock trooper means that she would have likely at least known about Luke Skywalker, and possibly even Kanan Jarrus, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the MIA Ezra Bridger. The galaxy is a big place, so I could get Mando and Greef not having much info on Jedi, but Cara was right there, and she had to know, right?
At this point, what is confirmed is that Mando is half of a clan of two, with the other half being a 50-year-old baby of an unknown species, and his mission is far too big for just them together. This is where Ezra Bridger could come in very handy.
Why Ezra Bridger Could Be Key
In case you're one of undoubtedly many Disney+ subscribers who weren't avid viewers of Disney XD's animated Star Wars Rebels, here's some background on Ezra Bridger. Born as a Force-sensitive child on the Outer Rim planet of Lothal, Ezra was orphaned and living on the streets until he joined the Ghost family of rebels, headed by captain Hera Syndulla and Jedi-in-hiding Kanan Jarrus.
After spending four seasons coming of age as an unconventional Jedi with Kanan as his master and a Rebel determined to save his planet, which was occupied by the Empire, Ezra sacrificed himself to guarantee that Rebels villain (and Expanded Universe icon) Thrawn was zapped away to unknown space shortly before the events of Rogue One/A New Hope. Both he and Thrawn were alive; what happened next?
Well, Star Wars has had every opportunity to explain what happened to Ezra ever since the Rebels finale. That episode ended with Sabine and Ahsoka joining forces some time after the Battle of Endor to track down Ezra, who hadn't returned in the years since disappearing. He wasn't featured as somebody present at Luke's temple when Ben Solo became Kylo Ren, nor was he even mentioned as a potential ally or Jedi other than Luke in the sequel trilogy.
He hasn't appeared in Star Wars Resistance or any supplementary Star Wars material set after he and Thrawn jumped into the unknown together. The movies have included nods to Rebels, so it's not like the films are determined to ignore the animated series altogether. It sure feels like Ezra is being saved for something, and he would still be a reasonably young man circa The Mandalorian, which picked up five years after Return of the Jedi.
Ezra is unaccounted for in this era, knows how to connect with Force-sensitive babies (as seen on Rebels), and is enough of an outlier of a Jedi that Mando could conceivably team up with him a lot more easily than if he was a more formal "sorcerer" Jedi.
I don't see Ezra wandering around the galaxy in Jedi robes, after all, and he did still carry a blaster along with his lightsaber when last seen on screen, much like Kanan. And The Mandalorian boss Jon Favreau wouldn't rule out an appearance from Thrawn, which could come hand-in-hand with at least an update on Ezra.
There's also the point that Star Wars Rebels never fully resolved the mystery of the Force on Lothal, in my book, with the cave drawings Ezra discovered with Kanan that included a member of Yoda's species, a child, and more. Could Ezra have some insight into where to find more of the species, even if he doesn't know it himself just yet?
Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni is on board The Mandalorian as a writer, director, and executive producer, so there's nobody better suited to bring the young hero of Rebels to live-action to lend a hand to Mando and Baby Yoda. It would give Rebels fans an update on Ezra, give The Mandalorian a Jedi character without inventing somebody new, and potentially open up a whole new chapter in the Star Wars saga.
Additionally -- and I hate to say it, but -- Baby Yoda and Mando aren't going to be able to stay together forever, and even Mando knows it. The show isn't sustainable so long as the badass Mandalorian has to take care of a kid, and surely The Mandalorian wouldn't go so far as to kill off Baby Yoda. If Mando crosses paths with Ezra, he could hand Baby Yoda off to somebody fans have reason to trust.
And hey, if Clone Wars can have a revival and none of the Sequel Trilogy-era projects are going to give an update on Jacen Syndulla, surely Rebels fans deserve some crumbs from the Star Wars table!
For now, you can catch the full run of Mando and Baby Yoda's adventures with The Mandalorian Season 1 streaming on Disney+. You can find all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels with Ezra Bridger on the Disney streamer as well. If you're in the market for some fresh programming, swing by our 2020 winter and spring TV premiere schedule for your upcoming options.