Fans “Lost Their Mind” at ‘Rebels’ Connection In ‘The Mandalorian’

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Grogu and the purrgils, as seen in 'The Mandalorian' (2019) and 'Star Wars: Rebels' (2014). Credit: Lucasfilm

All Images Credit: Lucasfilm

Fans of Star Wars: Rebels “lost their mind” at a reference to the show within The Mandalorian’s (2019) Season 3 premiere.

The purrgils appear in the hyperspace lanes in 'The Mandalorian' (2019). Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

Early in “Chapter 17 – The Apostate”, we see Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and young Foundling Grogu travelling the hyperspace lanes on a trip to Nevarro.

As Grogu looks out of the window, he sees some giant shapes moving just beyond the hyperspace tunnel. To the uninformed, you might see this as just a touching moment of the young (for 50) cutie looking at some spacefaring creatures.

But for fans of Rebels (2014), we know they mean so much more. These are purrgils, gigantic space whales with four tentacles that possess the special ability to traverse hyperspace.

Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) and the purrgils pull Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and his Star Destroyer into hyperspace. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

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They first appeared in a season two episode of Rebels, where we learned that it is through the consumption of a rare, specific gas that they can survive the hazardous environment of space and traverse the galaxy in pods.

So what, I hear you say: why should we care about yet another unusual creature in the vast Star Wars ecosystem? Well, because these whales were a key part of the downfall of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), the blue-skinned, deadly Imperial tactician who became Rebels hero Ezra Bridger’s (Taylor Gray) main nemesis during the fourth and final season of Rebels.

The Force-sensitive Bridger had demonstrated an affinity for using his connection to empathically link to creatures throughout the show, and in the series finale, this skill came in essential. The last we saw of our young hero, he was on board Thrawn’s Star Destroyer, and the purrgils had entwined their tentacles around the vessel. With one triumphant final effort, they pulled the ship, Thrawn and Ezra off into hyperspace, vanishing to an unknown destination.

Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) in 'Star Wars: Rebels' (2014). Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

The show’s epilogue revealed Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) and Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar) years later, meeting and resolving to try and track down Ezra from wherever he ended up. That mission is rumored to be a key part of the storyline to Ahsoka (2023), the character’s solo TV series debut.

All this to say: the appearance of the purrgils in live action, even in this small way, is yet further evidence that we are moving towards seeing Ezra Bridger once again. And fans are delighted at that prospect, sharing tweets showcasing how much the little moment meant to those who watched the 2014 animation.

@Andorisms tweeted:

#themandalorian spoilers

dave filoni, i know you know where ezra bridger is

Star Wars content creator and podcast host Alden Diaz (@ThatAldenDiaz) shared:

I just about lost my mind. One of those Star Wars moments that made me let out an emotional exhale and a pure, “I didn’t realize I was smiling” smile. Beautiful. So glad Famuyiwa let this moment breathe. #TheMandalorian

And Mollie Damon (@MollieDamon) shared:

Rebels fans after watching THAT scene in #TheMandalorian

Suffice to say, people are very excited at the prospect of more purrgils in their Star Wars future.

Do you think Ezra Bridger will return later in this season of The Mandalorian? Tell us in the comments below.

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