The following story contains spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 3, Episode 2, “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore”
Through two seasons and change of The Mandalorian, and a few episodes of The Book of Boba Fett, we’ve heard some rumblings about the planet Mandalore—the home planet of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and The Armorer (Emily Swallow), that was said to be left in ruins following an Imperial attack. But after the events of The Book of Boba Fett, our dear friend Mando could only redeem his transgressions (removing his helmet to share a few moments with cute little Baby Yoda/Grogu) by heading to Mandalore to bathe in the planet’s living waters.So in Season 3, Episode 2, “The Mines of Mandalore,” we finally headed there—and saw Mandalore for ourselves.
When Mando arrived, with Grogu and an R5-D4 droid courtesy of Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in tow, Mandalore certainly didn’t look great. He remarked that it was “once green and beautiful,” but as he made his way down to the surface, discovered that the air is breathable and while Mandalore isn’t what it used to be, there’s still plenty going on. That “plenty going on,” unfortunately, includes some beasts, and some cybernetic life that unfortunately captured Din, leading Grogu to need to go get some help off-planet from Bo-Katan.
Fans of the Star Wars animation (and those who’ve seen The Mandalorian Season 2) already know that Bo-Katan is a major badass, so it comes as no surprise that, while it took a minute, she was able to rescue Din (and did some great work with the Darksaber in the meantime). However, Mando remained committed to his quest for redemption—and so she led him to the aforementioned waters. In those waters, though, things didn’t go according to plan. Din got dragged deep underneath, and Bo-Katan once again dove to save him.
She was successful, but not before seeing a beast that looked suspiciously like the Tulkun from Avatar: The Way of Water (it’s got to be something about that eye). This has nothing to do with giant blue people or the planet of Pandora though; Bo-Katan is startled because this is, indeed, a Mythosaur.
Mythosaurs are supposed to be extinct—and if you can’t tell from Bo-Katan’s reaction, the presence of this one changes just about everything.
What is a Mythosaur?
While the image of the Mythosaur we got in “The Mines of Mandalore” certainly looks like the Tulkun from Avatar: The Way of Water (aka: Space Whales), the Mythosaurs are actually more like Space Wooly Mammoths, with sharp teeth and big, downward-pointing horns. These beasts are supposed to be long-extinct, but were believed to roam on Mandalore thousands of years earlier; the first Mandalorians supposedly tamed them and even rode them.
Their image and likeness has shown up in The Mandalorian corner of the Star Wars-verse. The Armorer uses their symbol as a decoration in her home, and there’s also a Mandalorian weapon named after them called the Mythosaur Axe (probably because of how sharp it is, so, hey, Bo-Katan and Mando, stay away from those teeth).
Where have we seen a Mythosaur before in Star Wars?
The image of the Mythosaur goes back a long way in the Star Wars canon. We originally first saw it illustrated on the shoulder pad of Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor in both The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). It was further illustrated in between those films in the Marvel Comics-produced Star Wars #69.
However, when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, almost all of the Star Wars Expanded Universe up until that point was re-established as “Legends,” or: not canon. Outside of the films and a few things here and there (animated series, etc), this was a hard reset.
The Mythosaur was established later, though. When Mando met Kuiil (voiced by Nick Nolte) back in Season 1 of The Mandalorian, he referred to how Din’s ancestors used to ride Mythosaurs thousands of years in the past—because Mando could barely handle riding a much-smaller beast called a Blurrg.
What does the Mythosaur’s presence mean for The Mandalorian story going forward?
When Din met with the Armorer and learned of his transgressions and how to redeem himself (by bathing in the Living Waters of Mandalore), she also told him of a pair of prophecies. In one, she mentioned that whoever wields the Darksaber would rule all of Mandalore. Safe to say that’s already been well-established in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
But the presence of the Mythosaur makes her second prophecy much more relevant: “The songs of eons past foretold of The Mythosaur rising up to herald a new age of Mandalore.” She said that Mythosaurs only exist in “Legends,” which was a cheeky nod to the erased past Star Wars canon, but also told us that these beasts were not around. Well, now they are.
So this means a few things. Let’s note that almost immediately after he “bathed” in the waters—aka: was redeemed—Mando was pulled down by the Mythosaur. Clean slate!
But we also need to consider both of the aforementioned prophecies working together. The Mythosaur has risen, and that means we are entering a new age of Mandalore. But who will lead them? Who will wield the Darksaber? “The Mines of Mandalore” showed that Bo-Katan is clearly better with the blade than Din. But will the two fight it out? Clearly, Bo-Katan resents Mando for being the rightful owner (though her taking the Darksaber as the unrightful owner is arguably what “cursed” the planet in the first place).
Long story short? The Mythosaur is less a beast or a monster, and more a sign of things to come. Mainly, a likely power struggle between our two Mandalorian heroes.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.