The latest episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian goes a long way in bridging the gap between the extended universe of the franchise with the live-action universe that many fans know and love. While the franchise has often given winks and nods to the animated series, the novels, and the video games that have been released in the extended universe, there has only been minor winks and nods in the movies. But now that the franchise has moved to the small screen with The Mandalorian, we now have our first major inclusion of a major Star Wars Rebels creature.
In the latest episode of The Mandalorian, the fourth episode called "Sanctuary, we finally get to see the titular bounty hunter and the child known as Baby Yoda achieving some semblance of peace on a small planet. While the Mandalorian knows their safety won't be achieved for long, Baby Yoda does have fun playing with some of the younger children on the planet.
But he does have a rough brush with another strange creature while attending a local bar, and this creature establishes a major tie to Star Wars Rebels. As Baby Yoda follows the Mandalorian through the bar, he nearly gets bitten by a Lothcat — a creature that is typically native to the planet Lothal, which plays a major role in the animated series.
In Star Wars Rebels, Lothal is home to a Jedi temple that the heroes Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus frequent in order to explore their connections to the Force. But the planet's Force-sensitive nature includes a lot of native wildlife that are also seemingly connected, included the adorable Lothcats.
These creatures are established to have some sort of connection with the Force, and are shown to be mostly peaceful when it comes to characters like Kanan and Ezra. The fact that they snapped at Baby Yoda should come as a surprise — but we should remember that this creature was taken from their native world.
We've seen glimpses of the Ghost, the Corellian ship piloted by the Rebels crew, in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And we've also seen the character of Saw Gerrera, who originally appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, before his appearance in the first spinoff movie.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian is continuing this tradition with the inclusion of the Lothcat, and with executive producer Dave Filoni involved, it's likely that we will see a lot more in the future.
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