The widely beloved TV series Star Wars: The Mandalorian finally made it's anticipated return to Disney+ on Friday morning with the Season 2 premiere episode, "Chapter 9: The Marshal." The 50+ minute episode, the longest of the season to-date, was as action-packed as most fans expected, but it also featured more nostalgic references and Easter eggs than nearly every episode that came before it. A return to Anakin and Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine allowed for plenty of noticeable references, including one major call-back to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Season 2 of The Mandalorian! Continue reading at your own risk...
Pretty early on in The Mandalorian's new episode, Timothy Olyphant is introduced as Cobb Vanth, a character that debuted in Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath novels. Vanth is the sheriff of Mos Pelgo on Tatooine, and he wears Boba Fett's old armor as protection, having bought it from a group of Jawas. Mando explains that the armor belongs with the Mandalorian people, and Vanth agrees to give it to him if he helps the town defeat the krayt dragon that plagues it. The two agree to a deal and head off on speeders to learn about the monster. It's here that fans of Episode I will notice something very memorable.
Cobb Vanth's speeder is made out of the engine of a podracer. There is a seat mounted to it, and it has seen its better days, but it is definitely from a podracer. In fact, it appears to be an engine specifically from Anakin Skywalker's podracer, which he used to earn his freedom from Watto on Tatooine decades prior. The color scheme is different than Anakin's, trading the blue for red, but it could easily have been repainted.
There's no confirmation of the engine belonging to the podracer than Anakin built, but it does resemble his work rather closely. No other pod engines featured in Episode I looked anything like his. Then again, his victory could have sparked a new trend in pod-building after he left the planet.
While we don't know exactly how Cobb came into possession of this engine, or if it was actually Anakins, we do know that seeing any kind of connection to podracing in Star Wars is rather exciting. Podracing was a key part of The Phantom Menace, but hasn't been featured in any mainstream Star Wars content since then. Maybe this will open the door for more podracing adventures in future stories.
Did you notice the podracer engine in The Mandalorian? Do you think it's Anakin's? Let us know in the comments! If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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