The Mandalorian References a Fan-Favorite Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Character

This week's episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+, "Chapter 13: The Jedi," was full of Star Wars lore. Rosario Dawson brought the breakout animated character Ahsoka Tano to live-action for the first time. We now know she's on the hunt for one of Star Wars expanded universe's most notable villains, Grand Admiral Thrawn, which may be part of Ahsoka's quest to find Ezra Bridger. The episode also indirectly references a fan-favorite character from Star Wars Legends continuity, specifically the beloved video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. SPOILERS for The Mandalorian "Chapter 13: The Jedi" follow.

Din Djarin finds Ahsoka Tano on the planet Corvus, where Bo-Katan told him she would be. Upon landing there, he learns that the local magistrate, Morgan Elsbeth, is trying to kill Ahsoka. Her retinue includes two HK-87 assassin droids.

The "HK" designation will be familiar to fans of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The letters stand for "hunter-killer," and they first appeared in the BioWare-developed video game attached to HK-47, a cantankerous droid that players could recruit in the game.

Accords to Legends canon, the former Jedi turned Dark Lord of the Sith called Darth Revan built HK-47 to hunt Jedi after the Mandalorian Wars. Both droid and master were captured and lost their memories of each other, but chance or the Force reunited them on Tatooine while Revan was recovering his former Jedi self. HK-47 joined Revan and the recovering Jedi's other allies to destroy the Star Forge and defeat the fallen Jedi apprentice, Darth Malak. HK-47 returned in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, though most of his story was incomplete upon the game's release and only restored in fan mods like The Sith Lords Restored. He reemerged a millennia later during the events of the sequel-MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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HK-47 was a class of droid that was iterated on in later years, with the creations of HK-50 and HK-51. Though HK-47 specifically, like Revan, hasn't been mentioned in the new Star Wars canon, the Star Wars Smugglers' Guide revealed that Dryden Voss, the public face of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate, owned some HK-series gladiatorial droids, which look like HK-47. They may be older HK models refurbished for games since they were no longer suitable for the field. The HK-87's would be the newer models still in use.

New The Mandalorian episodes stream Fridays on Disney+.