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The Mandalorian: Our biggest questions from episode 1

What is "Beskar," what's happening with the Empire, and what's the deal with *that* baby?

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Star Wars fans rejoice!Β Disney Plus is live, which means that the very first episode of The Mandalorian is live, and we have things to discuss.

A lot of things to discuss. There's flashback, lore hints, armor upgrades, but most importantly: What the hell is the deal with that ending?

Just in case it wasn't obvious, we're heading into spoiler territory. So beware. This is your final warning.

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CNET

OK, so let's talk about the ending first.Β 

In case you haven't watched, The Mandalorian takes a sketchy bounty job from the one and only Werner Herzog, then infiltrates a base full of bad dudes alongside a bounty-hunting robot. After slaughtering everyone with what can only be described as a blaster crossed with a WW I Vickers-style mini-gun, The Mandalorian finds the bounty and...

Wait, is that a baby Yoda?

Yep, the bounty in question is baby Yoda-looking thing. I mean obviously it can't be the Yoda. It just can't. The Mandalorian is set after Return of the Jedi and Yoda died in Return of the Jedi, so look. It's not Yoda. Is it a time-travelling Yoda? A reincarnation of Yoda? I'm not sure any of that registers or makes sense. According to the show itself, this "baby" is 50 years old. This is completely normal in terms of the Star Wars universe (Yoda died at 900 years old) but that doesn't tie in with any possibility of a Yoda reincarnation.

Most likely this is a brand-new character, and that is a very cool thing indeed.

But we don't know anything about Yoda's species, not even what they're called. We've only ever seen one other member of the species in Star Wars -- "Yaddle," a female who appeared in the prequel trilogy.

That would suggest that creatures from Yoda's species are rare and, potentially, powerful users of the Force. Does ol' Werner Herzog want Yoda Jr. to conduct experiments or to train him up as some sort of super-Sith?

At this point it's hard to say.

What the hell is Beskar?

Initially Beskar, the metal the Mandalorian was given as a down payment for the "rescue Yoda Jr." mission, looked like your bog-standard bar of gold or silver. But the show seems to be hinting at a broader, cultural reverence for this metal.

Also, in perhaps the most video game moment in Star Wars canon, the Mandalorian took this "ore" and got himself a Dark Souls-esque armor upgrade from a blacksmith.

And in a Dark Souls-ian twist, Beskar has its own lore that most likely will tie into how The Mandalorian plays out over this first season. We know that Beskar is insanely strong and is used to create blast-resistant armor. We also know that Beskar is used to produce Mandalorian armor and that armor is of huge cultural significance to Mandalorians. It's interesting stuff, and kinda speaks to the depth of the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is doing a show-don't-tell thing with the Beskar and the armor. I like it.

What shape is the Empire in?

And what role will it play in this story?

One of the strangest parts of The Force Awakens was how quickly the Empire came back from what looked like a crushing defeat in Return of the Jedi. The crew that the Mandalorian meets in the first episode look like a ragtag group of beat-up stormtroopers. Just how powerful are they at this point, and what side will the Mandalorian take as the story progresses? In earlier marketing, Pedro Pascal (who plays the Mandalorian) referred to this show as a place where the lines between good and evil are "blurrier." It'll be interesting to see that play out.

What's going to happen next?

Personally I'm hoping baby Yoda turns out to be like Jack-Jack from The Incredibles and we get to see some HILARIOUS slapstick action between the Mandalorian and an insanely force-sensitive 50-year-old baby. But look, I have very specific tastes.

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