The Mandalorian has been doing a very good job of delivering something that feels both fresh and familiar for Star Wars fans. The series has had a number of intriguing callbacks to moments, objects, and characters from previous entries in the franchise. Eagle-eyed viewers have likely picked up on some of the more obscure references, but the season premiere of The Mandalorian delivered one truly shocking reveal that might have distracted you from another important cameo.
In the Season Two premiere of The Mandalorian, we return to the desert planet of Tatooine. Din Djarin visited this planet once before back in Season One and met a mechanic named Peli Motto (played by comedian Amy Sedaris). When he returns in Season Two, he docks his ship at her station again and asks for some assistance in his journey. Peli Motto shows him a map of Tatooine to help guide his way, but the way he sees the map is where the show dropped a major re-appearance from a classic Star Wars character.
The droid that shows the Mandalorian that map of Tatooine is none other than R5-D4, one of the very first droids we ever met in Star Wars. In the original 1977 film, Luke Skywalker purchases now-famous droids C-3PO and R2-D2 from a group of Jawas in the desert. However, Luke was originally going to purchase R5-D4 instead of R2-D2. If that had happened, Luke never would have received the secret message from Princess Leia and might have never met Obi-Wan Kenobi. His entire path would have taken a drastic turn that would have affected the entire future of the Star Wars universe.
But, R5-D4 exploded, and that caused Luke to purchase R2-D2 instead. In the officially recognized canon of Star Wars and now seemingly backed up by The Mandalorian, it turns out that R5-D4 malfunctioned on purpose after being warned by R2-D2 about Princess Leia’s secret message and the Rebellion. His decision to seem damaged ended up changing the course of galactic history. When Imperial Stormtroopers destroyed the Jawas in search of C-3PO and R2-D2, R5-D4 faked his own death and was able to escape at some point afterward.
And it looks like he made his way to Peli Motto’s garage and is now one of her droid assistants. It is very cool that The Mandalorian decided to resurrect this character and confirm what has been presented in other pieces of Star Wars canon. R5-D4 is an ally to the Rebellion and the New Republic, and it looks like he has found a comfortable home doing repairs for Peli Motto. Is it possible he could end up being an even more integral part of the Star Wars universe moving forward? Most importantly, will we ever get to see him reunite with R2-D2?
Regardless, it is nice to know that The Mandalorian is paying attention to these kinds of smaller roles and pieces of lore from the Star Wars universe. It makes the show an even more rewarding experience for long-time fans of the franchise. And it keeps us on our toes for any more surprising and substantial appearance from prior Star Wars characters. Could Lak Sivrak finally return to the series? One can only hope.