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The Star Wars TV episodes to watch before The Mandalorian season 2

There might be a lot more history behind the show’s second season

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Sabine holds the darksaber during the Siege of Mandalore in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Image: Disney Plus
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

The Mandalorian season 2 premieres in a few days and we still don’t really know much about the plot of the season. There are rumors, but hard evidence is all locked up in a J.J. Abrams-worthy mystery box. That doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for everything that happens.

Based on some of the early casting announcements, supposedly leaky sources, and a few lore-inspired theories, we’ve put together a list of episodes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels — also all streaming on Disney Plus — that you should check out ahead of The Mandalorian season 2. This list has episodes that will help catch you up on the history of some of the characters that might appear in the season, as well as a few addition viewing options on the off chance you want embark on an animated-Star Wars marathon in tandem with The Mandalorian season 2, which starts on Oct. 30.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, and potential spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2.]

“Old Friends Not Forgotten,” Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7

“Old Friends Not Forgotten,” Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7: Ahsoka and Anakin face the clones Image: Disney Plus

The ninth episode of The Clone Wars season 7, plus episode 10, “The Phantom Apprentice,” and episode 11, “Shatter,” serve a few important purposes on our way to The Mandalorian season 2. Specifically, they can introduce non-animated-series viewers to characters like Ahsoka Tano, who was the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, and Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian warrior and important political figure on the planet. During these episodes we also get a little trip through Mandalore’s history during the Clone Wars, just after its time under the rule of Darth Maul. These episodes also show us parts of the Siege of Mandalore, which weakened the planet’s warrior race, setting them up for the dire state they’re in during The Mandalorian.

For more backstory on Bo-Katan and the recent history of Mandalore, you can check out these episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars which focus on the planet and all of its intricate culture and conspiracies:

  • “The Mandalore Plot” (season 2 episode 12)
  • “Voyage of Temptation” (season 2 episode 13)
  • “Duchess of Mandalore” (season 2 episode 14)

“Twilight of the Apprentice,” Star Wars: Rebels season 2

“Twilight of the Apprentice,” Star Wars: Rebels season 2 : Ahsoka vs. Anakin lightsaber fight Image: Disney XD

While this two-episode arc has plenty of twists and turns, the most important parts have to do with Ahsoka Tano. In these episodes, the former padawan of Anakin Skywalker faces off against her master’s current form: Darth Vader. During their fight she realizes his true identity and can’t bring herself to fight him to the death, choosing to stall him while her friends escape instead. This isn’t the last time she shows up in Rebels, but it is the most important moment to setting up her character ahead of The Mandalorian — if the rumors are all true.

Despite how things may seem at the end of these episodes, Ahsoka survives the fight and shows up one more time in Rebels to team up with Sabine Wren, a young Mandalorian warrior and an important fighter in the early rebellion against the Empire. Knowing that they jetted off from Rebels together means The Mandalorian could reintroduce them both in season 2. For more on their team up, check out these episodes of Star Wars: Rebels:

  • A World Between Worlds (season 4, episode 13)
  • Family Reunion and Farewell (season 4, episode 15)

“Trials of the Darksaber,” Star Wars: Rebels, season 3

“Trials of the Darksaber,” Star Wars: Rebels, season 3 : Sabine holds the darksaber Image: Disney XD

As its name implies, episode 15 of season 3 is important because it’s all about the Darksaber — which we’re guessing will show up a little more this time around. This episode focuses on Sabine, who takes possession of the Darksaber, which she finds on Dathomir, and starts her training with it. However, even if Sabine doesn’t cross paths with Mando and Baby Yoda, this episode also has a nice pocket history of the Darksaber that will be great for anyone who wants a quick catch up on the Mandalore’s most legendary weapon.

For more on the legacy, lore, and history of the Darksaber — which has had a very complicated past, even before it reached the hands of Moff Gideon — you can check out these episodes of Clone Wars and Rebels:

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars — “The Lawless” (season 5, episode 16)
  • Star Wars: Rebels — “Visions and Voices” (season 3, episode 11)

Heroes of Mandalore, Star Wars: Rebels, season 4

This two-episode arc has just about everything that season 2 plot details hint at. “Heroes of Mandalore” follows Sabine, along with wannabe Ezra and ex-Jedi Kanan, as they attempt to end the Empire’s occupation of Mandalore. While there’s plenty of great action in these episodes, the most important parts come from Sabine and Bo-Katan Kryze, supposedly played by Katee Sackhoff in The Mandalorian, who also voices the animated character. During this arc Sabine passes the Darksaber off to Bo-Katan, who takes her rightful place as the leader of Mandalore. Of course, sometime between then and the events of The Mandalorian, quite a few things changed.

For more information on Bo-Katan Kryze and the history of Mandalore, and even a few surprise appearances from Obi-Wan Kenobi, you can check out these episodes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars:

  • “Eminence” (season 5 episode 14
  • “Shades of Reason” (season 5 episode 15)
  • “The Lawless” (season 5 episode 16)

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