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The Mandalorian episode 4 includes an Easter egg tribute to director Taika Waititi

Blink and you’ll miss it

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The Mandalorian season 1 ended with a bang — literally. A reprogrammed IG-11 (Taika Waititi) cleared the way for Din Djarin and his friends to make good their escape. The assassin droid also helped to rid the biggest city on the planet Nevarro of Imperial thugs.

For that, its populace will be eternally grateful.

[Warning: What follows includes light spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 4.]

How grateful? Well, the people of Nevarro built a statue in the droid’s honor. It features prominently in the main square, just outside the new one-room schoolhouse. As Mando tours the facility, you can just see if over his left shoulder — the famous droid, his blaster raised skyward in a triumphant posture.

A still frame showing Mando walking into a schoolhouse.
To Mando’s left, the Jawa’s right, you can clearly see the IG-11 statue in the town square on Nevarro.
Image: Lucasfilm

The bounty hunter droid played a central role in the first season, and had a decent character arc to boot. He helped Din to get over his hatred — perhaps fear — of droids. Later, he was the one who revealed Mando’s face to the audience for the first time. But, as Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian showed in a series of behind-the-scenes vignettes, actor and director Taika Waititi himself contributed perhaps even more to the warm, comedic tone of the entire series.

I don’t see that statue as a Hero of Canton-style cargo-cult mistaking a walking hunk of metal as its savior. Instead, it’s a signal of how this small town values IG-11’s sacrifice. It also goes a long way toward humanizing the robots in The Mandalorian. It’s a thread that might be tied together by whatever monstrosity Moff Gideon has up his sleeve with those hulking black figures teased at the end of this same episode.

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