How ‘The Mandalorian’ is using lore from Star Wars video games

The Mandalorian has had a great second season, in no small part due to Star Wars games. But if you haven’t played those titles, you might be a bit lost on some of the unspoken details.

Why are krayt dragon pearls so valuable? How about those dark troopers that Moff Gideon has in his personal army? What is this Operation CInder that made Mayfeld go on a shooting spree?

Here’s why they’re all important to the Star Wars universe.

Operation: Cinder was the Galactic Empire’s final act of pure evil

In “Chapter 15: The Believer,” Mando recruits his old enemy, Migs Mayfeld, to break into a secret Imperial mining facility. But when the duo encounters Valin Hess, that’s when things go south.

It turns out Mayfeld served as an Imperial sharpshooter under Hess during the war. The three of them are having a pleasant (but tense) conversation when the topic of Operation: Cinder comes up.

That’s when Mayfeld blows his cover and shoots Hess in the heart, sparking off a violent getaway.

So what was Operation: Cinder and why was it so traumatizing? He mentions that his entire division of “5, 10,000” soldiers was wiped out and they were ordered to attack civilians.

But here’s the peculiar thing about Operation: Cinder that made it particularly heinous — it targeted Imperial worlds as well.

Operation: Cinder was first depicted in the Star Wars: Battlefront II campaign. After Palpatine’s death, select officers in the emperor’s inner circle bombarded loyal Imperial worlds and slaughtered their civilians. It was Palpatine’s big middle finger to the Empire for “failing” to protect him.

Talk about a sore loser.

Dark troopers were the Galactic Empire’s secret super soldiers

Moff Gideon is a warlord with a small army and battle fleet at his command. But the most terrifying asset he has is his squad of dark troopers.

Star Wars: Dark Forces introduced dark troopers to the Star Wars universe in 1995. The troopers went through several Phases, beginning with roboticized clone troopers to the Phase III dark troopers that were basically killer robots.

The mercenary Kyle Katarn learned first-hand that dark troopers are extremely dangerous. With heavy armor, blaster cannons, rifles, jet packs and several different types of ordinance, dark troopers were basically flying tanks.

Gideon’s dark troopers seem to be a different model altogether from the ones we’ve seen in previous Star Wars media. For Mando’s sake, let’s hope they’re not upgrades.

Krayt dragon pearls have been prized by Jedi and Sith for thousands of years

Killing a krayt dragon, especially the enormous greater krayt dragons, is a really big deal. As we’ve seen in “Chapter 9: The Marshal,” taking down a greater krayt dragon requires a whole team of skilled hunters with lots of gear. Even then, there’s still a good chance that you’ll all die.

You may be asking yourself why anyone would hunt such a dangerous behemoth. Answer: For that sweet pearl, of course.

Krayt dragon pearls first appeared in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, where they were highly prized by everyone for different reasons. Tusken raiders collected the pearls as hunting trophies while the average citizen prized them for their beauty.

The Jedi and Sith have sought out the pearls for thousands of years to build powerful lightsabers.

Mando did it to get Boba Fett’s armor off of Cobb Vanth. It was a good deal for everyone. Vanth saved his town, Mando got Fett’s armor and the Tuskens got the biggest pearl we’ve ever seen in Star Wars.

The great thing about The Mandalorian is you can go into it without any prior knowledge of Star Wars. It really can be enjoyed by everyone.

But for hardcore Star Wars fans, that extra bit of work of linking The Mandalorian to the Star Wars video games goes a long way.

Now make a sequel to Star Wars: Republic Commando, you cowards.

If you liked this story, check out this article on how Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is getting actors to reprise iconic roles.

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