Why those hyperspace creatures in The Mandalorian season 3 premiere are a really BIG deal

In the premiere episode of The Mandalorian, Din Djarin tells Grogu that part of being a Mandalorian is knowing how to explore the galaxy, and we see them doing just that. Their adventures in this one episode take them to several different planets, meaning that they spend a lot of time in their modified N1 starfighter.

During one such moment, as the ship travels through hyperspace and Djarin catches a quick nap in his cockpit, Grogu stares out at the stars through hyperspace. But as he does so, he sees a large object a bit beyond the hyperspace lane, and then suddenly sees several more objects, which look like large creatures. This causes him to join Djarin in the cockpit and snuggle up close.

It might look like an odd moment at first, causing fans to wonder what’s going on, but it’s actually a MAJOR deal for the show and the Star Wars franchise, hinting at where the story is going from here. Those creatures are known as Purrgil, and they were first introduced in Star Wars Rebels.

What are Purrgil?

These whale-like creatures possess a biological ability to travel through hyperspace, and it was actually through studying this that people long ago were able to figure out how to travel through hyperspace themselves. The creatures were known to cause some dangers to those traveling through hyperspace as a result of their travel, but they also remained somewhat mythical beings that stories and legends were told about. But the real significance of them comes through their role in Rebels. During the show’s second season, the heroes encounter a group of Purrgil, but rather than attacking them, they work with them. The Jedi padawan Ezra Bridger possesses a Force ability to connect with creatures in deep ways, and he manages to connect with these space whales as well – so much so that they saved his life during that adventure.

A few years later they would show up again. In the series finale, the heroes seek to liberate their homeworld of Lothal from the Empire’s grasp, which is governed by the Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn. Bridger manages to rally together the allies he had encountered throughout the show’s four seasons and bring them together for an attack. That includes sending some key members away in the team’s ship, the Ghost, on a mysterious mission. That mission isn’t revealed until just the right moment: Bridger has been taken aboard Thrawn’s Star Destroyer, the Chimaera, and confronts the Grand Admiral on the bridge, but the Empire detects creatures emerging from hyperspace. That’s when the Ghost appears, leading an army of Purrgil.

The Purrgil destroy other ships in Thrawn’s fleet, then surround the Chimaera. With Ezra using the Force to hold things together and keep the bridge intact, the Purrgil pull the Chimaera into hyperspace with them, disappearing into the unknown regions. In Thrawn’s absence the rebel attack proves victorious and the planet is liberated, but Thrawn and Ezra disappeared with the Purrgil. So, in an epilogue to the series set years after the fall of the Empire, Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren head off in search of Ezra, looking to bring him home.

Why is this so important?

As has long been evident, the Rebels sequel will be taking place in The Mandalorian and Ahsoka. Ahsoka Tano has already been introduced, and we know that she’s hunting Grand Admiral Thrawn. Why might she be hunting him? Because he disappeared with Ezra somewhere unknown, and she’s looking for Ezra.

That search will come into focus in the Ahsoka series premiering later this year, where Ahsoka will be joined by Sabine Wren (played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo). They, of course, are after Ezra. And it just so happens that Eman Esfandi has reportedly been cast in the role of Ezra Bridger for Ahsoka as well. All of this, plus the fact that Thrawn’s long-awaited return (and live-action debut) seems imminent, and it seems that we are starting to see some of the major threads that these stories will be taking in the coming year.

So, to state a connection that’s probably already clear, the purrgil showing up here are a huge connection to this story. Those were the creatures that took Ezra and Thrawn away into hyperspace, so perhaps they are the key to finding their location once more. I’m not sure we’ll see them again in The Mandalorian, but I am very confident that we’ll see them in Ahsoka. It’s a brief tease of that for people who know, but it’s also just setting the stage about these hyperspace creatures for those who don’t, so that when they appear later people aren’t caught totally off guard.

This story is all leading somewhere, and it’s leading (in the shorter term, at least) to the return of Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn. Both of those will be incredible moments, and it’s likely a lot of it will happen in Ahsoka. But The Mandalorian just continues to foreshadow it, and with the Purrgil appearing for the first time ever in live-action, it’s no coincidence. Ezra and Thrawn disappeared with them, and now that we’re seeing them again, it’s a hint that we’re close to seeing them return.

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