The Mandalorian Brings Back Solo’s Best New Alien


The Mandalorian has brought back a Star Wars alien first introduced in 2018’s Solo. From its gritty, underworld feel to its over-the-top yet grounded action, The Mandalorian has been a hit with Star Wars fans. To aid in this feel, there has been a big focus on bringing many background elements of the films together. In doing so, there have been many nods to past Star Wars films and TV shows in order to make the show feel inclusive for all corners of the universe. Many famous locations, background characters, ships and more have been spotted in the series so far, and the most recent episode has been no different.

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In The Mandalorian episode 6, titled “The Prisoner”, Mando and some of his old bounty hunting buddies (turned enemies, or rather prey) are sent on a rescue mission in order to break one of their allies out of a New Republic prison transport. As the group wanders the many, stark white halls of the transport, viewers get a glimpse at the type of cargo this ship is hauling in regards to the beings on it. Among the nondescript aliens and humans being held for their crimes, one of the cells holds a fairly recognizable little creature. Especially for those who are fans of the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The creature is what is known as an Ardennian, the most well known of the fairly new race being Rio Durant who was a part of Tobias Beckett’s crew in Solo. The character was even voiced by Jon Favreau, the creator of The Mandalorian series, so it makes sense why it was brought back here. Native to the planet Ardennia, these bipedal, four armed primates were tailor made for military work, given their extra arms and incredible agility. Having first been introduced in Solo: A Star Wars Story, “The Prisoner” marks only the second on-screen appearance of the race since their creation two years ago.

Though Solo was a box office failure for Disney, it is clear that the showrunners are still eager to pull from any and all areas to fill in space in The Mandalorian. Not only does utilizing pre-existing side characters make the universe feel unified, but it also allows for aliens like the Ardennians to get a spotlight even if it is only for a brief moment. This strategy keeps the characters in the consciousness of the viewer, particularly in this case where the film that first featured this new kind of being did not reach the majority of the fan base.

It is great to see The Mandalorian give so many different creatures a bit of time in the limelight. Especially those who were short on screen time in their first go around and never got a chance to appear elsewhere. The Ardennians are still a pretty new addition to the ever expanding Disney Star Wars canon, and hopefully this is not the last we see of them. Rio Durant didn’t get much to do in Solo: A Star Wars Story and the Ardennian seen in The Mandalorian didn’t even get a single line, much less a name. If nothing else, the series has been a clear indication that little is off the table by way of minor cameos or returns, so it would not be a surprise if more unexplored creatures and worlds are to appear in similar fashion.

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About The Author

Shane O’Neill (151 Articles Published)

Shane started at Screen Rant in late 2019. From blockbusters to indie ventures, he’s there on opening night. He is currently attending the University At Buffalo for a Bachelor’s in Film Studies and has been studying film independently for years. He has also delved into the tedious world of stop-motion animation, putting together a handful of short films. When he’s away from movies, he can often be found in the gym. Of course, when he needs to wind down his Xbox controller is never far away. He can be found on all social media platforms @sheamus_oneill.

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