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Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Has A Key Connection To The Mandalorian

This week's episode of The Mandalorian set up Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in one all-important way. Spoilers to follow.

Baby Yoda

Though Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is coming out just prior to The Mandalorian‘s season 1 finale, we weren’t expecting there to be any crossover between the two productions, seeing as they take place in different periods of the SW timeline. However, “Chapter 7” of the Disney Plus show, which dropped on the streaming service this Wednesday, actually introduced a new concept into the lore prior to its heavy use in TROS.

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In The Mandalorian‘s latest episode, Mando and his allies are camped out in the deserts of the planet Nevarro when they’re attacked by winged alien beasts. Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) is left badly injured, on the brink of death thanks to the poison that’s infected him. In a wondrous display of his Force power, though, Baby Yoda waves his tiny hand and is able to heal Greef in a matter of moments. This is the first time Force healing has been featured in Star War canon. But it’s definitely not the last.

The concept is reintroduced early on in Rise when Rey heals an injured creature blocking the gang’s path in the underground tunnels of Pasaana. She explains that she transferred some of her life energy to it. Later on, when she delivers a severe blow to Kylo Ren during their battle on the Death Star’s remains, Rey elects to heal him the same way. It’s this selfless act of compassion for her enemy that convinces Kylo to return to the light.

At the film’s climax, Rey herself dies after managing to destroy Emperor Palpatine for good. The redeemed Ben Solo finds her though and Force heals her. However, bringing her back from death takes all of his energy and he ends up swapping his life for her’s. The pair then share a kiss and Ben vanishes, becoming one with the Force.

Given that this was such an integral new addition to the mythos, it was a clever move from Lucasfilm to prepare fans for the concept of Force healing by featuring it in the preceding Mandalorian episode. We may not have had Baby Yoda in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but this was a neat unexpected connection all the same.