The Mandalorian appears to be the cornerstone of the original programming available at launch on Disney+. Its enticing mix of spaghetti western, epic samurai, and space wizard movies has an undeniable appeal.
The series is the epitome of visual storytelling and almost eschews dialogue. The tight word economy seems to reflect the tough times we find in the galaxy since the fall of the Empire. It feels like the effort to speak more than the bare minimum exacts a real and untenable cost. The amount of screen time devoted to an image of the blank expression on the Mandalorian's helmet leaves the viewer to divine what he's thinking from the slightest head tilt rather than a line of dialogue. This quiet feels both brave and patient.
With that said, there still might be a need every now and then – even in a laconic production like The Mandalorian – to offer an explanation of some terms and phrases, so here's the second in a series of looks at what you should know (you can check out the first three editions here, here, and here):
● Nikto: Scaly, horned species from the planet Kintan. Their home planet was enslaved by the Hutts, which leads to them often showing up as lackeys and muscle when the Hutts are involved. The thugs guarding The Asset in the first episode of The Mandalorian are Nikto.
● Klatoonians: Dog-faced species who revere the Hutts and are often found in their employ. The raiders who are attacking the small village of krill farmers on Sorgan in episode four are Klatoonian.
A notable Klatoonian named Barada, completes the reference to the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still that started with the appearance of Nikto and Klatoonians as skiff guards in Return of the Jedi. In the former movie, a robot named Gort is dissuaded from destroying Earth when he hears the phrase "klaatu barada nikto."
● Womp rat: Six-foot long, mangy rodents native to Tatooine. Luke Skywalker used to bull's eye womp rats in his T-16, a feat of piloting that gives him the confidence to attempt to hit a similarly sized exhaust port on the Death Star. The Mandalorian uses this as a pet name for The Child.
● Skug: A common insult used by the Zygerrian people as featured in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. When The Mandalorian calls the planet Sorgan a "backwater skug hole," he's likely referring to it being remote and not terribly advanced nor notable.
● Grinjer: a creature on the planet Sorgan whose bones are used to make broth. The use of the phrase "took down" rather than "put down" seems to indicate that grinjers are found in the wild rather than domesticated.