So far, The Mandalorian has not required casual viewers to become hardcore Star Wars fans. Fans who believed that Baby Yoda might actually be Yoda weren't punished for a gross misunderstanding of the (admittedly confusing) Star Wars timeline. But for diehards, the promise of Mandalorian Season 2 is that it will actually start to play in the Star Wars canon sandbox a little more overtly. We know the Jedi will probably appear. We saw some more X-wings. There are hints we will find Baby Yoda's "people."
And among all of that, there's a snowy planet which seems to recall another snow planet in the Star Wars mythos. But which one? Is this snow planet actually Ilum? Hoth? Or is it somewhere else?
If "The Child" and Din Djarin have made the trip to Ilum to, this could be a big deal. Here's why.
What is Ilum in Star Wars?
First introduced in The Clone Wars, the planet Ilum is the place where you can find the most Kyber Crystals in the entire galaxy. The Jedi constructed a pretty significant temple there because it was a good place to build your lightsaber. In the pre-Empire era, Ahsoka took younglings to Ilum to build their first lightsabers, and it's heavily implied that most other Jedi do the same thing. Post-Clone Wars, the Empire took over Ilum and used the Kyber Crystals to give power both Death Stars. After that, the First Order eventually turned the entire planet into Starkiller Base, using the remaining Kyber Crystals to make the long-distance planet-destroying weapon we saw in The Force Awakens.
This last little detail was considered only a fan theory until 2019. In the book The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, the idea that Ilum eventually became Starkiller Base was confirmed outright.
Jedi Younglings in the Caves of Ilum in 'The Clone Wars'Lucasfilm
Why do so many fans think the Mandalorian snow planet is Ilum?
The notion that this snow planet in the Season 2 Mandalorian trailer is actually Ilum makes a lot of sense. For one thing, there's a big trench that the Razorcrest flies over, and that's a feature of Ilum, and eventually, Starkiller Base. Visually, fans on Twitter have pointed out that the brief scenes of this planet all match-up with how Ilum is depicted in the video game Jedi: Fallen Order.
Because Mando and Baby Yoda are searching for clues about the Jedi, it stands to reason that they'd head to Ilum. What better place to get clues about where Baby Yoda came from than one of the oldest Jedi Temples? In The Clone Wars, Ahsoka said, "There is no place more sacred to the Jedi" than Ilum. Supposedly Ahsoka herself will appear in this season of The Mandalorian.
So, from a story perspective and from an aesthetic perspective, Ilum checks out. If we're chasing Jedi clues for the sake of Baby Yoda, this place is perfect.
Starkiller Base (Ilum) in 'The Force Awakens.'Lucasfilm
What's the bigger impact of going to Ilum during The Mandalorian?
Well, we don't really know much about what was up with Ilum before the First Order era of The Force Awakens. Considering that this planet will eventually be the place where Rey will wield the Skywalker lightsaber for the first time, there's a lot of foreshadowing The Mandalorian could do here. After all, in Season 1, Baby Yoda retroactively debuted Rey's Force-healing powers just a few days before The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters. This isn't to say that Mando Season 2 will outright demonstrate how the First Order began converting Ilum into Starkiller Base, but it might start to explain that process. All the Stormtroopers in this trailer seem like they're left-over from the Empire-era, but could we start to see some First Order versions of these guys? It's possible!
Is that snow speeder back there?Lucasfilm
What if it's not Ilum?
If you're more of an Original Trilogy-loyalist, you might be wondering why this couldn't be Hoth. After all, that's the most famous snow planet in Star Wars, right? In fairness, this could be Hoth and not Ilum. In one scene, it looks like Mando and Baby Yoda are standing next to what might be part of a wrecked Snowspeeder, which could lend credence to the Hoth theory. Figuring out why Mando and Baby Yoda would go to Hoth — beyond the extra-fictional fan service reasons — is a little harder to guess. But, Hoth is a snow planet in the Star Wars galaxy, and one Jedi (Luke Skywalker) did first learn the name "Yoda" on the planet Hoth. Is that enough of a connection for Baby Yoda to make the pilgrimage to the same spot? Maybe. Star Wars has gotten away with bigger connections with fewer hints before.
There's always a third possibility: Maybe this snow planet isn't anywhere we've seen before. After all, the sequel trilogy gave us two desert planets that were not Tatooine, meaning The Mandalorian can easily visit a snow planet that's brand new.
The Mandalorian Season 2 hits Disney+ on October 30.