The Mandalorian has been a massive hit among Star Wars fans because of the deep cut references to obscure details. From the premiere's mention of "Life Day" from the Star Wars Holiday Special to the Darksaber in the finale, the show is a plethora of Easter eggs every week. But for the first time, someone in Disney's galaxy far, far away seemed to reference something from another series altogether, owned by a completely different company. But the Stranger Things reference in The Mandalorian was not what it seemed. Warning: Spoilers for The Mandalorian follow.
When the Season 1 finale began, Mando and his friends Greef and Cara Dune were trapped. They'd taken refuge inside the bar where the Bounty Hunter's Guild once operated out of while Moff Gideon and his legions of stormtroopers stood outside, ready to blow them sky-high.
Mando had an idea — if they could get to the sewer system, the tunnels where the Mandalorians operated could give them a way out. Cara Dune was practically frantic to escape. When Greef suggested hearing out Moff Gideon, she refused.
That's easy for you to say, I'm a rebel shock trooper. They'll upload me to a Mindflayer.
Mindflayer? As in, Stranger Things' big bad from the Upside Down? Should Hawkins be worried they now have the Dark Side of the Force to deal with?
As much as fans might want this to be the first sign of a Netflix-Disney thaw and a possible crossover of fandoms, the truth is, Cara's "Mindflayer" probably has nothing to do with the Upside Down. Nor does it have anything to do with the creature from Dungeons and Dragons. (That's where Dustin pulled the name from in the first place.)
Greef, who Moff Gideon reveals was once an Imperial Magistrate, tells Dune that the Mindflayers weren't real. They were a piece of wartime propaganda. But that's probably not strictly true, either. One thing about propaganda is there's usually at least a sliver of truth to the lie.
Instead, Cara is probably referring to a creature only seen once on-screen so far, the Bor Gullet. This multi-tentacled, multi-footed, purple creature known as a Mairan is semi-psychic and famed for its ability to read thoughts. It was created for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, where fans saw one being used by Saw Gerrera to torture Bodhi Rook.
Even if the Bor Gullet isn't an actual Mindflayer or from the Upside Down, viewers know it can torture a man to death if need be. One does not need to be from Dungeons and Dragons to be deadly. A galaxy far, far away will do just fine.