Shriek-Hawk? The Mandalorian Just Introduced a Terrifying Creature That Was Hiding in Plain Sight
This beast scoops up poor Ragnar and forces Bo-Katan on a symbolic adventure.
The Mandalorian Season 3 hasn’t shied away from one of the best parts of Star Wars: cool creatures and weird aliens. In Episode 1 alone we got a giant aquatic reptile and a kelp-faced pirate within 35 minutes.
Episode 4 doubles down, bringing back what the audio description calls a “giant dinosaur turtle” and introducing a pterodactyl-esque monster who terrorizes the Children of the Watch. But there’s more to this character than just some sharp teeth and talons, because it has a personal connection to Bo-Katan Kryze.
In the episode and closed captions, the creature is referred to as merely a “raptor,” which it clearly is similar to due to its Jurassic-Park-esque looks. But at one point, The Armorer tells Paz Viszla to “enjoin the Shriek-hawk Training team,” which means these “raptors” could be shriek-hawks. While they’ve been mentioned in non-canon novels and reference texts like encyclopedias, this would easily be their most high-profile appearance.
But you’ve actually seen a shriek-hawk in The Mandalorian before. A stylized silhouette of a diving shriek-hawk was used as the sigil for Clan Vizsla, and then as the symbol of the Death Watch. This symbol appeared during the flashback to Din’s rescue by a Mandalorian who bore it on their pauldron, leading fans to believe the rescuer was a member of the Death Watch. Now that we know that Paz Vizsla has a son, however, it’s more likely that we saw a member of the Vizsla family.
This reveal is especially powerful for Bo-Katan Kryze, who previously served in the Death Watch. In fighting the shriek-hawk, she’s essentially fighting the kind of Mandalorian she once was, and is risking her own life to rescue someone she would have previously considered a cultist.
There are several reasons to bring this creature into the Star Wars canon, including the simple fact that it’s rad, but introducing it when Bo-Katan is facing an identity crisis feels like too much of a coincidence to ignore. She’s trying to figure out where she belongs in a world without Mandalorians, and now she’s realizing the answer is to change her understanding of who a Mandalorian can be.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 4 is now streaming on Disney+.