The Mandalorian has been the perfect bridge between the old and the new.
Fans of Star Wars dating as far back as the Original Trilogy have been thrilled to see familiar locations re-emerge in the hit Disney+ series, and the popularity of the show has allowed young audiences to connect with these locales as well. There's been no bigger connecting piece to the films that started it all and Mando's adventure than Tatooine, which has now appeared several times in the series.
When viewers first re-visited the old dust ball in Season 1, director Dave Filoni started things off right at Mos Eisley spaceport, where Mando docked his ship for repairs and fired off a warning shot to a crew of pit droids before entering the iconic cantina. Mando returned to Hangar 35 and it's owner, Peli Motto, once more in the second season's debut episode before venturing off into unknown parts of Anakin and Luke Skywalker's old stomping grounds.
But as things turn out, there was once an even more nostalgic background for what's presumably just a place to land a ship...
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Concept artist Anton Grandert revealed that the hangar seen in The Mandalorian on Tatooine was originally conceived to be Docking Bay 94, the location where Han Solo's Millennium Falcon is parked in A New Hope.
"Here’s a location I helped design for Chapter 5 of the Mandalorian. The original idea was to make this location Docking Bay 94, so I looked a lot at A New Hope for reference. Later this was changed, and we shrunk this area. I also tried recreating the entrance to the Docking Bay from epIV, and also worked on a layout for the streets above."
JUST ENOUGH STAR WARS NOSTALGIA
As cool as it would have been to see Docking Bay 94 again, this likely would have been a bit too much as far as nostalgia goes for one episode. As is, "Chapter 5" already features the Mos Eisley cantina, Tusken Raiders, Dewbacks, and several establishing shots of Tatooine that are direct mirrors of those seen in A New Hope.
While one more nod to the film that started it all probably couldn't have hurt too much, Favreau and Filoni likely decided that they'd be pushing things too far in the "Star Wars' Greatest Hits" direction. Still, the idea that Docking Bay 94 could have made an appearance is exciting, and fans would be lying if they said they didn't pay extra close attention to the number marking the hangar to see if it was indeed the same location as the Millennium Falcon's former parking space.
Ironically, for as new as nearly everything is in The Mandalorian, Tatooine seems to be the location that viewers have gotten to see and learn the most about. The addition of Mos Pelgo, the Krayt dragon, and a look into the Tusken Raiders' culture have been incredibly interesting, and it's likely Tatoioine will be revisited in both The Mandalorian and certainly the next live-action series to drop, The Book of Boba Fett.
Perhaps there is a future in store for Han Solo's old docking bay, and it's only a matter of time until we'll find out. While details like this are minuscule in the grand scheme of things, it's the thought and attention to detail put into creative process that makes it so easy to appreciate what The Mandalorian has had to offer. If Mando does find his way into Docking Bay 94, hopefully, he won't be cornered by any slimy Hutts.