For the longest time, Star Wars fans have day-dreamed about Bruce Lee becoming a part of a galaxy far far away. Just type the name of the fighter along with Star Wars and Google will serve you an overwhelming list of fan videos featuring Lee dishing out some seriously dope action while wielding a lightsaber. But apparently, this isn't that much of a distant dream as the latest episode of The Mandalorian goes for a subtle Bruce Lee Easter egg that too on a very special day.
[Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 5, "The Jedi"]
This week's episode of The Mandalorian, titled "The Jedi," is hands down an absolute treat. Not only does it finally introduce Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano through a kickass introduction scene, but it also sets the stage for future live-action debuts of more Star Wars animated characters. We get to know The Child's real name (though fans will probably stick to calling him Baby Yoda), his history, his true age, and much more as the former Jedi interacts with him telepathically.
But it also introduces a new character-- Morgan Elsbeth, the ruthless Magistrate of the city of Calodan on the planet of Corvus, who is not only connected to Ahsoka's past but also to the legendary Bruce Lee.
Who is Morgan Elsbeth?
The episode deviates from The Mandalorian's usual opening style i.e., featuring Mando and The Child, to introduce Ahsoka Tano, who as Bo-Katan informed, is on the forest planet of Corvus. She is hunting someone and Morgan Elsbeth, protected by her legion of scout guards and Calodan city's high walls, is the one with the answers. Morgan is working for the Empire, under which she is plundering sprawling planets and stripping them of their natural resources to rebuild the Imperial Starfleet.
Given the state of Corvus, it is evident that it has met a similar fate and now its citizens are forced to live in slum-like conditions under Morgan's cruel dictatorship. Seeing Ahsoka's ability to dispatch dozens of her armed scout guards with ease, Morgan tries to enlist Mando as a hired assassin to end Ahsoka but he strikes a deal with her and frees the city.
Ahsoka's manages to corner Morgan and asks her a million-dollar (er, Beskar?) question-- that effectively sets the stage for more familiar Jedi faces and another Star Wars villain. While it isn't shared whether Morgan coughs up any crucial information or not or what is her final fate after Ahsoka is done with her, anyone who had trouble recognizing the actress playing the Magistrate has their doubts confirmed after the stellar lightsaber-vs-Beskar-staff duel between the two warriors-- it's Diana Lee Inosanto.
But who is Diana Lee Inosanto?
Diana Lee Inosanto is the daughter of well-known martial arts instructor, Dan Inosanto and Sue Ann Reveal and also known for being the godchild of Bruce Lee. Her father is best known as the training partner of Lee, whom he also taught the art of wielding nunchaku, a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon. He appeared in small roles in many films starring Lee, up until his final film, Game of Death. Dan was a constant companion of Lee throughout the 1960s, accompanying him on TV shows and movie sets.
Diana continues her family's legacy as a stuntwoman and a world-class martial artist apart from being an actress, writer, and director. She also took to Instagram to excitedly gush about her cameo as Morgan Elsbeth.
"What a galaxy of change! I'm wowed how the planets and the stars aligned and I received this opportunity to express myself as an actor...as an artist. I'm just so excited by this meaningful episode. (It was the hardest and most glorious secret I had to keep for so long). I'm extremely grateful & deeply humbled at this moment. (It's overwhelming! I'm so honored to have worked with this amazing cast and crew.) As a lifelong #StarWars 'fan girl', I've cried me an ocean of joy (maybe even the size of the planet Kamino) And to have my childhood dream fulfilled! I'm feeling the true essence of gratitude. Mabuhay! May the Force be with You!"
While Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka is, undoubtedly, an absolute treat, Diana as Morgan Elsbeth proves to at par as a worthy adversary and as well as a villain that manages to strike fear with a single chilling glance. And given that her fate isn't revealed at the end of the episode, we may have not seen the last of her on The Mandalorian.
Surprisingly, the airing date of "The Jedi," i.e., November 27, also coincides with the late actor's 80th birthday. Coincident? Probably not, which makes the episode even more special. You can check out the latest episode of The Mandalorian, now streaming on Disney+.