‘The Mandalorian’ Director Bryce Dallas Howard Confirms ‘Apollo 13’ Homage in Episode 3

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Well, it turns out that making great content set in outer space runs in the family. Director Bryce Dallas Howard confirmed she included an homage to Apollo 13, the 1995 movie directed by her dad Ron Howard, in The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 3 “The Heiress.” The latest episode of The Mandalorian marks Howard’s return to the director’s chair on the Disney+ series. Previously, Howard directed the Season 1 episode “Sanctuary.”

Image via Disney+

For her latest directorial outing, it looks like Howard wanted to take a clever creative leap by shouting out her dad’s work. Early in “The Heiress,” we watch as the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), Baby Yoda, and their new pal Frog Lady attempt to land on Trask, an estuary moon. This is a difficult task because Mando’s ship, the Razor Crest, has been beaten up to high heaven following their adventures in Episode 2. So, Mando has to make a tricky entry into Trask’s atmosphere and guide the Razor Crest to a landing pad, with the ship and everyone in it holding on for dear life as it thuds and burns its way to the ground.

An eagle-eyed viewer spotted the visual similarities of the landing sequence in “The Heiress” and the re-entry sequence in Apollo 13. The viewer quickly pieced together footage of both moments to showcase those similarities on Twitter. Howard also got a shout-out for the homage to the senior Howard’s work, a connection she later confirmed in a reply tweet to the pieced-together footage. This homage seems to be the first time Howard has paid tribute to any of her father’s movies. It’s a fitting homage, too, considering she is the second Howard family member to direct something within the Star Wars realm (we can’t forget that Mr. Howard was called in to helm on Solo: A Star Wars Story) as well as the more general space genre.

The Mandalorian Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+. New episodes premiere every Friday. Check out the Apollo 13 homage featured in Episode 3, “The Heiress,” below. For more, why not take a sec to get caught up on the Baby Yoda egg controversy?

Nice catch!! 100% correct:) https://t.co/J1LSdvetYJ

— Bryce Dallas Howard (@BryceDHoward) November 14, 2020

Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.

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