- "I can show you to the encampment."
- ―Kuiil, to Din Djarin
The Nikto hideout was an encampment located on the desert world Arvala-7 that was controlled by a gang of Nikto mercenaries around 9 ABY, guarding an infant named Grogu. At that time, the bounty hunters IG-11 and Din Djarin raided the encampment during their search for Grogu. After the two hunters eliminated the mercenaries, IG-11 attempted to terminate Grogu, but he was destroyed by Djarin, who took the infant into his custody. Sometime afterward, Kuiil, a vapor farmer, took IG-11's body from within the encampment and traveled back to his farm to repair the droid.
Located on the desert planet of Arvala-7, the Nikto hideout was a small frontier town surrounded by mountains. The flat-roofed buildings making up the encampment were rectangular in arrangement and brown in color. The area they enclosed was a dusty, open plaza that featured moisture vaporators, a well, crates and barrels that were scattered about, and an abandoned speeder.
The encampment's innermost building had a brown security gate that was operated by an outdated security panel and an access pad, the wiring of which could be modified to allow entry into the building, though the gate itself could also be taken down by a heavy-artillery laser cannon. The innermost building's interior included a large room with a clutter of objects, including storage crates and packaging that were strewn against the walls and across the floor. The air within the building smelled old and stale.
The territory of mercenaries
- "Since these ones arrived, this territory has been an endless stream of mercenaries seeking reward and bringing destruction."
- ―Kuiil, to Djarin, pointing out the Niktos in the area
At some point, a gang of Nikto mercenaries gained control of the encampment, guarding within its innermost building an infant known as Grogu, who had a bounty placed on him. Many individuals, assisted by the Ugnaught vapor farmer Kuiil, attempted to make their way to the area while seeking the infant, only to die before they could claim the bounty. Around 9 ABY, during the New Republic Era, the assassin droid bounty hunter IG-11 entered the encampment and ordered the Nikto to obey the Bondsman Guild Protocol, which dictated that the mercenaries were to produce the bounty for the droid. When the mercenaries began attacking IG-11, the droid retaliated, forcing the mercenaries to temporarily retreat inside the buildings. Scouting the place with a scope, the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, who also wished to claim the bounty and was helped by Kuiil, arrived at the scene and told IG-11 to stand down. Instead, the droid shot Djarin on sight, knocking the Mandalorian to the ground.
After Djarin got up and convinced the droid to work with him in return for splitting the reward for the bounty, the mercenaries stormed out of the buildings and fired upon the duo. During the gunfight, Djarin and IG-11 took cover behind the abandoned speeder before hiding behind the pillars of the building where Grogu was kept. IG-11 covered Djarin as he attempted to bypass the building's security panel by accessing its wiring, but it was then destroyed by the Niktos' blaster fire, forcing the Mandalorian to take cover once again.
Bounty hunters triumphant
- "We'll bring it in alive."
"The commission was quite specific. The asset was to be terminated."
- ―Djarin and IG-11 discuss how to handle Grogu after discovering him
While the pair were pinned down, the mercenaries brought forth a heavy-artillery laser cannon and fired upon the bounty hunters' position. However, the hunters were able to eliminate all of the mercenaries when IG-11 distracted the cannon's operator, allowing Djarin to hijack it and use the weapon against them. The pair subsequently entered the building where Grogu was located by using the cannon to destroy the structure's security gate.
Upon entering the building, Djarin shot a Nikto who attempted to fire upon them. He then proceeded to open the hovering pram containing their target, and the pair discovered that it was in fact an infant. Adhering to the instructions he had been given, IG-11 attempted to terminate Grogu but was quickly shot in the head and destroyed by the Mandalorian, who took Grogu into his custody in order to return him to his client. Sometime after the skirmish, Kuiil entered the encampment and retrieved IG-11's body from within, taking the droid's flotsam back to his farm to rebuild him.
Behind the scenes
Appearance and conception
- "So, we came up with the idea that this was an old abandoned mining town nestled into these canyons. The bandits found it very convenient because, strategically, it was hidden and easier to defend."
- ―Doug Chiang
The Nikto hideout first appeared in "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian," the debut episode of Jon Favreau's Disney+ live-action series The Mandalorian. The episode aired on November 12, 2019. The location was identified in the audio description for "Chapter 7: The Reckoning," which aired on December 18, 2019. Prior to the show's release, the location was first shown in a series of promotional photos published on StarWars.com on April 14, 2019.
Unlike its surrounding landscape, the encampment itself was a physical set that the actors were filmed in. As fire was difficult to execute in an interior set, a small walkway was built on the exterior along with pillars for the characters to hide behind. Filming of Chapter 1 took place between October 1–26, 2018, while Chapter 7 was filmed between October 29 and November 12 of that year.
Concept designs for the encampment were drawn by Ben Grangereau, Christian Alzmann, Doug Chiang, Jama Jurabaev, Nick Gindraux, Ryan Church, and Seth Engstrom, while Russell Paul created an overview of the location and the action scene. According to Chiang, the encampment was an abandoned mining town that the Nikto mercenaries found useful as the structure was hidden and easy to protect. The encampment's design was inspired by the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as well as old Spanish missions. The film was also used as a reference for the standoff scene between Djarin and IG-11.
Video game appearances
On April 22, 2020, the encampment was featured in a trailer for the mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes as part of an announcement that characters from The Mandalorian would be added to the game. On December 16, 2020, the location was added to the game as part of a Hero's Journey event for Din Djarin in his full armor, adapting the events of the show. In the game, the encampment is the setting for that Hero's Journey's first level, in which the player takes control of Djarin and IG-11 to defeat the Nikto mercenaries. Djarin later mans the cannon to defeat the remaining Niktos and break down the entrance in order to find Grogu inside.
On November 16, 2020, the encampment was added to the Mojang Studios video game Minecraft as part of the Minecraft Star Wars expansion pack. In the game, the structure is located on the Arvala-7 section of the map. Grogu can be found in his hovering pram within the innermost building, which can be entered after breaking down the entrance by activating the cannon pointed at it. If the player feeds the infant rabbit stew, he will begin to follow the player.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" (First appearance)
- The Mandalorian: Season 1: Volume 1
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel
- The Mandalorian: A Clan of Two (Picture only)
- The Mandalorian: Magnetic Fun
- The Mandalorian: This is the Way (Picture only)
- The Mandalorian 1
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" (In flashback(s)) (First identified as Nikto hideout)
- Minecraft Star Wars (DLC)
Notes and references
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian"
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Handbook
- Per the Audio Description for "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" available on Disney+.
- Per the Audio Description for "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" available on Disney+.
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 13: The Jedi"
- The Mandalorian is set around five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which corresponds to around 9 ABY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. The events of Chapters 1 to 6 of The Mandalorian must therefore take place around that year. establishes that
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 8: Redemption"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 7: The Reckoning"
- The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season One
- "Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season One Companion" – Star Wars Insider 201
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- Minecraft Star Wars
- (Indirect mention only)