While most of the general Star Wars excitement is being aimed at the release of The Rise of Skywalker, let’s not forget that The Mandalorian is coming over a month earlier. The first live-action Star Wars television show is set to break new ground and tells a serialised story of a bounty hunter five years after Return of the Jedi across eight episodes. Sure, this is something new but it also has to fit in and connect with everything that has come before it in this ever-expanding franchise. So which characters could pop up in the show? I like to see this less as ‘fan service’ and more as ‘fan logic’. A mix of who I want to see and who it makes sense to see. So big characters like Luke Skywalker or Han Solo won’t be on the list because that’s just too unlikely. These are some of the characters my speculative and over-eager fan brain would want to see on the show, but restrained to those I feel are a possibility.
Mon Mothma (on the Holonet)
Five years after the original trilogy is a fascinating setting for The Mandalorian. In many ways, the galaxy is in chaos. The structured control of the Empire is gone, with any Imperial survivors either hiding or have fled to the Unknown Regions to join the First Order. The New Republic is rising but faltering, struggling to control a galaxy rocked by war and the vacuum of true power. But for the criminal underworld, chaos is a ladder. It’s the ultimate time to thrive for bounty hunters, gangsters and smugglers. Unlike some, I want politics in my Star Wars. Not as the focus but I feel it’s required now that we know so much about this galaxy. The prequels have missteps but could have been fascinating and The Clone Wars proved so, and The New Republic is explored in interesting ways in the novel Bloodline. I was disappointed in the lack of politics in The Force Awakens but The Mandalorian seems to be the perfect place to explore the state of the galaxy, at least indirectly. Because the galactic politics affect these new characters, it should always be present in the background and occasionally discussed among our criminal anti-heroes. While the titular Mandalorian is nursing a beverage in a cantina, Mon Mothma could be giving a speech on the Holonet, updating the galaxy on the newly formed government and their policies. Her appearance could produce scoffs from our criminally-minded lead characters, believing her military disarmament to be naïve. Genevieve O’Reilly has now played Mon Mothma in Rogue One, Revenge of the Sith (deleted scenes) and Star Wars Rebels and I would love to see her reprise the role again in The Mandalorian.
Rotta the Hutt(let)
While The New Republic is rising in place of the Empire, the criminal syndicates also find themselves with a power vacuum after the events of Return of the Jedi. The death of Jabba is a huge event and suddenly his territory is up for grabs, his place in the Hutt Cartel vacant and the bounty hunters and smugglers he employed now have to search for work elsewhere. Again, this makes the time period all the more compelling, but it also means we could see lots of fascinating characters from this corner of the Star Wars galaxy. An updated-for-canon Prince Xizor? Qi’ra from Solo? The one I really want to see is Jabba’s son Rotta the Hutt from The Clone Wars movie. It’s not a good film and in it Rotta is a Huttlet, a slobbering baby slug acting as the Macguffin of the film. But we don’t know how quickly Hutts age and I would love to see a teenage Rotta taking his father’s throne and trying to re-establish the Hutts’ control over the criminal underworld. The Mandalorian could take a job from him or maybe be working against him, with Rotta sending his own bounty hunters after our protagonist. Dave Filoni – a producer, writer and director on The Mandalorian – directed The Clone Wars movie and his work on Rebels shows how much he loves to connect his Star Wars projects so I think an appearance by Rotta is certainly possible.
Since his first appearance in The Clone Wars animated series, the humorous pirate Hondo Ohnaka has become something of a fan favourite. On his quest for fortune and glory, he’s switched sides more times than you can count. He’s helped and hindered Jedi during The Clone Wars, the crew of The Ghost in Star Wars Rebels and now he’s a major character in the storyline of the Galaxy’s Edge theme park. Between Rebels and Galaxy’s Edge is a large blank spot for the character and he could be up to anything now that the galaxy finds itself in turmoil once again. He indirectly aided the Rebellion in Star Wars Rebels so I could easily see him giving into his softer side and being an ally to our new heroes, just as much as I could see him betraying them and taking whatever Macguffin the series in built around for himself. Dave Filoni loves the character and I find it likely that he will find a way to have the Weequay pirate appear, even if it’s just a cameo, in The Mandalorian.
Dr Evazan and Ponda Baba
I wasn’t a big fan of Dr Evazan and Ponda Baba’s cameo in Rogue One because it felt too much like fan service and without reason, but the more I read about them the more fascinating they become, and the more I want to see them appear in The Mandalorian. Cornelius Evazan is a mad doctor who practices “creative surgery” and created the cyborg servants known as ‘the Decraniated’, who can be seen in Rogue One and Solo. He’s the personal doctor of galaxy-known gangsters like Dryden Vos so it would make sense if he, and his thug Ponda Baba (now missing an arm thanks to Ben Kenobi’s lightsaber) came into contact with The Mandalorian and his colleagues. Evazan could offer plastic surgery for infiltration missions or The Mandalorian could require information on one of his many clients. It would make far more sense to see these two characters in the series than the chance encounter with Jyn and Cassian on Jedha in Rogue One, and it would be great to get more concrete details on these decades old characters.
So, there are four more character predictions for The Mandalorian. What do you make of my choices and who do you want to see turn up on the small screen this November? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.