While The Rise of Skywalker was the main talking point of Star Wars Celebration this year, we were also granted our first peek at the live-action Star Wars television series The Mandalorian that will arrive on Disney+ on November 12th. The show will focus on the criminal element of the franchise; bounty hunters and smugglers looking to make a quick space buck during the chaotic time of the Empire’s collapse and the beginning of the New Republic’s reign. Set about 5 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the series inhabits a fairly unexplored area of the Star Wars timeline, yet it can draw on characters from both the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy movies. The franchise is growing ever more connected, with copious amounts of novels and comics, and we can only imagine The Mandalorian, for all its firsts, will fit snugly into the established canon. So, the question beckons to be asked: what characters from other sources could appear in The Mandalorian?
The Mandalorian is a show about the criminal underworld of the Star Wars galaxy but I have a feeling it could evolve into something else entirely. The lead character is known simply as “The Mandalorian”, but why is that? I think he’s hiding his true identity because he’s secretly a very important person. The creative forces behind the show – Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni – are both big fans of Mandalorian history and culture, as seen by their work in The Clone Wars and their discussion about such things at Star Wars Celebration. In Star Wars Rebels we see the houses and clans of Mandalore unite in rebellion against the Empire under the leadership of Bo Katan, an ex-Death Watch terrorist from The Clone Wars. That’s the last piece of Mandalorian history we know but I’m guessing we’ll find out much more in the series. What if once the Empire is vanquished, the houses and clans begin infighting and a civil war once again breaks out. A Game of Thrones-style battle for power and control. I believe the titular Mandalorian is a rightful clan leader but has fled from his responsibilities and is acting as a bounty hunter, only in the last episode to be revealed as such when Bo Katan appears – Darksaber in hand – and brings him back into the fight for his land and people. Then in its second season, The Mandalorian will become a different kind of show altogether. Bo Katan makes perfect sense for this role and she’s a fascinating character – developed by Dave Filoni – and her story is currently unfinished. And he’s proven that he doesn’t like leaving story threads left hanging by his inclusion of so many elements of The Clone Wars in Star Wars Rebels. An added bonus is that Bo Katan is voiced by Katee Sackhoff and it would be amazing to see her appear as the live-action version of her animated character.
Regardless of time period, Maz Kanata is a constant in the Star Wars galaxy. If you’re an unsavoury yet somehow likable scoundrel looking for a place to hide out, regroup, plan a job or just listen to some sweet sweet Jizz music, then look no further than Maz Kanata’s castle. She’s been giving sagely advice and pouring space beer for 1000 years and it makes sense that the show’s characters – who we know to be bounty hunters and rapscallions – would be patrons of the Takodana watering hole. An appearance would connect the series to the new movies and just makes perfect sense. It’s less ‘fan service’ and more ‘fan logic’.
Lor San Tekka
We only currently know of Lor San Tekka as the old man at the start of The Force Awakens who is cryptically connected to Luke and Leia and utters the meta first words of the new era of Star Wars, “This will begin to make things right”. But he wasn’t always this old hermit in the middle of nowhere. He was fascinated with the Jedi during the Clone Wars, despite not being force-sensitive himself, and was an underground member of “The Church of the Force” during the Empire’s reign. Once the Empire fell – around the time of The Mandalorian – he was a legendary explorer seeking Jedi lore and artefacts. This is how he met Luke and I think it would be great if, on one of his many travels, he also bumped into the titular character of the show. We know the series is a Macguffin hunt of some kind and maybe Tekka is also after the item. Thinking about it, it would be awkward to include characters from the original trilogy because the timeline is so close. You have to either cast someone who looks just like the original actor did at the time, or spend a ton of money de-aging or digitally-inserting the original actor. With sequel trilogy characters it’s much easier because it’s 30 years earlier and you can just cast a younger version of the character. I’d love to see a younger Lor San Tekka and his appearance would bring ‘the force’ into the series in a unique way, allowing us to see how our morally-corrupt lead character deals with such beliefs.
The bounty hunter scene in The Empire Strikes Back is legendary and has shaped so much Star Wars content since. We all have our favourite bounty hunters from that scene whether it’s Bossk, Boba Fett or IG-88. Personally, I’ve always been a Dengar fan. I have no idea why and can’t explain it but he’s always intrigued me and I’d love to see him appear in The Mandalorian. IG-88 – or at least another IG-class droid – is set to appear in the series voiced by Taika Waititi so we know we are getting some classic bounty hunters in the show, as well as the new characters to be introduced. There could be a race to find a particular item or person for a client, with different teams of bounty hunters going for the same prize. Bossk is rumoured to be appearing in the series but he’s been developed enough through The Clone Wars that I hope we focus on a different bounty hunter. Dengar himself appeared in The Clone Wars but very briefly and he’s been short-changed in the new canon, having only brief appearances in the odd comic or novel. What’s better is that in the animated show, Simon Pegg voiced Dengar so it would be great for him to reprise the character in live-action.
There are four of my speculative predictions of characters who could possibly appear in 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. I’ll be back with four more characters I think could appear in a couple of weeks but for now, geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.