By Julie Catherine
NOTE: Updated on 10/27/20
Over the past several months, a myriad of casting rumors surrounding the second season of The Mandalorian have been circulated in trade reports. News of the impending live-action debuts of Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex, along with the rumored returns of fan favorites Boba Fett and Bo-Katan, accompany rumors of established actors such as Michael Biehn and Timothy Olyphant playing a role in the second season. Given the extent of these reports, we’re going to go over their implications for the new season of The Mandalorian premiering on Disney+ later this week.
The Return of the Jedi
After the end of The Clone Wars earlier this year, fans’ love for and connection to Ahsoka Tano became even stronger. The Siege of Mandalore proved to be the ultimate showcase for Ahsoka as a character, demonstrating her strength, determination, and courage, along with her inherent complexity being the padawan of the man who would become Darth Vader. After the series finale of Rebels revealed Ahsoka lived beyond the original trilogy, the possibilities became endless of where she could show up next. Despite the rumored Rebels sequel show in development, Ahsoka’s next appearance seems like it will be in The Mandalorian, as reported by Slash Film. Rosario Dawson’s casting of the character has been met with largely positive reception from fans and we similarly think the casting of Dawson is great. Although it would be amazing to see Ashley Eckstein reprise her character, maybe even as a motion-capture version of Ahsoka, Rosario Dawson seems like the logical choice for the role in live-action. The question then becomes: how and why will Ahsoka show up in The Mandalorian? Will she be hunting after The Child? Will Din find her while pursuing The Child’s people? Will Ahsoka merely show up in a one-off episode akin to The Gunslinger or The Prisoner? The possibilities are endless, but rumors are circulating that Ahsoka’s appearance in The Mandalorian will serve as a backdoor pilot for her own Disney+ series. Either way, Ahsoka’s first live-action appearance in The Mandalorian is definitely intriguing.
Attack of the Clone(s)
Ahsoka isn’t the only fan favorite character appearing in The Mandalorian as The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets are reporting that Temuera Morrison will appear as Captain Rex and Boba Fett in the series. Rex’s appearance seems reasonable given Ahsoka’s conclusion and the two characters’ close bond that surely transcended beyond the original trilogy. However, it’s Boba Fett’s inclusion that has drawn even more attention from Star Wars fans. Even before the first season, Boba’s appearance has been speculated and the appearance of a mysterious figure at the end of Chapter 5: The Gunslinger furthered this speculation. Boba’s role in the show could be wide ranging, from a competing bounty hunter, to an ally, to even a tease for Boba’s more substantial role as a lead protagonist in season three. Regardless, seeing Temeura Morrison return to the fold and how his characters may converge with Din Djarin and The Child is so exciting.
Din doesn’t seem to be the only Mandalorian in season 2 as both Sabine Wren and Bo-Katan Kryze are rumored to appear, according to Slash Film and other outlets. While rumors have been less substantial regarding Sabine’s inclusion, the former Phoenix Squadron member’s role in The Mandalorian makes sense given her shared heritage with Din and the conclusion of Star Wars Rebels teasing future adventures of Ahsoka and Sabine. Sasha Banks, who several have suggested could be playing Sabine, made a mysterious appearance in the first trailer for The Mandalorian season 2. Meanwhile, Bo-Katan’a appearance has been more widely reported by the trades, with Katee Sackhoff playing the character in live-action for the first time. Bo-Katan was last seen leading the Mandalorian rebellion against the Empire, wielding the dark saber on her crusade. Since then, the Mandalorians have been slaughtered and Gideon has claimed the famed saber. Bo-Katan, therefore, may find a similar enemy as Din in Gideon or may even try to use The Child as a lure to seek revenge against Gideon and reacquire the dark saber.
Rounding out the cast
And just when we thought there couldn’t be more rumors, Timothy Olyphant and Michael Biehn have also been reported as having roles in season 2. Olyphant, famous for his role in Justified, is rumored to play Cobb Vanth, a lawman on Tatooine portrayed in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy. This role is interesting, because Vanth acquires Mandalorian armor that, although not explicitly identified as Boba’s, is heavily implied to be that of the famed bounty hunter. This has led to some speculation that The Mandalorian will see Boba reacquire his armor from Vanth and that, potentially, Vanth was the character approaching Fennec Shand at the end of Chapter 5: The Gunslinger. We discuss this rumor in greater depth in another blog. Meanwhile, Michael Biehn is reported to play an old friend or colleague of Din’s. Biehn is famous for several classic 1980s roles and seems to be in the mold of Carl Weathers and Nick Nolte in actors who made names for themselves in the 1980s now appearing in Star Wars.
With the new season of The Mandalorian fast approaching, the reports of new characters and actors making their introductions makes us even more excited. Stay tuned to Star Wars Holocron for more coverage of the upcoming season of The Mandalorian and more!
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+