Updated May 18, 2020
Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian proved to be the balm many fans were looking for. Set just a few years after Return of the Jedi, it featured the era they wanted to see. And with protagonist Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), they got a steely gunslinger in Mandalorian armor. He might not be Boba Fett, but he certainly lived up to the image older fans had of that infamous bounty hunter growing up.
Taking its cues from the Japanese manga and film series Lone Wolf and Cub, it also introduced “The Child” – a 50-year-old infant and member of Jedi Master’s Yoda race, with a strong connection to the Force. Viewers gravitated to The Child so quickly, it caught the usually nimble Disney off guard – there was no “Child” merchandise at launch and the company is still trying to convince people the character is not “Baby Yoda.” But the way the character drove internet conversation proved the series was working and, luckily, a second season was already in production before the first episode streamed on Disney+’s launch day.
And with word that an animated Star Wars fan favorite character will make her live-action debut in the second season, this seemed like the best time to round up everything we know about The Mandalorian’s second year. Here’s the intel.
Clearly, you cannot have The Mandalorian without Din Djarin and The Child. But beyond the key “clan of two,” we also know Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) will also return. And you can bet Giancarlo Esposito will return as Moff Gideon. He has the Darksaber, after all, and newly formed grudges with all the surviving season 1 characters.
We also think it is safe to say Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) will return as well. The shot featuring someone standing over her body was never resolved and it feels like as much as a setup for a second season story as the Darksaber cutting through Gideon’s TIE Fighter.
Behind the camera, pilot director Dave Filoni will also be returning. Sadly, Taika Waititi is leaving the company of filmmakers for his many, many other projects (like Thor: Love and Thunder); which also means an appearance by an “IG-12” is unlikely. That said, it is always possible IG-88, the original bounty hunter droid seen in Star Wars, is still out in the galaxy.
Also, we seriously doubt we will ever get to hear Werner Herzog talk about their “shared narrative” as the Imperial Client ever again.
Katee Sakhoff (Battlestar Galactica), who voiced Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, will play the live-action version her character in The Mandalorian season 2, Deadline reported.
Temuera Morrison will return to the Star Wars universe to play Boba Fett in season 2, THR revealed on May 8. Morrison previously appeared as the character’s father, Jango Fett, in 2002 film Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. In the original Star Wars trilogy, Jeremy Bulloch portrayed Boba Fett, who tumbled into Jabba the Hutt’s Sarlacc pit in 1983’s Return of the Jedi and was presumed dead.
The Mandalorian season 1 teased Boba Fett’s return when the character’s distinctive set of spurs appeared onscreen in episode 5, “The Gunslinger,” approaching the seemingly lifeless body of Fennec Shand.
Ex-Jedi Ahsoka Tano will make her long awaited live-action debut in season 2. She will be played by Rosario Dawson, a nerd herself with credits in geek-leaning productions like Sin City, Clerks 2, and Netflix’s corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The character (as voiced by Ashley Eckstein) debuted in the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars feature as Anakin Skywalker’s bratty Padawan. But that starting point was part of Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni’s master plan for the character. Across the seasons, she grew up learning about the Force and the nature of war. Those experiences led her to leave the Jedi Order.
Clone Wars was cut short during Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm — although Disney+ eventually commissioned a final season, streaming now — but Filoni soon found a way to add her into the cast of the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Set a number of years after Clone Wars, it revealed a more mature Ahsoka assisting the emerging Rebel Alliance. Her story continued, and even led to a fateful fight with Darth Vader in the season 3 finale. Her survival after that battle was a mystery for the rest of that series’ run until its closing moments. As it turned out, Ahsoka lived into the post-Empire era.
Because Filoni always finds a way to include her — and because he was part of The Mandalorian’s development from early on — Ahsoka’s eventually appearance was not entirely unexpected by fans. That it might come so soon (and the casting of Dawson) was more of a surprise — though welcome, to be sure.
It also opens the door for other Rebels characters like Sabine (voiced by Tiya Sircar on the animated series) and General Hera Syndulla (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) to appear as well. Granted, Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau made it clear he wanted the first season to feature all-new characters, so it is possible Ahsoka will be the only familiar character we see for now. Then again, now that the show has struck the right tone – creatively and with viewers – it might be the right time to let Djarin meet a few other familiar people.
The latest directors revealed themselves on Star Wars Day, May the 4th: Spy Kids filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and Ant-Man’s Peyton Reed confirmed they will be among the directors helming season 2 episodes.
With a tweet of himself smiling alongside “the biggest star in the universe,” Rodriguez shared how excited he is to be a part of The Mandalorian’s sophomore season.
— Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) May 5, 2020
Reed tweeted a photo of a director’s chair with his name on it and The Mandalorian’s helmet in the seat, writing simply, “#MayThe4thBeWithYou.”
Favreau, meanwhile, will make his debut as a Mandalorian director with the second season. Though he wrote most of the first season scripts, he was busy with The Lion King during production and handed off the work to Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow, Waititi, and Filoni. Now, with his schedule free, we will get our first glimpse of a Favreau Star Wars film. Weathers will also join the directors’ circle, as revealed at The Mandalorian premiere event last November.
Again, the story could go in just about any direction. But a few things are pretty clear: Gideon will continue his pursuit of The Child, which means Djarin’s wandering will also continue to some extent. Meanwhile, Carga and Dune’s attempts to make Navarro an Imp-free haven will no doubt also get some screentime.
With the addition of Ahsoka, though, an additional story may arise: the story teased in the final moments of Rebels. During that series’ climatic battle, main character Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray) disappeared alongside Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). In the series’ closing scene, set years after that battle and sometime after Return of the Jedi, Ahsoka and Sabine agree that they have to bring Ezra home.
Of course, this is still The Mandalorian, so it may not get to this story this year or at all. But introducing a live-action Ahsoka suggests the story will eventually be told in the live-action, Disney+ format. And, to be honest, we’re more excited to see that than an Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Not that we’re not excited about the Obi-Wan series as well. We want all the Star Wars.
If Ahsoka’s role in The Mandalorian is more contained, it may see Djarin finding her to answer some questions about The Child. And considering the Mandalorians’ dislike of space wizards, she is, oddly enough, the most approachable Force-sensitive available.
Also, we’ll go out on a limb and suggest the season will be a little more plot driven than season 1. Just by virtue of having established storylines now, the series will start to feel more serialized than the initial 8 episodes.
According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the season will debut in October. Shooting is complete – apparently, even Dawson has already played Ahsoka – and the all-important post production work can be completed as work-from-home assignments. The journey of The Mandalorian will continue this fall.