With Star Wars Day long behind us and the tragedy that is Star Wars Celebration's inevitable cancellation due to COVID-19, a suspicious amount of potentially true rumors about the second season of The Mandalorian have been feeding the Sarlacc-like fandom.
If you do not like rumors which may prove to be major spoilers, turn back now.
In January, two tweets appeared on Twitter from an alleged fansite leaking the full cast slate for the second season of The Mandalorian. Most people brushed it off as wishful thinking, considering it included characters like Ahsoka Tano, Iden Versio, Sabine Wren, and an unnamed character played by Temuera Morrison.
The rumors were lent credence back in March when entertainment journalist Peter Sciertta with Slashfilm was the first to break the news that Rosario Dawson was allegedly joining the cast of The Mandalorian to portray the fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano. Again Sciertta provided the exclusive scoop that Katee Sackhoff, the voice of Bo-Katan in The Clone Wars, may bring her to life on screen.
Taking into consideration The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive reporting about Temuera Morrison’s franchise-return as Boba Fett (or Rex), it sounds like audiences may be looking at a Clone Wars reunion in the second season of The Mandalorian, which certainly has undoubtedly helped in the days following its series finale. But, like with anything in the Star Wars fandom, not everyone is happy.
Shortly after the announcement of Morrison’s return, displeased fans jumped to the argument that Boba Fett should be dead at this point in the story. But is anyone ever really gone in the Star Wars universe?
Yes, we saw Boba Fett fall into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. Still, if we’ve learned anything from watching The Mandalorian, we know that the Mandalorians are surprisingly resilient. It is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility that Boba Fett could have survived.
Especially considering that fans believed the character was already teased in the first season of the series. Remember when the mysterious figure approached the body of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in episode five, “The Gunslinger”? Audiences only saw the figure’s boots, but even then, fans were convinced it was a Boba Fett cameo.
Personally, I have a lot of theories about episode five, which was written and directed by Dave Filoni himself. During the first episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Filoni and Jon Favreau discuss the throwaway moment in the episode when the Mandalorian walks past Stormtrooper helmets on spikes.
It may be a moment that truly is a throwaway visual, but it also bore a striking resemblance to a poignant moment in the series finale of The Clone Wars. Now, this may just be Filoni putting in an easter egg for his other work, or it was an intentional decision to make audiences think about the two series. This episode also took place on Tatooine — the planet with the Sarlacc pit that Boba Fett “died” in.
It is easy to think that the introduction of characters like Ahsoka, Rex, Bo-Katan, and even Sabine Wren in the live-action series might fall under the idea of fanservice. Still, I am here to argue that it most certainly is not fanservice. Fanservice has been bandied about quite a bit in the wake of The Rise of Skywalker and the controversy surrounding the end of the Skywalker Saga.
Still, everything that involves fan favorites does not equate to fanservice. Especially not when the characters which are rumored to be appearing are already tied to existing plot points in the series.
When Moff Gideon ignited the Darksaber in the closing moments of the series finale of The Mandalorian fans went wild. While there is no confirmation about Sabine Wren’s appearance in The Mandalorian, many fans believe it is only a matter of time.
If you haven’t watched Star Wars: Rebels, you should rectify that immediately. Sabine is a Mandalorian and one of the wielders of the Darksaber. In fact, Sabine passed the Darksaber off to Bo-Katan, believing that she was the rightful person to lead the Mandalorians against the Empire. If the Darksaber has fallen into the wrong hands — looking at you, Gideon — this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce Sabine into the live-action canon.
The rumor of Bo-Katan’s arrival in The Mandalorian plot isn’t too much of a surprise. In The Clone Wars episode “Shattered,” Bo-Katan tells Ahsoka about the relic of a bygone era that they had trapped Darth Maul within.
It was a Mandalorian device that restricts Force users and allegedly the last of its kind. With only forty minutes left in The Clone Wars series, this dialogue certainly wasn’t frivolous. A lot of fans were quick to question whether this device would make a return in The Mandalorian. Especially with the internet’s favorite little Force user, The Child being a central part of the plot.
The Mandalorians have a long and complicated history in relation to Force users. In fact, the Mandalorian-Jedi war was what rendered their homeworld Mandalore inhospitable, changing the path of the Mandalorians forever. You can understand why there’s a lot of hard feelings when it comes to Force users. The Mandalorian-Jedi war also has implications for the darksaber. The darksaber was created by Tarre Vizsla, who was the first Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order.
In Rebels, Fenn Rau tells Kanan the legend of the darksaber. It was kept by the Jedi Temple after Vizsla’s passing, but was stolen by members of the House Vizsla during the Mandalorian-Jedi war. From that point forward, the darksaber was passed down through the generations, even after the pacifistic New Mandalorians shifted away from their warrior origins.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of mythos behind the darksaber which has been hinted at in both Rebels and the Clone Wars lending credence to why these characters should be the ones to carry that plot.
Do you know who else has connections to the darksaber?
Darth Maul. That’s right—everyone’s favorite bad boy Sith Lord who survived being cut in half in The Phantom Menace. In 21 BBY, Pre Vizsla, the leader of Death Watch, was in possession of the darksaber.
During this period of time, a lot was going on with the Mandalorians. Duchess Satine Kryze (Bo-Katan’s sister) was trying to lead the pacifistic branch of the Mandalorians, Darth Maul was forming the Shadow Collective which the warrior Death Watch group eventually joined, and all of this took place while the Clone Wars were underway.
Needless to say, no one was surprised when Darth Maul took the opportunity to kill Vizsla, steal the darksaber, and try to take over Mandalore. If you’ve watched The Clone Wars, then you know that Maul becomes one of Ahsoka’s prime adversaries, which makes her yet another character connected to the darksaber.
Sabine, Bo-Katan, and Ahsoka all have connections to the darksaber, which is already a plot point in The Mandalorian. It makes sense to bring these three women into the plot, rather than to create new characters that audiences have no emotional attachment to. Boba Fett makes sense, given that he’s probably the most well known Mandalorian in Star Wars history.
Not to mention he had some pretty awesome storylines in the expanded universe that fleshed out his on-screen presence. Without Fett, we would never have a series like The Mandalorian. But what if Morrison isn’t just playing Boba Fett?
There is a strong possibility that he might also be portraying the former Clone Trooper Rex, who — like all the clone troopers — was a clone of Jango Fett, just like Boba.
Rex also appeared on Rebels, where he was reunited with Ahsoka and involved in the plot involving the Mandalorian group The Protectors, as well as the storyline around Grand Admiral Thrawn’s pursuit of the Arc Pulse Generator (which was a terrifying device which was able to disintegrate beskar wearers).
In case you’re not familiar with the Star Wars timeline, here is a quick explanation for how much time has passed between the end of the Clone Wars and The Mandalorian. The current timeline is based on the Battle of Yavin, which is depicted in A New Hope. BBY is “Before the Battle of Yavin,” and ABY is “After the Battle of Yavin.” Easy enough, right?
The final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place in 19 BBY and Star Wars: Rebels takes place fourteen years later between 5 BBY and 1 BBY. The Battle of Yavin takes place, starting out as year 0. A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi take place over the next four years ending in 4 ABY. The Mandalorian then takes place five years later in 9 ABY.
Roughly thirty years have passed between the two series.
22 – 19 BBY — Star Wars: The Clone Wars
5 – 1 BBY — Star Wars: Rebels
4 ABY — Return of the Jedi
9 ABY — The Mandalorian
One of the other complaints surrounding certain characters appearing in The Mandalorian is their ages. But with the rumored casting choices and the timeline, it seems likely that the characters would appear accurate for their ages.
Ahsoka was in her 30s when she appeared in Rebels, meaning she would likely be in her late-40s. Bo-Katan’s age was never confirmed in The Clone Wars, but her older sister was a peer of Obi-Wan’s. She was likely in her mid-20s during the Siege of Mandalore, making her closer to 50.
Sabine was born in 21 BBY, so she would likely be in her late 30s. Rex is the only one who might not still be alive. While he was created in 32 BBY, clones were created to age faster. In Rebels, he appeared to physically resemble someone in their 60s, suggesting that he might be somewhere in his 70s if he appeared in The Mandalorian.
The Bottom Line
We likely won’t find out if the casting rumors are true until later in the summer. Still, there’s definitely a strong case for the fact that we will see some of our favorite animated characters in live-action this October.
Sam Witwer, the voice of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars, recently teased that the new season would be mind-blowing. Rosario Dawson tweeted about fans wanting her to play Ahsoka Tano. But with Deadline’s confirmation about Sackhoff joining the cast, it seems like theories may just become a reality.
The Mandalorian season two premieres in October only on Disney+.