Monday, June 8, 2020

The Mandalorian season 2: release date, cast, Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tano and what we know

The Mandalorian season 2 release date is October 2020 on Disney Plus. In other words, if you've just finished the first season of Din Djarin's epic small screen adventures and are craving more, you haven't long to wait. Baby Yoda and the gang will be back together soon, and their next outing will luckily not be delayed by the coronavirus.

And we've got lots of juicy details to chew over for The Mandalorian season 2 while we kill the short waiting time. There's the mysterious Darksaber wielded by the now iconic Moff Gideon, the new and returning cast, plus the latest on Djarin's journey to the little green Jedi's home world. Even with the complete Skywalker Saga now on Disney's streaming service, Star Wars fans have plenty of reasons to be excited.

Here's everything we know about The Mandalorian season 2, from the rumoured appearance of Clone Wars favourite Ahsoka Tano and new directors, to more on a particularly famous bounty hunter fans of galaxies far, far away will know well. So, without further ado, this is what you need to know about the future of Djarin and co.

The Mandalorian season 2 release date: October 2020

The Mandalorian season 2 release date is October 2020. Disney announced this back in February 2020, and even with everything else that's happened since then, Disney's Bob Chapek confirmed it'll still hit that date on Disney Plus. 

The Mandalorian season 2 finished filming before the health crisis, and now post-production work is underway remotely. "We were lucky enough to have finished photography before the lock down," executive producer Jon Favreau said during a virtual ATX Television Festival (via THR). "Thanks to how technology-forward Lucasfilm and ILM are, we have been able to do all of our visual effects and editing and postproduction remotely through systems that had been set up by those companies for us."

The Mandalorian season 2 cast: Boba Fett, Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano reportedly join the series

Potential spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 follow.

Since the show debuted, rumors about characters popping up in The Mandalorian season 2 have gone haywire. Below, we've only included the ones from sources with a good track record of Star Wars reports.

According to THR, Boba Fett will appear in The Mandalorian season 2, this time played by Temuera Morrison, who previously played Jango Fett in Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. It will be a guest-starring role, apparently, but this presumably means Boba Fett has escaped his fate in the Sarlacc Pit. He's not the only Star Wars character from the past making an appearance this year.

Timothy Olyphant, famous for his roles in Deadwood and Justified, will also appear in season 2 based on a THR report. According to a report by Slashfilm, Olyphant will wear Boba Fett's armor in the second season, but he'll actually be playing a Star Wars character called Cobb Vanth. Created for Chuck Wendig's Aftermath Star Wars novels, the character is apparently a sheriff-type of a small Tattooine location called Freetown. The books suggested he was wearing Fett's armor, and surely this sets him up for an encounter with the bounty hunter himself. 

Rosario Dawson will reportedly play The Clone Wars favorite Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian season 2. This would mark the character's first appearance in live-action. Variety, too, confirmed the report, saying it's a guest-starring role. Speaking to Variety, Dawson explains how excited she would be for such a role. "That's not confirmed yet," she said, "but when that happens I will be very happy."

Aliens and Terminator's Michael Biehn is reportedly part of The Mandalorian season 2 cast, too, possibly playing a bounty hunter (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

In May 2020, Slashfilm reported Katee Sackhoff will be reprising her role as the Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze from Star Wars: Rebels, only this time in live-action.

The Mandalorian season 2 story: the search for Baby Yoda's homeworld?

Everything about the finale of season 1 suggests that The Mandalorian season 2 will focus on the search for “the Child” – aka Baby Yoda’s – home. This would certainly contradict George Lucas' famous rule about not revealing the origin of Yoda's species...

During the season 1 finale, the Mandalorian Armorer on Nevarro tells the Mandalorian that because Baby Yoda is a foundling (and therefore probably not, as previously speculated, a clone), “By creed it it is in your care.” She then adds that, “You have no choice, you must reunite it with its own kind.”

Unfortunately for Mando, however, the Armorer didn’t have any information on where he might find them: “This you must determine,” she teases.

But as ever in Star Wars, there’s a degree of ambiguity here – and the identity of who the Mandalorian is actually looking for may come down to your own point of view. Perhaps Mando is, as it seems at first glance, looking for the homeworld of Yoda’s species. Or maybe he’s simply looking for Jedi who survived the Emperor’s Order 66 purge in Revenge of the Sith, some three decades earlier. 

Why the confusion? In the Outer Rim worlds that provide the setting for The Mandalorian, the Force exploits of the Jedi are just myth – indeed, the Mandalorian simply says of Baby Yoda’s Force abilities that “it can move objects with its mind”. 

“I know of such things,” the Armorer reveals. “The songs of aeons past tell of battles between Mandalore the Great and an order of sorcerers called Jedi that fought with such powers.” Crucially, when Mando asks if Baby Yoda is an enemy, the Armorer states: “Its kind were enemies but this individual is not.”

So seeing as Mandalore’s battles were with the Jedi, rather than specifically with Yoda’s species, this implies that Mando’s new bounty may actually be the Jedi. Either way, actor Pedro Pascal suggested he knows what Baby Yoda is in conversation with us. 

Expect more of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in season 2 of The Mandalorian, probably looking for revenge after the battle at the end of season 1. "Major, major, epic, epic lightsaber action happening on this show," the actor said at Fan Expo Canada (via Comic Book). Could this mean a lightsaber duel makes it into The Mandalorian season 2?

The Mandalorian season 2: spin-offs may be in the works, and season 3 is reportedly confirmed

In an earnings call, Disney's Bob Iger hinted at more characters being introduced in The Mandalorian season 2, with possible spin-offs being set up. He teased it as, "more coming from The Mandalorian thereafter, including the possibility of infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series". 

The exact phrasing suggests spin-offs will focus on newer characters, rather than existing ones. We're sure a lot of fans would argue Gina Carano's Cara Dune would be a good fit...

The Mandalorian season 3, too, appears to be in the works already. Variety confirmed that Jon Favreau is deep into writing season 3, with Lucasfilm's art department beginning work on the next set of episodes already. 

The Mandalorian season 2: the Darksaber explained

When Moff Gideon cuts himself out of his stricken TIE Fighter at the end of The Mandalorian season 1 finale, he uses a blade that sounds much like a lightsaber, but looks rather different to the weapons we’re used to seeing in the hands of Jedi and Sith. More sword-like in shape, with a black blade surrounded by a bright glow, it should, however, be familiar to viewers of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Because unless we’re very much mistaken, this looks like the legendary Darksaber.

This unique weapon is a key part of Star Wars – and particularly Mandalorian – lore. Originally created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian warrior to join the Jedi order, it became a symbol of power on the planet of Mandalore. At the conclusion of Star Wars Rebels (set two years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope) it ended up in the hands of Bo-Katan Kryze, who was deemed the rightful heir to the Mandalorian leadership. 

But how did such an important weapon end up in Moff Gideon’s hands? We do know that at some point between the end of Rebels and Return of the Jedi, the Empire carried out the so-called “Great Purge”, all but wiping out the Mandalorians. We also know that Gideon was an officer in the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) during the Purge, so could have obtained the Darksaber from Bo-Katan at that time. With Sackhoff reportedly playing Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian, it makes sense that she's survived, and could be looking for revenge. 

Alternatively, the Darksaber could have been in the possession of the Mandalorian “Tribe” living underground on Nevarro throughout The Mandalorian season 1 –Gideon may simply have obtained it when his Imperial remnant wiped out most of the Mandalorians in hiding. This seems less likely, however – surely the surviving Armorer would have protected such an important weapon with her life.

The Mandalorian season 2 directors: Jon Favreau, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez confirmed

Despite being the creator and main writer of The Mandalorian season one, Iron Man director Jon Favreau didn't direct a single episode – it didn't hurt the show at all, but The Mandalorian season 2 will benefit from his input. "I didn’t get a chance the last time around because I was doing Lion King," Favreau mentioned to EW. "So I'll step in for one of them."

Other directors confirmed for season 2 are Peyton Reed (Ant-Man) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City). Dave Filoni and Rick Famuyiwa also return to direct from season 1, along with actor Carl Weathers. 

George Lucas has been on the show's set, too, resulting in this amazing photo:

The Mandalorian season 2: Original Trilogy characters rumored to appear

According to Deadline, “Insiders have hinted that several established characters from the Skywalker saga’s feature films mythology will make appearances during the show’s sophomore season.” Jon Favreau’s release date tweet above showed a picture of a Gamorrean, one of the so-called Pig Guards from Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi, but we suspect that – if this insider's rumors are accurate – they’re referring to someone who’s a significantly bigger deal in the saga than that.

Boba Fett is likely who that Deadline report is referring to, but the wording suggests multiple characters are possible. 

Luke Skywalker is unlikely to crop up away from the saga that bears his name, but there are plenty of big names in the Star Wars universe who’ll be operating around the time of The Mandalorian. It's set five years after the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, after all. Original trilogy survivors Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, C-3PO, R2-D2, and even Rebel legends Wedge Antilles, Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb could feasibly cross paths with the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. 

But we’d be much more interested to see General Hux’s dad, Brendol – a former Imperial officer who was instrumental in the formation of the First Order – or even (SPOILER ALERT) Rey’s parents. Now that we know they lived in hiding – pretending to be “nobody” before giving Rey away – any new glimpses at their backstory could enhance what we learned in The Rise of Skywalker.

Perhaps most likely, however, is the reappearance of various bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to capture the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. IG-88, Zuckuss, Dengar, Bossk and 4-LOM are still theoretically looking for work in the time of The Mandalorian season 2, and definitely operate in the same hives of scum and villainy as our friendly neighborhood Mando. 

How could Boba Fett return? The bounty hunter did manage to escape 1000 years of digestion in the old Expanded Universe “Legends” stories, a plot that could be ported over into official canon. And there’s also been plenty of speculation online that the mysterious figure on Tatooine who finds the body of the deceased Fennec Shand in Chapter 5, “The Gunslinger”, may be Fett himself – the jangling spurs might just be a clue...

And even if the owner of the spurs wasn't Fett, one particularly interesting theory suggested on Inverse suggests it could be a member of the family – Ailyn Vel, his daughter in the Legends stories. Could this be the identity of this mysterious Funko Pop! Vinyl figure? Will we see more than one member of Fett's family in season 2?

The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars has been in years

The Mandalorian season 2 can't come soon enough. If the next set of episodes weaves together the simple storytelling style of the show with big guest stars from Star Wars' past, this is going to be a real TV event. Not long to wait now...


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