Ahead of the highly anticipated return of the Disney+ 'Star Wars' series, ET is breaking down what's in store for the new episodes.
The Mandalorian is back for a second season. Following an incredibly successful debut season, which introduced the world to the Child aka “Baby Yoda” and earned Disney+ its first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, the Star Wars spinoff returns with season 2 on Friday, Oct. 30 at 12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET with new episodes every following Friday.
Ahead of its highly anticipated premiere on the streaming platform, ET is breaking down everything you need to know about season 1, cliffhangers and new characters, as well as what’s in store for the next eight episodes. Here's everything every Star Wars fan needs to know about The Mandalorian season 2.
Stream The Mandalorian seasons 1 and 2 on Disney+.
Created by showrunner Jon Favreau, the franchise’s live-action series, which is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, follows the adventures of the titular bounty hunter and lone gunfighter (voiced by Pedro Pascal) as he navigates the chaotic life of the outer reaches of the galaxy.
While the premise was enticing enough, The Mandalorian captured audiences by introducing the Child character at the end of the first episode, forever changing what we know about the Star Wars universe as a whole but also altering the nature of the gunfighter’s travails throughout this lawless part of the galaxy and immediately upping the stakes for everyone involved. Tasked with keeping the Force-adept infant member of an unnamed species that is the same as Yoda alive, the Mandalorian’s ultimate mission becomes returning it to its home, if not providing a safe haven for it to outlive its growing lists of enemies.
How Season 1 Ended
Needless to say, a lot happened in season 1 leading up to the finale. After traveling from Nevarro to places like Sorgan and Tatooine, the Mandalorian not only has managed to keep the Child alive, but he’s fending off everything from egg-hungry Jawas to Dr. Pershing’s experiments to raiders armed with old Imperial AT-STs to the Guild.
Along the way, he recruits ex-Rebel Alliance trooper-turned-mercenary Cara Dune (Gina Carano), leader of the bounty hunter’s guild, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), a reprogrammed IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi) and Kuiil (voiced by Nick Nolte) to help him ward off challengers for the Child before eventually being chased down by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), “who was a warden of the universe. He was in power before the [Empire] collapsed,” as the actor described him to ET.
With the help of his allies, the Mandalorian fends off Gideon long enough to escape Nevarro with the Child while Karga and Dune stay behind.
Critics appreciated the first season, as it garnered 15 Emmy nominations and seven wins.
What Season 2 Is About
Picking up shortly after the events of season 1, each new episode in the upcoming season see the Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey through an ever-dangerous galaxy as they face enemies and try to rally allies. But his mission to return the Child to its home planet, wherever that may be, will be that much more complicated now that Gideon has been established as the Darksaber-wielding big bad and survived their last, bloody encounter in the finale.
Lingering Questions and New Theories
While the main gist of The Mandalorian seems simple enough, audiences know that this series is way more complicated than that. And season 1 left plenty of questions unanswered, making fans wonder if there will be any resolution in season 2.
Chief among questions about the sophomore season: Who is the person at the end of episode 5 who shows up to find a dead (or more likely, a wounded) Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) lying in the desert after her shootout with the Mandalorian and aspiring bounty hunter Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale)?
Many believe it is one of two people: Cobb Vanth, a character from the Aftermath series that could be Timothy Olyphant’s mysterious role, or Boba Fett, making his grand return to the franchise after rumors that Attack of the Clones actor Temuera Morrison was cast in the role.
The latter leads to another major question for the series: How will Boba Fett, the famed bounty hunter that inspired the spinoff, actually return to the franchise since the new episodes take place some time after The Return of the Jedi, which saw the character fall to his death inside the mouth of a sarlacc?
While that remains undetermined, Star Wars legend Mark Hamill, who has praise for The Mandalorian, shared the best reaction to the rumors. “I thought he was a decade into getting digested at this point,” the actor quipped to ET. “There’s so many ways they can go and Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are both the right people for the job. They know it better than I do.”
Speaking of new characters, who else is joining season 2? Morrison and Olyphant aren’t the only big names reportedly joining the cast. Others include Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, the leader of a group called the Nite Owls and a character the former Battlestar Galactica actress voiced on both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels as well as Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, a former Jedi Padawan who trained under Anakin Skywalker.
Dawson’s casting would make good on a long-running fan campaign. And if she were to appear in the series, she told ET, it would be “one million percent” because of the fans out there. “When that happens, I’ll be very excited,” she teased.
“A character like that, they can live in any medium. It's just about telling stories. So if there's a good story and a good reason, then she could take shape or take form in any medium,” executive producer Dave Filoni told ET about the possibility of seeing Ahsoka beyond Clone Wars. “I'm like, ‘Let's see, can a book about Ahsoka do well?’ And it did, because she's kind of reached that level. So you never know. The most important thing is, is there a good story and how well can something be done? There's a lot of considerations around that, as there was bringing her into Rebels. I'm just really glad that people like the character enough to ask.”
Meanwhile, one new person who is confirmed is WWE star Sasha Banks, who appeared in the trailer wearing a long, black cloak, giving off plenty of Jedi vibes. Our friends at Decider have an extensive theory as to why she could be the live-action version of Star Wars Rebels character Sabine Wren.
Other Behind-the-Scenes Details
Theories and casting rumors aside, there are a few important and specific details we know about the new season, including the return of Pascal, Carano, Esposito and Weathers, which should come as no surprise since there would be no series without them.
Also returning is Emmy-winning composer Ludwig Göransson as well as season 1 directors Favreau, Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard and Rick Famuyiwa, with Waititi and Deborah Chow, who is busy working on the Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff series, sitting this season out.
Weathers, however, will be pulling double duty this season as a director of one of the all-new episodes. The longtime actor is among three new directors this season, including Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez, both of whom revealed their fates on Twitter earlier this year. “I am truly humbled to say I have now had the very rare privilege of directing the biggest star in the universe,” Rodriguez wrote at the time.
“Dave Filoni is one of the best people ever, and he knows everything there is to know about Star Wars and George Lucas. And so you wanna hang around just to pick his brain,” Weathers told ET about working with Filoni as well as Favreau on season 2. “Being around both of them, every day, all day is a fantastic time. And it’s fun. I mean, the show is so fun, we have such great actors, the characters are wonderful, and the show looks magnificent.”
Weathers concluded by adding, “I just think people around the world are gonna love it.”