Thought you’ve seen the end of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: Rebels? Well, think again because the plucky Togruta, Grey Jedi is set to make a live-action appearance in the second season of The Mandalorian. This fan favourite Force-user will be played by none other than Rosario Dawson, the actress who played the Night Nurse in Netflix’s Daredevil series. For those who haven’t been caught up with Disney’s Rebels animated series, Ahsoka Tano was a Jedi who left the Order to pursue her own path in the Force. In Rebels, she duelled against Vader, aided the rising Resistance and was last seen alive at the series finale years after the Battle of Endor. For the longest time, we’ve speculated her fate after the events of Return of the Jedi and it looks like now we’ll finally get some answers.
Ahsoka’s return to the Star Wars universe via The Mandalorian could herald the coming of other familiar faces of the franchise. Since Disney’s creating connections between the characters of Rebels and The Mandalorian with Tano’s appearance, are there any other major Star Wars heroes and villains coming our way? We’ve got some potential answers to that question!
1. Ezra Bridger
In the series finale of Star Wars: Rebels, a young Jedi freedom fighter, Ezra Bridger sacrificed himself by opening a portal through hyperspace. All to cripple the Empire’s Imperial Navy and to take out one of their most effective leaders. While we don’t exactly know of his fate, we do know that the young Jedi is in fact alive. It’s been confirmed by showrunner Dave Filoni. So why is this important to The Mandalorian? The final scene of the Rebels’ series finale sees Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren vow to find Bridger and to bring him back to his home planet. If Ahsoka Tano is making an appearance in The Mandalorian, there’s a strong chance that the Mandalorian Din Djarin could aid Ahsoka in her quest.
Din doesn’t know much about the Force or the Jedi and Ahsoka has lots of experience in both subjects. Perhaps, the two will strike a deal with each other in the second season for Din to help locate Ezra if Ahsoka aids him in finding the Child’s(or Baby Yoda’s) homeworld and people. So far, there hasn’t been any official news about a fifth season to Star Wars: Rebels but Filoni has confirmed Ezra as being alive. Rebels’ finale left on a huge cliffhanger set after the events of Return of the Jedi. One of the major characters of Rebels will be appearing in another series also set after Return of the Jedi. Coincidence? I think not! It’s highly likely that The Mandalorian will be used to give some closure to Rebels fans and that we will be seeing Ezra’s return.
2. Grand Admiral Thrawn
Remember that effective Imperial leader I mentioned earlier? Well, it turns out he’s alive as well and he is none other than the great Grand Admiral Thrawn. Originally an out-of-canon character from Star Wars: Legends, Disney decided to bring in Thrawn to serve as the main antagonist for the third and fourth season of Rebels. The first alien to have ever risen to the rank of Grand Admiral within the human-supremacist Empire and the man responsible for charting the course through the Unknown Regions of space. His knowledge of the Unknown Regions was the reason why the fractured Imperial remnants could survive and form the First Order.
If Tano and the Mandolorian Din Djarin are on the hunt for Ezra, chances are they’ll encounter the Chiss Admiral as well. In Star Wars: Legends, Thrawn became the de facto ruler of the Imperial remnants after the fall of Palpatine and came rather close to defeating the Resistance. If Thrawn returns to the galaxy in The Mandalorian, he would be a devastating foe to the New Republic. The prospect of Thrawn assuming the position of Grand Admiral with Moff Gideon at his side is a rather exciting and plausible notion. His ruthless cunning and invaluable years of experience could prove instrumental in kick-starting the First Order and propel the plot of The Mandalorian to new epic heights!
3. Sabine Wren
At the end of the first season of The Mandalorian, we saw the ex-Imperial warlord Moff Gideon cut himself out his TIE Fighter using a rather interesting weapon. In case some of you aren’t aware of that weapon is, it is a Darksaber. A mythical lightsaber that Rebels’ Mandalorian, Sabine Wren, used to rally the people of Mandalore against the Empire. The same one she used to install Clone Wars’ Bo-Katan as the leader of the Mandalorians. Tano’s return to the Star Wars universe coupled with Moff Gideon wielding the Darksaber strongly infers that we will be seeing Sabine Wren making a live-action appearance. There are simply too many connections to Wren that cannot be ignored and far too many unfinished plot threads for her not to see through.
If Tano continues her quest for Bridger in The Mandalorian, then I’m fairly certain Wren will be by her side looking for their mutual friend. Furthermore, Wren is considered to be a hero and popular figure to the Mandalorians. It’s not impossible for the Mandalorian Din Djarin to encounter Wren within his community, especially if he’s travelling with Ahsoka. Then there’s the matter of the Darksaber. It’s only a matter of time before Din becomes aware of Moff Gideon’s ownership of the sacred blade. The same blade that Wren fought so fervently to return to its rightful master. I imagine Djarin and Wren will join forces to reclaim the Darksaber and to aid Tano in her mission to locate Bridger. Ahsoka’s return, the Darksaber and the fact that she’s a Mandalorian all but confirms her appearance.
4. Tarre Vizsla
The Darksaber is a weapon with a ton of history and lore behind it. A history that predates the events of Rebels and even the Clone Wars. The fascinating and complicated story behind the weapon is linked to one particular Mandalorian, Tarre Vizsla. The first Mandalorian to become a Jedi. Mandalorian folklore tells of the tale of Tarre Viszla, a mighty force-sensitive warrior who forged the legendary black lightsabre and used it as a symbol of unification for the Mandalorian people. Eventually, Viszla would go on to become Mand’alor, the ruler of the Mandalorians. The cultural relevance of the Darksaber can best be likened to that of the sword Excalibur to the English. It is a weapon of immense significance and for Moff Gideon to wield it would be an utter disgrace to Din Djarin and his people.
There’s a strong likelihood that Din would run into Moff Gideon again and become aware of the Darksaber. It would be nothing short of mind-blowing to see live-action flashbacks chronicling the history of Tarre Vizsla and his time at the Jedi Order. I mean, you can’t possibly bring up the Darksaber and not talk about the legendary figure behind it. It would make the weapon nothing more than a prop. No, I think Disney’s little reveal at the end of the first season was meant to set up for much larger events coming to the series while expanding its world and lore. And what better way to spark interest than to have episodes about the First Mandalorian Jedi?
5. Boba Fett
As of now, the jury’s still out on whether or not Boba Fett survived his fall in the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi. Longtime Star Wars fans would have known him as the galaxy’s most fearsome bounty hunter. At some point, Disney and Lucasfilm were planning on making a film about the famed bounty hunter until plans for it got scrapped. Contrary to what people think about Boba, the clone mercenary is not actually Mandalorian. He does not conform to the Mandalorian code of honour or the Way. For all intents and purposes, he is a pretender who somehow managed to come across a set of Mandalorian armour. Is it possible that Star Wars’ most infamous bounty hunter is still out there, claiming heads? If I was a betting man, I’d say yes.
Disney clearly knew that there was value in the character of Boba Fett and it’s no coincidence that the character of Din Djarin and him are both bounty hunters. We’re meant to see him as Disney’s stand-in for Boba. The Mandalorian is ultimately a series set around the culture and peoples of Mandalore. I think seeing Din confront Boba as a pretender to the Mandalorian way would be an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone. Disney could finally give Boba Fett the proper send-off he deserves (instead of that supposed lame slapstick death) and they would generate more buzz for The Mandalorian. It’s a win-win!