It’s hard to believe we’re less than two months away from the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s even crazier that we’re a mere two weeks away from the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series. On November 12, when the new streaming service Disney+ launches, fans will be taken into a wretched hive of scum and villainy in the world of The Mandalorian. Focusing on a bounty hunter who wears the exact-style of armor as Boba Fett, the brief glimpses of this show make it seem like Game of Thrones combined with a western, combined with Star Wars.
But because this show is set just five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, it’s very possible there will be all sorts of cameos and Easter eggs from the original trilogy. From deep-cuts in Legends canon to the possible return of OG trilogy heroes, here are five cool Star Wars twists we’re hoping for in The Mandalorian.
Pure speculation ahead. No spoilers intended.
Information on Yoda’s Species
One big rumor going around is that the elusive alien species to which Yoda is a member will finally be revealed on The Mandalorian. Now, this isn’t to say these folks will all be Jedi, but it would be amazing to get a very familiar Star Wars alien, and actually learn something new at the same time. Obviously, the lame version of this twist would be another guest appearance from the E.T. aliens who crashed the Senate back in The Phantom Menace.
Appearances by Lando and Han (played by Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover)
If you need Lando Calrissian or Han Solo, circa the era of the original trilogy, there’s actually no reason why you can’t bring back Solo actors Donald Glover and Alden Ehrenreich. In terms of Star Wars canon, these guys are kind of like what Ethan Peck and Anson Mount are to contemporary Star Trek canon; Peck is the new canon Spock for and Mount is the new canon Captain Pike. Also, and somewhat relevantly, back when Solo hit theaters, there was an outright confirmation from Ehrenreich that he had signed to do a few more movies. Plus, Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy also indicated she wanted to do a Lando-centric movie with Glover. Now that Lucasfilm has seemed to shift its stand-alone movie focus to Disney+ TV shows, whose to say those contracts can’t just be fulfilled by Ehrenreich and Glover showing up in The Mandalorian? After all, Han and Lando know a thing or two about bounty hunters…
The Return of Palpatine
Palpatine’s unlikely return from the dead in The Rise of Skywalker could, in theory, be foreshadowed a month prior in The Mandalorian. We know from the trailer that the remnants of the Empire will be a huge part of the narrative of the series. But, could that also mean that the series will explain where all those old school Star Destroyers came from? And, if you’re going to explain that massive fleet, why not just get Palpatine’s comeback in there while you’re at it? Interestingly, if The Mandalorian borrows a plot point from the old Dark Empire comics, you could cast a cloned or reborn Palpatine as a fairly young person. Then, boom, by the time of The Rise of Skywalker, he’s old and scary again.
The Re-canonization of Mara Jade and the Thrawn Trilogy
Ever since Mandalorian showrunner, Jon Favreau, didn’t rule out the possible retcon of Mara Jade or other Legends characters on the series, the idea that the most popular character from the Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy (and numerous other Star Wars Legends novels) could return is an exciting one. The Mandalorian is happening at the exact same time as the Thrawn trilogy, and because we don’t everything about the three decades in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, it’s not insane to think that, maybe, just maybe, some version of those events could have still happened in new canon—and it would be great to see hints of big galactic events from the books referenced in The Mandalorian. Plus, in the Legends books, Mara Jada is a freaking criminal after she stopped working for the Empire. The Mandalorian is about criminals. From the context alone, it seems really possible a new Mara Jade is coming.
Stunt-Casting Sebastian “It’s About Time” Stan as Luke Freaking Skywalker
For several, several years, Winter Soldier actor Sebastian Stan has been joking (but not joking?) about wanting to play a “young” version of Luke Skywalker. The reason here is obvious: Stan looks exactly like Mark Hamill did back in the eighties. Right now, Sebastian Stan is supposedly filming the new Disney+ MCU show Falcon and Winter Soldier, but let’s face it; because Disney owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm, would it be that hard to borrow him for like one episode of The Mandalorian? Because The Mandalorian happens five years after the Battle of Endor, a young-ish, but slightly tired Luke Skywalker would be the perfect surprise cameo in this series. And, let’s face it if this opens up the possibility of Stan playing Luke Skywalker in future Star Wars projects, we’re all for it.