It’s finally here! The long and somewhat sorrowful drought of 2020 is nearly over, and fresh episodes of The Mandalorian have graced our screens once more. This Jon Favreau-crafted series, not only the inaugural live-action Star Wars TV show but also a flagship production for the brand-new Disney streaming platform Disney+, captured the hearts of fans from the very start. Its success can be attributed to a winning formula of epic action, groundbreaking technology, and the undeniable cuteness of Baby Yoda. The Mandalorian offered a fresh perspective on an unexplored corner of the Star Wars universe, presenting a gritty, character-driven narrative that served as a welcome contrast to the grandiose spectacle of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, released around the same time. The Mandalorian is back, and our excitement knows no bounds.
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It’s been nearly a year since the show first graced our screens, so if you find yourself a bit hazy on the details (much like navigating through the murky swamps of Degobah), don’t worry. We’re here to provide a rundown of The Mandalorian’s cast of characters, offering a refresher for those who need it. We won’t delve into exhaustive biographies for every character from season 1, but we’ll recap those who left a significant mark in the first season and those who may still be lurking in the far reaches of the galaxy, poised to make their return in season 2. This is the way.
The Mandalorian (AKA Din Djarin)
This is the character that the show is named after, so you know he’s important. As a child, Din Djarin was orphaned during the Clone Wars, his parents killed by rampaging battle droids (which explains his staunch anti-robot stance), and was adopted by Mandalorians. As he reminds us in the first season, “Mandalorian isn’t a race, it’s a creed,” meaning that just about anyone (or anything!) could be under that shiny helmet. (Boba Fett was a Mandalorian; hence the resemblance. Their storyline was expanded upon, perhaps too much, in the Star Wars animated series Clone Wars and Rebels.) The character is played, tersely, by Pedro Pascal (mostly).
When the story starts, the Mandalorian (or “Mando,” as he’s referred to by some) is a bounty hunter, hunting down wanted criminals and other ne’er-do-wells across the galaxy. He even uses the carbon-freezing technology that Boba Fett improvised for Han Solo on Bespin (a weird plot point that still doesn’t make much sense). The story is set in the lawless post-Return of the Jedi period where the Empire has been thwarted but Imperial loyalists still remain and many of the planets are still trying to process and organize in the midst of extreme disarray.
The Mandalorian’s entire life is thrown into chaos when he accepts a job from an oily, unnamed client (Werner Herzog), who surrounds himself with somewhat decayed-looking Stormtroopers and tasks Mandalorian with retrieving a very special package.
As it turns out, his assignment involves kidnapping a small alien known as The Child or The Asset but which the world has rightfully embraced as “Baby Yoda.” He feels a connection to this child and decides to turn his back on his assignment and protect it at all costs, traversing the galaxy together. This child melts the Mandalorian’s cold exterior and teaches him that his tribe can come in many different forms. At the end of the first season, the Mandalorian has committed to returning the child to his race. Where that will take him, we have no idea…
The Child (AKA The Asset AKA Baby Yoda)
Clearly the breakout star of the first season, the Child was introduced at the very end of the first episode, when The Mandalorian finds out what he has been chasing for the better part of the episode: a small child, in a floating, egg-shaped bassinet. (Initially, the creature was described as “50 years old,” but assassin droid IG-11 is quick to point out that different species age differently.) Clearly, the Mandalorian and the Child have an instant bond, and throughout the season, they come to appreciate each other more and more. The Mandalorian realizes that the Child has certain abilities (seen from the second episode on) that are strange and unusual, and clearly, everyone in the galaxy wants the Child for this very reason. But who or what the Child is remains to be seen (we don’t even know how he wound up on that backwoods planet for the Mandalorian to find him). But judging by previews of this new season, its origins will be fully explored and will perhaps involve other Force-users…
Update: As of Season 2, Episode 5, “The Jedi,” we now know that the Child’s official name is… Grogu. Make of that what you will.
Greef Karga, portrayed by Carl Weathers, made his debut in the very first episode of The Mandalorian. Karga is the leader of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild (even in the post-Return of the Jedi era, there’s still some order in the galaxy) and is responsible for assigning bounties to the Mandalorian. Throughout much of the first season, after the Mandalorian makes his fateful decision to protect the Child at all costs, Karga’s true intentions remain shrouded in mystery. Was he planning to stop and eliminate the Mandalorian (and take the child), or did he intend to aid the character in escaping capture? As it turns out, Karga is an ally, and in the season finale, it was revealed that he was once a disgraced government official. This new season will likely delve deeper into his backstory, especially since early previews suggest that the Mandalorian will seek Karga’s assistance. It’s also worth noting that Weathers will be directing an episode this season, which adds an exciting dimension to his involvement.
In Episode 4 of the first season, the Mandalorian finally encountered a warrior who could match his skills. Enter Cara Dune, portrayed by Gina Carano, a former shock trooper with the Rebellion (you can spot the Rebel insignia tattooed on her cheek), and she harbors a profound disdain for the Empire. Much like the Mandalorian, she’s aimlessly navigating life on a remote planet when their paths cross. The Mandalorian persuades her to assist in rescuing a besieged village (which happens to include a woman he’s quite taken with – more on that in a moment). Cara Dune readily joins the cause and proves herself as a formidable warrior and an exceptionally reliable ally. Later in the season, the Mandalorian recruits her for a mission to free the imperiled planet Navarro from Imperial control. We also learn that she hails from Alderaan, the serene planet obliterated by the original Death Star in Star Wars lore. Dune becomes an indispensable member of the unique makeshift family that revolves around protecting the Child. By the season’s conclusion, she has solidified her role as someone the Mandalorian can turn to for assistance and guidance. It’s evident that he has given her something she was searching for as well – a renewed sense of purpose and a reason to continue the fight. Greef Karga even extends a job offer to her among the bounty hunters. While Carano was prominently featured in the promotional material for the first season, her character didn’t make an appearance until halfway through. This time around, she takes center stage in the marketing, and unlike last year, it seems she’ll be there right from the beginning.
In the first season, we meet one of the more unexpectedly touching characters – Kuiil, an Ugnaught, brought to life through Nick Nolte’s voice and Misty Rosas’ performance. Ugnaughts might ring a bell as the pig-like creatures from The Empire Strikes Back who almost incinerated a disassembled C-3PO on Bespin. Kuiil, a former indentured servant to the Empire, resides on Arvala-7. His initial task is to help transport the Child, a mission that brings him into contact with the Mandalorian. Kuiil imparts wisdom, teaching the Mandalorian how to ride a creature and aiding him in negotiating with Jawas after they’ve scavenged his ship, the Razorcrest. In one of the season’s poignant moments, we discover that Kuiil has resurrected the assassin droid IG-11, who was previously a Mandalorian rival. Kuiil transformed IG-11, teaching the droid selflessness and awareness.
The Mandalorian enlists Kuiil for a high-stakes mission on Navarro, a mission that ultimately leads to Kuiil sacrificing his life while protecting the Child from Imperial Scout Troopers. Just like every other character he encounters, the Mandalorian leaves a lasting impact on Kuiil’s life. He inspires Kuiil to give himself a name, and their relationships with IG-11 and the Child form an unusual makeshift family. While Kuiil’s life was marked by tragedy and hardships, his adventures alongside the Mandalorian reignited a spark that had been absent for far too long.
IG-11, voiced by the talented Taika Waititi, has been a presence almost from the very start. Designed after IG-88, one of the bounty hunters Darth Vader hired to find Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back (his look was created from spare parts of the cantina set from the original film), IG-11’s initial mission is to retrieve the Child on Arvala-7 in Episode 1. However, his protocol dictates that the Child would be more valuable dead than alive, a prospect that the Mandalorian couldn’t tolerate. It seemed the Mandalorian had deactivated IG-11, but the droid was later repaired by Kuiil and taught the ways of life instead of destruction. That montage of their collaboration and mutual learning remains one of the more heartwarming moments in Season 1.
IG-11, neurotic and trigger-happy, joins forces with Kuiil to help liberate the planet Navarro and protect the Child. During the show’s gripping finale, which also happens to be directed by Waititi, IG-11 mounts a speeder bike and takes on a legion of Stormtroopers in a spectacular sequence. As the episode concludes, IG-11 makes a noble sacrifice to ensure the safety of the other characters, a fitting and emotionally resonant conclusion to his journey from assassin to “nurse droid.” We should definitely give IG-11 credit for imparting a valuable lesson to the Mandalorian – that droids might not be all bad after all.
For most of the season, we were led to believe that the Client was the show’s primary antagonist. However, in the second-to-last episode, a new and formidable villain entered the scene in the form of Moff Gideon, portrayed by the legendary TV villain Giancarlo Esposito. Gideon, an Imperial loyalist, ruthlessly eliminates the Client and even some of his own men to get to the Child. (The title “Moff” is common in the Empire; you might recall Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars.) Interestingly, the Mandalorian recognizes him almost immediately, despite Cara Dune’s claim that he was “executed for war crimes” after the galaxy’s liberation. (Clearly, that wasn’t the case!)
Moff Gideon is fixated on capturing the Child and commands a loyal platoon of Stormtroopers, along with a core squadron of Death Troopers – those imposing, black-suited Stormtroopers we first saw in Rogue One. To make matters even more intriguing, he possesses a TIE Fighter. But what caught everyone’s attention at the end of the Season 1 finale was his possession of a darksaber, a potent lightsaber-style weapon with significant significance in Mandalorian history. (Perhaps it’s time for a binge-watch of a few Clone Wars episodes, or maybe not!) It’s abundantly clear that Moff Gideon is being set up as the primary adversary for Season 2, and we’re absolutely here for it.
Peli Motto, the memorable character portrayed by Amy Sedaris, is a skilled mechanic working at a spaceport on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s home planet in the Star Wars universe. Tatooine is known for being the place where Jabba the Hutt once held Princess Leia and Han Solo captive. Peli Motto is often seen in the company of tiny mechanic droids that previously worked on the pod race, another iconic event on Tatooine. In the series, the Mandalorian enlists her help as a babysitter for the Child while he embarks on one of his mysterious missions. However, in a surprising turn of events, both Peli Motto and the Child are taken hostage later in the same episode.
Peli Motto quickly became a fan favorite character, even trending on Twitter shortly after her debut in the first episode of the series. Considering this popularity and Jon Favreau’s penchant for bringing beloved characters back, it’s quite likely that we’ll see more of her in Season 2 or beyond. As the Mandalorian’s journey unfolds, trustworthy allies like Peli Motto will become increasingly valuable.
Now, let’s dive into some intricate space lore, and there’s a good reason for it. Fennec Shand, portrayed by Disney Legend Ming-Na Wen, is a ruthless bounty hunter introduced in Episode 5, titled “The Gunslinger.” This character has a reputation for working with various crime syndicates, including the notorious Hutts. In this episode, the Mandalorian teams up with a young bounty hunter named Toro Calican, and they venture to the Dune Sea to track down Shand.
Fennec Shand, clever as ever, attempts to negotiate her way out of capture by enticing the young bounty hunter and proposing a partnership to capture the Mandalorian, who now carries a bounty on his head. However, Calican refuses and, shockingly, ends up killing Shand, leaving her lifeless on the planet. But here’s where things get intriguing – in the episode’s closing moments, a mysterious figure wearing a cape and the unmistakable spurs of the iconic Star Wars bounty hunter, Boba Fett, is seen approaching Shand’s seemingly lifeless body.
Now, the internet is abuzz with rumors of Boba Fett’s potential return, which could elevate Fennec Shand’s character to a significant role, especially if she somehow survived the events of Episode 5. The plot thickens as we delve deeper into the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.
Now, let’s talk about a rather peculiar character, one without even a name, portrayed by the incredibly talented Horatio Sanz, hidden under some impressive makeup. This mysterious character makes his appearance in the first episode of the series. He’s essentially an unidentified underworld figure, taking refuge on a frigid, snow-covered planet. This character serves as a useful narrative device, giving us insight into the Mandalorian’s bounty hunting world.
In this episode, we witness the Mandalorian tracking down this peculiar, blue-skinned individual, returning him to the Razorcrest, his trusty ship. As the character snoops around the ship, in search of a way out (yes, we even get to see the first toilet in Star Wars history!), things take a tense turn. The Mandalorian, true to his reputation, arrives on the scene and swiftly immobilizes the intruder, flash-freezing him with his makeshift carbonite system. It might not entirely make sense, but it’s undeniably cool.
After this brief encounter, the character disappears for the remainder of Season 1. However, intriguingly, promotional material for the new season prominently features this enigmatic figure. It’s a curious choice to revisit such a marginal character, and one can’t help but wonder if he’ll finally be bestowed with a name in the upcoming season.
Now, let’s talk about the woman from the village who made the Mandalorian ponder, ‘Is it worth risking my safety and the safety of the Child to stay with her and potentially find romantic fulfillment?’ Her name is Omera, portrayed by Julia Jones. Omera leads a tranquil life, tending to her unusual blue krill farm in a remote village on the forest planet of Sorgan (the same planet where the Mandalorian crosses paths with Cara Dune in Episode 4).
It’s quite evident that Omera and the Mandalorian share a special connection. The village children quickly grow fond of the Child, as one would expect. However, what’s truly remarkable is the emotional bond that develops between Omera and the Mandalorian. This bond is even more striking considering that we can’t see his face or gaze into his eyes (we’re making assumptions here!).
Their connection and the way it offers a potential escape route for the embattled bounty hunter are what make this character noteworthy. There’s a possibility that she could return in a future episode. After all, Omera demonstrated her skills when defending their village from marauders, and it’s quite apparent that the Mandalorian cares deeply for her. If he ever considered entrusting the Child to someone for safekeeping, Omera would likely be at the top of his list.
In The Mandalorian, we’re introduced to a clandestine faction of Mandalorian warriors, both literally and metaphorically speaking. They’re in hiding, and their base of operations is a complex network of sewers beneath the city on Navarro. Among these characters, one stands out more prominently than the rest — The Armorer, brought to life by Emily Swallow, who not only portrays the character but lends her voice to it as well.
The Armorer serves several key functions in the show. She’s akin to the James Bond series’ Q, providing our hero with cutting-edge technology, armor, and weaponry. She also takes on the role of a mentor figure, guiding our wayward hero on his journey. At the conclusion of the first season, it’s The Armorer who proposes a crucial suggestion to the Mandalorian. She advises him to take the Child and embark on a quest to discover its origins, possibly seeking help from a group of revered sorcerers.
While the other Mandalorian warriors have been scattered to the winds, there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll encounter The Armorer once again in the future…
The character who’s definitely not a Jedi, brought to life by Rosario Dawson in her live-action debut, was most recently aiding Mando on his mission to locate Baby Yoda’s kin. If you’re curious to delve deeper into her background, we’ve got a comprehensive guide that explains everything you need to know.
The Mandalorian crossed paths with this skilled mercenary, once an Imperial sharpshooter, during a mission to break a prisoner out of jail. The job didn’t go as planned, and Migs, portrayed by Bill Burr, found himself in the hands of the New Republic. However, recent events in Season 2, Episode 6, “The Tragedy,” suggest that he might not remain in custody for much longer.