We recently had a little fun speculating on what could be in store for Star Wars fans with The Mandalorian Season 2. Little has been made known about the direction of the show's story, though a slew of recent rumors have adressed some potential series newcomers and returning cast members. In separate reports, we've shared news of the rumored inclusion Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Biehn, the return of Bill Burr's character Mayfeld, and the first live-action appearance of Ahsoka Tano played by Rosario Dawson, all thought to be part of The Mandalorian's sophomore season. Although none of these have been confirmed, their inclusions in the series all would make sense for a variety of reasons. Now, a new rumor suggests that another familiar face from the first season of The Mandalorian could be making a Season 2 return, alongside some well-known Imperial soldiers...
An exclusive report by That Hashtag Show suggests that Ming-Na Wen is set to return as assassin Fennec Shand for the second season of The Mandalorian. The report also indicates that Sandtroopers and Imperial Gunners will be part of the Imperial Remnant's forces.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The notion that Ming-Na Wen's Fennec Shand will be returning to the series is interesting, to put things mildly. When we last saw the infamous assassin on Tatooine, things weren't going well for her. In fact, she was dead. Following her capture by Din Djarin and rookie bounty hunter Toro Calican, the titular Mandalorian left to find transport and Calican executed Shand when Djarin's recent escapades had been made known. That episode ended with a mysterious shot of an unknown figure with spurred boots approaching Shand's body in the desert night, telling us there was more to that thread than we once thought. Various investigative fan breakdowns have determined that the individual was not Moff Gideon, leaving this figure's identity a mystery that now appears to be solved in Season 2. The most obvious question to ask here is: how is Fennec Shand alive?
Despite her rumored return, she did take a blaster shot to the gut and seemed pretty dead when the mysterious figure found her body. However, many fans have thought her return was still possible, and it appears we'll find out more about Shand's apparent survival and how she's linked to the shadowy individual who came to retrieve her. Will she back to take revenge on Din Djarin, especially with Calican himself now dead? Or is there something more sinister at play? Perhaps she, as well as Michael Biehn's character and Mayfeld will all be hired guns to find The Child and return him to Gideon...
The rumored return of the Sandtrooper and Imperial Gunner is a fun little tid-bit that shows Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni's desire to bring in elements of Star Wars from all corners of the universe, even two seldom-seen members of the Imperial military. But make no mistake, if their inclusion in the season is accurate, they will have a purpose. The return of the Sandtrooper indicates we'll be going back to a desert world in Season 2. Perhaps we'll find our way back to Tatooine, where Mando and The Child run into Fennec Shand, Mystery Man, and a Sandtrooper patrol? Their return could of course be completely unrelated to Shand's.
Even more interesting here is the rumor that the Imperial Gunner is making a comeback. Generally their sole purpose is to pull the lever of a massive gun and blow something up, usually planets. Their incusion in The Mandalorian means bad things for the galaxy and tells us Moff Gideon has some big plans and weapons at his disposal. Does he have yet another planet-killer ready to go? It doesn't seem likely, given the tiny fragment of the broken Empire he controls - we would be aware of something so disastrous wreaking havoc by now. More likely, he has a weapon that can do some very specific damage to Mandalorians (think the "Duchess"), or a giant gun on his capital ship. Whatever he's got, we'll find out soon enough as the ball heads return to pull more levers with fearsome precision and resolve.