(Spoilers ahead for the fifth and sixth episodes of the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus)
At the end of last week’s episode, “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus gave us a mystery to ponder by introducing a new character but not showing us who it was. The logical thinking, based on the evidence we’ll discuss below, is that this is a character we already know from elsewhere in the “Star Wars” universe. Was this new character just a fun Easter egg or will they actually be a part of this story? It’s tough to tell right now because this week’s Chapter 6 did not even acknowledge that this little tease or cliffhanger or whatever-you-wanna-call-it happened. In any case, let’s talk about it.
So in the episode, the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) meets another bounty hunter named Toro (Jake Cannavale) on Tatooine, and decides to help him with a target: the assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Things get messy, and both Fennec and Toro are dead by the end of the episode. But Fennec’s death may have bigger ramifications for the Mando, as the episode ends with a mysterious figure approaching her corpse and kneeling next to it.
Now, we don’t see enough of this new character to be able to positively identify who it is. But we do hear things that are making a lot of fans think this person is actually a fan-favorite “Star Wars” character.
The best guess that anybody has at this point is that this mysterious person is, in fact, the famed bounty hunter Boba Fett. Yeah, I know, the last time we saw that guy he got knocked into the Sarlacc in “Return of the Jedi.” In the current version of the “Star Wars” continuity, Boba Fett’s fate is unknown. But in the Expanded Universe prior to the Disney era he escaped that pit and returned to his bounty hunting ways.
So what makes everyone think this is Boba Fett? Well, the cape is one clue, but lots of “Star Wars” characters wear capes so that’s hardly conclusive. The much bigger clues are actually a pair of sound effects that play during this brief scene. The biggest tell is that when this character walks we hear a sort of jangling sound — like spurs. When Boba Fett appeared in “The Empire Strikes Back,” we heard that same sound when he walked.
Maybe that’s just a coincidence, though. But the other sound we hear is so weirdly specific that it’s tough to ignore its significance. At the beginning of the shot of this mystery character walking up to the corpse, we hear some beeping and whirring that sounds like a droid. But we’ve heard this exact sequence of beeping and whirring before, in a “Star Wars” movie. Specifically, the Special Edition of the original film, “A New Hope.”
George Lucas’s update to the film in 1997 added an old deleted scene where Han Solo talks to Jabba the Hutt about how he’s gonna repay his debt, and Boba Fett walks through the shot at the end of the scene. And when he does, we hear that same droid-esque sound effect from this scene in “The Mandalorian.” If you wanna compare, here’s a YouTube video of all of Boba Fett’s scenes, queued up to that “A New Hope” scene:
That’s all the evidence we have, but honestly it’s pretty convincing. Somehow, the sixth episode came and went without any acknowledgement of this whole thing, so we’re stuck waiting for at least another week for confirmation. But given how story-light “The Mandalorian” has been, I’m not totally convinced it’ll follow up on this at all this season. But we’ll see. Just two more episodes to go.