As great as The Mandalorian‘s first season finale was, its end left a Baby Yoda-shaped hole in our hearts now that Friday mornings won’t bring new episodes on Disney + for a while. Thankfully, showrunner Jon Favreau announced on Twitter that The Mandalorian would be returning for Season 2 this fall.
Not that we didn’t expect it–especially since Season 2 is already being filmed. But it’s still nice to have some confirmation and a relative timeframe for the beloved show’s return.
So what can we expect for Season 2 in 2020? Information is scarce thus far, but we’ve done our best to scrape together any that we could find to help guide our wild speculations.
Obviously, we all know the big narrative questions that The Mandalorian will continue to explore:
- Where The Child (‘Baby Yoda’) comes from.
- Din Djarin’s quest to return Baby Yoda to his home planet.
- Moff Gideon’s quest to capture Baby Yoda.
There are also a bunch of tangent narrative threads to follow, including:
- Who was standing over Fennec Shand’s corpse.
- If Fenecc Shand is actually dead.
- Cara Dune’s past.
- Djarin’s imprisoned/traitorous heist crew seeking revenge.
- The location/fate of the Mandalorians who survived being flushed out of their enclave in Nevarro.
- Whatever The Armorer is up to after kicking all that stormtrooper ass.
In this article, we’ll piece together some hard confirmations (along with some comfortably probable assumptions) in an attempt to frame whatever picture The Mandalorian‘s sophomore season is starting to paint. We’ll also add a dash of speculation, but nothing too outlandish.
Clues: Hidden and Obvious
With the help of interview answers, news tidbits, and mythology-laced Easter eggs, we’re able to glean a few leads on where The Mandalorian plans to take the story next season.
I already wrote an exhaustive article on this weapon and its significance (and it would make my mom really happy if you read it), but here’s the short version:
Back when the Empire was still ruling things, Moff Gideon was heavily involved in The Great Purge of Mandalore. The Darksaber, which he revealed to be in his possession at the end of Chapter 8, has traditionally been wielded by whoever the pro-war faction of Mandalorians consider to be their leader.
It’s likely that Moff Gideon killed whoever was leading the Mandalorians at the time of the Great Purge (which could have still been Bo-Katan Kryze) and took the Darksaber as a symbol of victory/power over them. This makes his conflict with Din Djarin–who is also still in possession of The Child he so desperately seeks–a heck of a lot more personal and interesting.
Cara Dune’s Face Tattoo
Much like Gina Carano, the Rebel Alliance tattoo sitting below Cara Dune’s left eye manages to be both beautiful and badass. What a lot of folks don’t seem to realize, however, is that it’s more than just a part of her character’s aesthetic.
In an interview with Brian Davis at the Hollywood Reporter, Carano revealed that there’s a very personal story behind Dune’s tattoo–and that it’s a story she looks forward to telling. This seems to indicate that Dune’s mysterious past isn’t just some backstory Favreau gave Carano to help her shape the character–it’s likely to be a major part of the show’s future narrative.
In the season finale, we get our third flashback to Din Djarin’s childhood when his home world was attacked by Separatist droids during the Clone Wars. This time, however, the flashback goes on to show that he was saved by Mandalorians–Deathwatch Mandalorians, to be more specific (check out the logo on their shoulder pauldrons).
The fact that Djarin was saved by a terrorist splinter group is far too interesting not to be explored further, especially with how it would have shaped his upbringing and current view of the galaxy.
Let’s go back to that image Jon Favreau shared on Twitter. Event without its armor, most of us instantly recognized the alien as being from same species that made up the guard corps in Jabba the Hutt’s palace from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
That doesn’t mean they are implicitly linked to the deceased crime lord, though. Despite Gamorreans being traditionally portrayed as residents of Tatooine, they actually originate from an Outer Rim planet named Gamorr.
Much like the Mandalorians, Gamorreans have a clan-based society, although theirs is quite a bit more rustic and brutal. They aren’t very smart or technologically advanced, but they do love to fight, hence why their species tends to gets hired as mercenaries for jobs like guarding a Hutt residence.
The Gamorreans’ society is also matriarchal, with the female leader of a clan choosing her mate (and the clan’s warlord) based on his ability to kick everyone else’s ass. As you might imagine, this could cause problems if an unidentified warrior was to land on their planet.
Of course, Djarin could find a Gamorrean opponent–or even an ally–on another world. But I do kind of hope he thinks “These people are green, so maybe they are The Child’s people,” and walks himself into a storm of testosterone/jealously-fueled piggie fisticuffs.
Who’s Definitely Coming Back
While Din Djarin must survive against monstrous beasts, treacherous assassins, and genocidal Imperial holdovers, Favreau and Disney have a different set of dangers to traverse while making the second season of The Mandalorian. These challenges include contract negotiations, shooting schedules, and production budgets.
With a few exceptions, it’s never safe to assume anything about who will be returning from one season to the next with a live action series. That being said, let’s take a look at what we know so far.
Pedro Pascale as Din Djarin/The Mandalorian
No hard confirmation anywhere, but you could probably bet any number of vital organs on his return and come out fully intact.
The Daily Mail was able to snap some Season 2 set photos, although it’s not clear if the person pictured in Din Djarin’s armor is Pascal or a stunt double.
Seriously, I know I just said not to assume things, but don’t worry here. He’s absolutely coming back.
Gina Carano as Cara Dune
In addition to her oft-professed love of the character, Carano mentioned filming part of Season 2 in an interview with Kelsea Stahler of Refinery29.com.
Add in the aforementioned exploring of her character’s history, and there’s no doubt Dune/Carano is locked in for next season.
Carl Weathers as Greef Karga (and director)
He’s also likely to be heavily tied into Cara Dune’s story assuming that she took the job as his new enforcer.
Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon
Like with Pedro Pascal, there’s no hard confirmation of Esposito’s return, but it’s a ridiculously safe bet that he does considering the way Season 1 concluded.
I guess there’s a chance his appearance at the end of Chapter 8 was simply a way to keep things open for Moff Gideon to appear again, but the inclusion of the Darksaber virtually guarantees that this great new Star Wars villain will be making his presence felt in Season 2.
The Child/Baby Yoda
…because otherwise we’ll riot.
Also, even if the character wasn’t all types of interesting, his cuteness is far too strong of a marketing tool for Disney to ever abandon.
Who We Hope Returns
Emily Swallow as The Armorer
So far, the actress hasn’t said anything on social media beyond the standard declarations of how much she loved working on the show.
There’s a chance that with Din Djarin leaving Nevarro to travel the galaxy, her part of the story is done–or at least on hold until a later season. On the other hand, Greef Karga and Cara Dune (who will definitely be part of next season) are also still on Nevarro for the foreseeable future.
It’s also worth noting that The Armorer said she was remaining behind to gather the armor of her fallen Mandalorian comrades. Once that task is completed, there’s a very strong possibility that she will link up with the Mandalorians from her enclave who escaped/survived…which would almost certainly lead to her crossing paths with Din Djarin again.
Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand
While speculation has run wild about who was standing over her body at the end of Chapter 5, there’s still plenty of uncertainty about the highly skilled assassin’s ultimate fate.
First off, Ming-Na Wen is a heck of a big name to bring in just for one episode. Plus, her character–who had a very cool sounding backstory–deserved a lot better than being taken out by a total douche canoe like Toro Calican.
Also, hat tip to Allie Gemmill of Inverse.com for pointing out that the gun Toro used to shoot Shand likely had a very potent stun setting. If there was ever a mercenary incompetent enough to have his weapon incorrectly calibrated for an assassination, it’s him.
For now, however, Wen hasn’t said anything about a return to the show, making NaShand’s survival even more of a long shot–but one we’re not ready to give up on quite yet.
Julia Jones as Omera
I’m actually not as interested in the romantic implication of Omera’s return as the exploration of her backstory. Chapter 4 showed her to be both an excellent battlefield commander and an skilled marksman. (My personal theory is still that she’s a former Imperial trooper).
Unfortunately, Julia Jones hasn’t said anything to make us think Omera will be trying to remove Djarin’s helmet again anytime time soon. Considering that he didn’t even check in on her during his return trip to Sorgan (that we saw), it appears this (relation)ship has officially sailed.
Writers & Directors
Jon Favreau will be returning (duh), but not just as writer and executive produce. He’ll also direct at least one episode himself.
Dave Filoni is likely to helm another episode along with Carl Weathers‘ aforementioned turn in the director’s chair. Rick Famuyiwa will also be returning, which is fantastic news. He directed Chapter 2, which was great, and Chapter 6…which wasn’t that great, but looked incredible, especially the second half of the episode.
On the bad news side of things, directors Taika Waititi and Deborah Chow are unlikely to return, at least for Season 2.
Deborah Chow will be the directing the new Obi-Wan for series for Disney+, which likely has her knee deep in casting, planning, and preproduction right now. This is a tough loss for The Mandalorian, but great news for Star Wars fans that the Obi-Wan series will be in such highly capable hands.
If we’ve learned anything during the last couple decades, though, it’s to trust Jon Favreau, especially when it comes to finding talent and matching them up with a great story. Bryce Dallas Howard made her directorial debut in Chapter 4 and totally knocked it out of the park.
Also, in her aforementioned interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gina Carano revealed that The Mandalorian had a lot of interesting visitors on the set last season, some of which included Seth Rogen, The Coen brothers, and even Steven Spielberg. Considering how great the first season turned out, it’s probably safe to assume that the series won’t have any problem attracting talented directors.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on set reports (official or otherwise) to keep you updated on where our favorite new show is heading in 2020.