In the closing minutes of The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1, “The Marshal,” a mysterious new character appears with his back facing camera, watching our main character speed across the desert of Tatooine. But because The Mandalorian loves its mysterious, we don’t exactly know who this person is.
Thankfully, he turned around to show us his face, and the actor playing this character gives us a few clues as to who it might be — and it seems like someone fans are already familiar with.
[Ed. Note: this post contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1.]
If you’re a long time Star Wars fan, you recognize the actor watching Din Djarin from the cliff. Yes, it’s really Temuera Morrison. If you haven’t memorized the cast list for 2002’s Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, we’ll provide a brief refresher: Morrison played Jango Fett, the bounty hunter from the Mandalore sector and the genetic basis for the Republic’s clone army. In return for his contribution to the Republic, Jango also had a single unaltered genetic clone of himself made and named him Boba Fett. You’ve probably heard of him.
While the fact that he played the basis of a clone army technically means that Morrison could be playing an almost infinite number of characters in The Mandalorian, we’re going to assume that he’s someone we’ve heard of before, which really narrows it down to just two choices: Boba Fett and Clone-army soldier Rex, or Clone CT-7567.
Is Temuera Morrison’s character Boba Fett?
That’s definitely the Occam’s razor take. He’s about the right age, as The Mandalorian takes place approximately 31 years after Attack of the Clones, and he was already rumored to be in season 2. Plus introducing the character that made Mandalorian armor famous in the show all about a character who wears Mandalorian armor fits pretty well.
As an added bonus, Boba Fett’s survival of Tatooine’s sarlacc pit isn’t actually canon in the new universe yet, and letting him tell the story of his escape from 1000 years of digestion in the stomach of a giant monster would make for a great episode.
Is the character Rex?
Rex is the dark-horse candidate here. There are a few reasons to suspect it might be him, but probably a few more reasons to doubt it. For those less familiar, Rex was a character in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and he later made his way to Star Wars: Rebels as well. While most clone soldiers participated in Order 66, helping Emperor Palpatine more-or-less wipe out the Jedi, Rex was able to remove the inhibitor chip that would have activated this order in his brain and has been working with the Jedi ever since.
His connection to the Jedi is probably the most compelling evidence to suggest that this character is actually Rex. Season 2 is already rumored to introduce more characters from Star Wars’ various animated shows including Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano, who served as Rex’s commanding Jedi officer during the Clone Wars. These connections could make Rex the perfect character to help introduce these important figures to Mando.
However, there are a few problems to address as well. For one thing, clones have advanced aging and the character at the end of episode 1 doesn’t appear to be quite as old as Rex would be. More importantly, Rex was actually involved in the rebellion and fought as a commander in the Battle of Endor, which suggests that he might have a higher place in the rebellion and wouldn’t have time to follow Din around Tatooine.
Is the character a clone of Boba Fett?
If for just a moment you’ll allow us another theory related to Boba Fett that’s significantly more out there: What if Boba Fett really did die in the sarlacc pit, or somewhere else, and this is ... yet another clone, produced in the aftermath of the prequel trilogy timeline.
The Mandalorian has played with the idea of cloning before, and it’s one of the dominant theories for what The Client wanted to do with baby Yoda. Maybe this clone is following Mando because he wants his previous clone’s armor back.
As a bit of extra-textual evidence, Temuera Morrison is 59 years old and Boba Fett should only be somewhere around 40 — although spending time in the sarlacc pit probably adds a year or two.
Far-fetched? I don’t know, did you see The Rise of Skywalker?
For now, the smart money is probably that the person watching Mando ride through the desert with Boba Fett’s armor on his speeder is ... Boba Fett. But, there are still plenty of other possibilities, and we likely won’t get our answer for another week or two. Which is great: The Mandalorian is back, and with a new mystery in tow.