Who Showed Up At The End Of The ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 Premiere?

BABY YODA.

Now that I have your attention, BABY YODA.

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DISNEY+
DISNEY+

If you are a fan of The Mandalorian but have, somehow, only seen the first Star Wars movie, you could still probably recognize most of the references in the season two premiere. Much of “Chapter 9” (the second episode in the post-The Rise of Skywalker era) is centered around characters, creatures, and throwaway lines from A New Hope, including the Tusken Raiders, Jawas and their sandcrawler, the oft-mentioned womp rats (seriously, even whiny Luke only brought them up once), Tatooine’s two suns, the Krayt dragon (skeleton only), and Timothy Olyphant’s beautiful face. Oh wait. That one’s new to Star Wars, and very appreciated. It doesn’t make up for hiding Pedro Pascal under a helmet for 99 percent of season one, but it helps. Even though so much of “Chapter 9” is dependent on A New Hope, however, you have to look to The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and the prequels to recognize the face at the end of the episode.

The Empire Strikes Back introduced us to bounty hunter Boba Fett (let’s pretend the Special Edition and Holiday Special never happened, for many reasons), who helped capture Han Solo for Darth Vader; he reappeared in Return of the Jedi at Jabba the Hutt’s palace and sail barge, but fell into a sarlacc pit and died… Unless he didn’t.

We’ll get to that, but first, let’s rewind to decades before the original trilogy. In the prequels, we learn more (arguably too much!) about Boba, including that he’s a clone raised by Jango Fett, who served as the genetic template for the Republic’s clone army. Boba watched his “dad,” the “best bounty hunter in the galaxy,” get killed by Mace Windu, which is a more honorable way to go than rolling into a sandworm’s mouth.

I have always said this.

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Put another way: dad Jango has clone son Boba; Jango die; Boba becomes bounty hunter; Boba dies (?). Got it? It’s long been part of the Extended Universe, er, Legends that Boba Fett survived his fall into the sarlaac pic, and his return was even foreshadowed during a season one episode, but now it’s canon: that’s Jango’s kid at the end of “Chapter 9,” watching Din Djarin and Baby Yoda speeding off into the sunsets. How can you tell it’s Boba? The closing credits. The guest stars include Olyphant (as Cobb Vanth, of Vanth Refrigeration, a character introduced in the book Aftermath), Amy Sedaris returning as Peli Motto, John Leguizamo as the one-eyed alien who betrays Mando, and Temura Morrison, the New Zealand actor who plays Jango and other clone troopers, including Commander Cody, in the prequels. This is the first time we’ve seen adult Boba without his armor (which the Jawas traded to Cobb for some crystals), but as he’s a clone, he would look exactly like his father. With more battle scars:

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You probably wouldn’t look so hot after a tumble with the sarlacc and at least five years living as a hermit in the Dune Sea (not that Dune, this Dune), either.

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