Jon Favreau saved Disney’s waning era star wars with The Mandalorian. The Mandalorian and its fallout Boba Fett’s Book introduced some great new takes on existing iconic characters – Luke Skywalker, a resurrected Boba Fett and the live-action debut of Cad Bane certainly didn’t disappoint – but Favreau’s best contributions to the star wars canon were his original creations.
From Din Djarin to Grogu, Favreau has populated a galaxy far, far away with a handful of beloved new icons for fans to admire and follow on their space adventures.
Voiced by Taika Waititi, IG-11 is a bounty hunter droid who effortlessly wipes out a legion of henchmen like a Terminator with 360 degree spinning abilities. In the now iconic pilot episode of The MandalorianMando first became a mainstream hero when he shot IG-11 in the head to save Grogu.
IG-11’s willingness to kill “The Child” instantly hated him among the fanbase, but he got unexpected redemption later in the season as he was reprogrammed as a droid nanny sworn to protect Grogu. (and used his Terminator gadgets for good).
9 the gunsmith
Emily Swallow recently reprized her role as Armorer to deliver an explosive plot twist – the Mandalorian’s banishment from the Mandalorian religion – on Boba Fett’s Book. As devoted as Din is to Mando beliefs, the Armorer passes him off as a heretic.
It’s a shame the Armorer cut ties with Din, as she provided him with all of his coolest gadgets and weapons (except for the Darksaber, which he acquired himself).
8 Greif Karga
When star wars fans are first introduced to Greef Karga, the leader of the bounty hunter guild, he is a quiet villain. He encourages Mando to kill and forbids him to take “The Child” under his wing. He softened his edges and became a more straightforward protagonist after Grogu Force healed his wound and melted his heart.
Carl Weathers has given a typically charming performance as Karga since his debut in The Mandalorianthe pilot episode. Karga proved likable and compelling enough to have his role in the story expanded, and Weathers has since joined the series’ directing team.
7 Fennec Shand
Favreau didn’t just bring back Boba Fett; he gave her a badass sidekick in the form of Ming-Na Wen’s mercenary Fennec Shand. After Mando left Fennec for dead, Boba patched her up with cybernetic parts – thus saving her life – so she now acts as a loyal cohort.
After a few unforgettable turns in mandalorian episodes, Fennec’s character was greatly expanded with supporting roles in The bad lot and Boba Fett’s Book.
Favreau presented star wars fans to an adorable Ugnaught in The Mandalorian. The Ugnaughts were best known as the Cloud City bullies who took down C-3PO and taunted Chewie with the pieces in The Empire Strikes Back before Kuiil appeared in The Mandalorian.
Renowned for his signature catchphrase, “I’ve spoken,” Kuiil is a delightfully gruff, hilarious, and ultimately sweet friend to Mando voiced by Nick Nolte.
5 Moff Gideon
After his tour of Gus Fring in breaking Bad (and later in the prequel You better call Saul), Giancarlo Esposito quickly became one of the essential actors of television. In the years that followed, he played Stan Edgar in The boys and, of course, Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian.
An imperial bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur, Moff Gideon has already become a classic star wars scoundrel. Esposito brought the moff to life with the perfect blend of dramatic undertones and muscular theatrics.
Introduced in the Season 1 episode “Chapter 4: Sanctuary,” Cara Dune, Gina Carano’s rebel shock trooper turned mercenary, is one of the most badass characters in The Mandalorian.
Cara joins Mando for some sort of Seven Samurai alliance (minus five of the samurai) as they defend a village against an attack by bandits. From then on, Cara was one of Mando’s most trusted allies. Whenever he was in trouble, he could ask her for help.
3 Migs Mayfeld
In the first season of The Mandalorian, the character of Bill Burr – former Imperial Migs sniper Mayfeld – was cast as a standard wisecracking anti-hero, breaking Mando’s chops and ultimately betraying him. But in season two, Favreau, Burr, and director Rick Famuyiwa gave the character a lot more depth. Mando teams up with Mayfeld to infiltrate an Imperial refinery and find Grogu’s location.
Season 2 explored Mayfeld’s history with the Empire and the PTSD he lives with. In this episode, Mayfeld emerged as one of the The Mandalorianthe most interesting supporting actors (and Burr has become a compelling dramatic actor). Hopefully fans haven’t seen the last of this character.
Favreau might as well have invented a machine to print money when the stroke of genius came to him to introduce a baby like Yoda into a lone wolf and cub scenario. Commonly referred to as “Baby Yoda”, Grogu became a global sensation overnight.
Disney managed to hide “The Child” in all of the show’s marketing, preserving the surprise. The Mandalorian was already a must-see show for star wars fans, but the relentless adorableness of “Baby Yoda” drew in viewers who had never seen a star wars movie in their life.
1 The Mandalorian
Grogu might be the global cultural phenomenon that brought millions of viewers around the world to The Mandalorian, but they remained for Mando himself. With the icy spaghetti western coolness of Boba Fett and the brave heroic spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian is the ultimate star wars protagonist.
Pedro Pascal’s heartfelt performance humanized an armed bounty hunter who spends most of his time hiding behind a mask. The public will follow the adventures of Din Djarin as long as Favreau continues to write them.
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