With the second season of The Mandalorian on the way, speculation about who will be featured is running wild across social media and the internet in general.
The appearance of WWE Superstar Sasha Banks in the first trailer only threw gasoline on an already out of control fire. But if her rumored role in the next season of The Mandalorian turns out to be correct, it could signal the return of another massive Star Wars character, Ezra Bridger.
The first season of The Mandalorian dropped on Disney+ in 2019, almost immediately receiving acclaim from fans and critics alike. The story of a lone Mandalorian who remained unnamed until the final episode captured the imagination of viewers. The incredibly adorable character known as The Child didn’t hurt, either.
The Mandalorian is set after the events of Return of the Jedi, when the Empire has fallen. The galaxy is still in disarray when Din Djarin, aka Mando, finds The Child, an infant of the same race as Yoda, and chooses to protect him.
Season 2 will continue that mission as Mando tries to reunite The Child with his people. In this case, Mando is searching for the Jedi who are still around and can take care of one of their own. This will inevitably lead him to cross paths with Ahsoka Tano, who has already been confirmed for this season.
Then, the first trailer dropped which featured an unexpected appearance from Sasha Banks, a multi-time Women’s Champion from the WWE. Her role has not been announced as this point but several fans thought she was Ahsoka. That rumor was squelched almost immediately as Rosario Dawson was confirmed for that role months ago.
The current belief is that Banks is playing Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian character from the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. She and Ahsoka were last seen at the end of the series, taking off after the Battler of Endor to search for their missing friend, Ezra Bridger.
For those who haven’t watched Rebels, which you really should, Ezra was a young Jedi encountered by a Rebel cell that included Sabine. Ahsoka was their contact inside the Rebellion, though they didn’t know it until the end of season 1. In the final episode of Rebels, Ezra sacrificed himself to take Grand Admiral Thrawn off the battlefield.
The key here is that neither Thrawn nor Ezra died in the incident. Ezra simply disappeared with Thrawn and his Star Destroyer into hyperspace with the help of the Purrgil, a race of space whales/squids. It makes sense when you watch the series. The point is that neither character died on-screen, meaning that one or both of them could have survived.
If Sabine and Ahsoka are both in The Mandalorian season 2, the search for Ezra Bridger may factor into it. More than that, the new season could serve as a backdoor pilot for another Disney+ series focusing on Sabine and Ahsoka searching for their missing friend.
It’s an especially intriguing theory because it could also lead to the first live action appearance of Grand Admiral Thrawn. A fan favorite villain from the pre-Disney Expanded Universe, Thrawn returned to Star Wars canon in Rebels. He could prove to be an interesting villain for a series featuring Sabine, Ahsoka and Ezra.
If that is what’s happening, there’s no guarantee they’ll find him alive and well. Again, Ezra was dragged into hyperspace by space whales/squids, and would have been trapped wherever he ended up with his greatest enemy. At the point that The Mandalorian season 2 picks up the plot, Bridger and Thrawn would have been stranded together for many years.
Naturally, this theory is fueled by a lot of “what ifs.” Even if Banks does turn out to be playing Sabine Wren, that doesn’t mean that she will appear on-screen with Ahsoka and that they will be on the hunt for Ezra Bridger. A completely different story could be at play.
That being said, making an affiliation between Rebels and The Mandalorian fits with the M.O. of writer, producer and director Dave Filoni. Prior to The Mandalorian, he worked on both The Clone Wars and Rebels, which is why there was so much interconnection between the two series.
Hints of a deeper connection between Rebels and The Mandalorian started dropping in the first season of the latter. Rebels focused on the Outer Rim planet of Lothal, which had several endemic species such as Loth Cats. That species appeared in The Mandalorian in the bar where Djarin met Cara Dune for the first time.
Season 2 of The Mandalorian will start on Disney+ on October 30th, with season 3 already greenlit, and the answers to these questions will start dropping. As long as the new season is as engaging and entertaining as the first one, everything else is just icing on the cake.