A ‘Rebels’ Favorite Makes an Unexpected Comeback and John Boyega Says He’s Still a Massive Fan Despite Everything
Photo via David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage
It looks like The Mandalorian is on a mission to bring the Beskar-wearing, helmeted warriors back to the top of the Star Wars pile. Today’s episode saw Din Djarin’s covert rocket to the rescue of the people of Nevarro, with their successful mission earning them a tract of land to call home. Beyond that, the Armorer has seen the potential in Bo-Katan, instructing her to unite the divided Mandalorian groups with the aim of retaking Mandalore.
But there’s a Beskar-shaped fly in the ointment, as it certainly appears that at least some Mandalorians may have been complicit in Moff Gideon’s jailbreak. But maybe there’s more to this situation than there first appears…
Whatever the case, the episode also provided us with the surprise return of a Star Wars Rebels character many thought we’d never see again, and fans are loving it.
Zeb’s back, but is he destined for bigger things to come?
Of all the characters we thought we might see in The Mandalorian, Garazeb Orrelious (aka Zeb) was at the bottom of the list. This Lasat rebel played a major role in the CG animated show Star Wars Rebels, where he manned the Ghost and tangled with Grand Admiral Thrawn, Darth Maul, and Darth Vader.
His status after Rebels wrapped up was murky, but it seems he survived the original trilogy and is now a member of the X-Wing squadron on Adelphi. What little we saw of him indicates his personality is intact, and we’re quietly hopeful this is a tease that he’ll return once more in Ahsoka.
That upcoming show is beginning to look like a full-on Rebels revival, with Ahsoka Tano center stage, supported by Hera Syndulla, Ezra Bridger, and squaring off against Grand Admiral Thrawn. After seeing the care and attention put into his character model, we don’t think this will be a one-off appearance, so expect more Zeb when Ahsoka airs later this year.
Despite his treatment during the sequel trilogy, John Boyega remains a fan
In the wake of The Rise of Skywalker, John Boyega was free from Star Wars and able to speak his mind about his experience. He didn’t hold back, either.
“What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
That probably slammed the brakes on Finn returning in any The Rise of Skywalker sequels, but now, three years on, Boyega says none of this has affected his love of Star Wars. Speaking with Total Film, Boyega described himself as a “massive, massive fan,” confirming that he’s glued to the Disney Plus shows.
He went on to reflect on how his relationship has evolved:
“My first interaction with Star Wars was a Darth Maul figure. I’m a ’90s baby so I came during the prequels. I was like, ‘Bloody hell, man.’ I didn’t know what it was but I knew it looked cool and there were spaceships and glowsticks that could slash your wrist off. Then I went back to the old Star Wars after. OK, I’m guilty – I did say that the effects are s**t when I was younger! I didn’t know any better. Then I grew into maturity and was in love with it. I still am in love with it. I bloody love it. But it’s almost nicer not having to be in it, and not having to deal with that. It’s weird, you just go back to being a fan again and see yourself in the games.”
It’s objective fact that Disney and Lucasfilm really did sideline Finn in The Last Jedi and especially The Rise of Skywalker, with the fertile storytelling ground of a former Stormtrooper trying to liberate his brainwashed comrades almost completely unexplored. Here’s hoping that one day, Boyega and Lucasfilm can work something out.
Fans get busy theorizing what’s really going on with Moff Gideon’s jailbreak
Today’s The Mandalorian episode ended with the discovery of the Lambda-class shuttle that was supposed to transport Moff Gideon to his New Republic trial. Unknown forces had left it a spooky, floating wreck in deep space, with the hull breached and the crew dead. The only evidence of what happened was a telltale chunk of Beskar embedded in the bulkhead.
Where there’s Beskar there are Mandalorians, so the natural conclusion is that Mandalorians busted him free for unknown reasons. But fans think there’s more to this than meets the eye — and have pointed the finger in a very specific direction.
This would be an especially Thrawn-like move, both hiding his own involvement and making life more difficult for his opponents. That said, it’s possible that after seeing the New Republic rehabilitating Imperials and giving them plum jobs in the bureaucracy, some Mandos figured he’d only face true justice at their hands. Whatever the case, we’re now five episodes in and haven’t seen Moff Gideon, so we hope he arrives soon.
Our only fear is that The Mandalorian will pull the tired old routine of showing how cool Thrawn is by having him utterly dominate Moff Gideon in every way. But, however it shakes out, we just want to see Giancarlo Esposito chewing up the scenery once more.
That’s a wrap for today. We’re sure the Star Wars fandom will have a lot of theories on where the season is going after this episode, but we’re just happy to be along for the ride.