As Jon Favreau continues to slowly pull back the curtain on his upcoming Disney+ series The Mandalorian, the famed director has shared a look at another classic droid from the franchise. Take a look at this rusted hunk of junk Favreau posted to his social media, and see what could be the most telling picture that's been shown of the series to date.
For those who don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars, that looks to be the R5-D4 astromech first seen in Star Wars: Episode IV. R5 was the droid that Luke and Uncle Owen initially bought from Jawas, but a blown motivator and some convincing by C-3PO ensured the two walked away with R2-D2 instead. Provided this is the same droid, it appears R5-D4 survived the scrap heap and the Galactic Civil War to fight another day!
R5-D4 has been a celebrity character of sorts in the expanded Star Wars universe, with a 2017 short story "The Red One" explaining it purposely malfunctioned in order to ensure R2's message reached Obi-Wan. R5 eventually escaped his Jawa captors after they fell victim to some Stormtroopers, and made his way down their Tataooine trade route in search of a way to aid the rebellion.
Full disclosure, there's some question whether or not the anthology that the story hails from, From A Certain Point Of View, is truly canon. It is an officially licensed work, but there are some goofier stories within the anthology that seem to be more satire than established Star Wars history. If "The Red One" is actual canon, it might be an explanation behind how a droid that looked "dead" in Star Wars: A New Hope is around years later.
If the story isn't canon and the droid on Jon Favreau's Instagram is still R5-D4, this may be a sign that The Mandalorian has some connection to Tatooine. Perhaps some or all of the show is set there, or there's a character that picked R5 up while in Tatooine? Just to say it, a very famous Mandalorian was digested on the planet shortly before the destruction of Jabba's Palace. Ok, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but one can never be too sure!
As mentioned though, it's also entirely possible this isn't R5-D4, but another mech that looks very similar. It's also possible the mech does make an appearance in the background of a scene in The Mandalorian, and has little to no impact on the story whatsoever.
The latter scenario is a bit less interesting, but an entirely likely scenario for a Star Wars franchise not wishing to muck up its canon too much with stories that are hard to explain. It's also worth noting that Jon Favreau didn't specifically say that the R5-D4 pic is related to The Mandalorian, if we want to be specific!
We presumably won't know what's happening with this droid until The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+, so keep an eye on CinemaBlend for potential updates no the show in the meantime and the latest news on Disney's upcoming streaming service. For a look at all new things coming to television in 2019, visit our midseason premiere guide.