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Star Wars fans have slowly started getting a better idea of what’s in store for The Mandalorian Season 2 thanks to casting news. For instance, two weeks it was announced that Temuera Morrison would be returning to a galaxy far, far away to play Boba Fett in the Disney+ series, and last week brought word that Justified star Timothy Olyphant has boarded the show as well. Now it’s being reported that Olyphant’s character is actually connected to Boba Fett, and this ties back to the Aftermath books.
In case you’re not familiar with the Aftermath trilogy, the books explore the immediate years after Return of the Jedi, as we see how the Rebellion wrapping up its conflict with the Empire and the changing political landscape affects various characters. One of the important players in the trilogy is Cobb Vanth, a freed slave on Tattooine who has appointed himself the sheriff of Freetown. Vanth enforces the law and protects Freetown’s citizens wearing a set of Mandalorian armor that was scavenged by Jawas near the site of Jabba the Hutt’s wrecked sail barge, right next to the Great Pit of Carkoon.
That’s right, Cobb Vanth donned Boba Fett’s armor, which was somehow separated from its original owner after the Sarlacc swallowed the bounty hunter in Return of the Jedi. Well, according to Slashfilm, Timothy Olyphant playing Cobb Vanth in The Mandalorian, with the actor reportedly having filmed scenes wearing Fett's armor. Seeing Olyphant in that Mandalorian armor is incredibly enticing, but that could mean that things will get rather dicey for Cobb since Boba Fett is re-entering the Star Wars picture.
In the Legends continuity, Boba Fett freed himself from the Sarlacc and went on to appear in many novels and comic books, but in the official continuity, his post-Return of the Jedi fate hasn’t been addressed until now. Most have naturally assumed he just died… you know, like every other person the Sarlacc swallowed up, and since the Star Wars franchise has used flashbacks, including in The Mandalorian, it’s possible that Temuera Morrison’s Boba Fett scenes might not take place in the ‘present day’ narrative.
However, the prospect of witnessing Boba Fett seizing his armor back from Cobb Vanth sounds like it could make for good times in The Mandalorian Season 2. This series marks the first time that Temuera Morrison physically portrays Boba Fett, having previously voiced the character in The Empire Strikes Back’s 2004 rerelease and various video games, as well as played Boba’s progenitor, Jango Fett, and that bounty hunter’s countless clones in the Prequel Trilogy.
Since it was previously reported that Boba Fett’s role in The Mandalorian Season 2 will be small, presumably that’ll be the same for Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth, meaning we might only see him for one episode, akin to appearances from actors like Amy Sedaris and Bill Burr in Season 1. Still, I imagine Aftermath readers have their fingers crossed that for however long Cobb Vanth is around, more of his backstory will be hashed out.
Then there’s the question of if Cobb Vanth might have actually been the individual who was seen approach the body of Ming-Na Wen’s character, Fennec Shand, at the end of The Mandalorian Season 1 episode “The Gunslinger.” Following the Boba Fett report, it was alleged that he was the figure who’s walked into frame, but since Cobb Vanth is wearing Fett’s armor, it easily could have been him too. We shall see.
In addition to Timothy Olyphant and Temuera Morrison, The Mandalorian Season 2 will also see Rosario Dawson playing Ahsoka Tano and Katee Sackhoff reprising Bo-Katan Kryze, as well as The Terminator’s Michael Biehn playing a yet-to-be-identified bounty hunter. Season 2 will also see Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon, the show’s main antagonist, being more prominent, with viewers last seeing him breaking free from his crashed TIE Fighter with the Darksaber in hand.