For many out there in the entertainment industry, landing a job on a project as cushy as a Star Wars film or TV show is peak awesomeness. That was almost definitely the case for Mercedes Varnado, better known to WWE fans everywhere as Sasha Banks. The pro wrestler finally made her big debut on Disney+'s The Mandalorian in "The Heiress," which introduced both Varnado's Mandalorian enforcer Koska Reeves and the live-action version of Katee Sackhoff's Clone Wars heroine Bo-Katan, and guess what? Varnado doesn't sound like she's ready to be finished with the badass Star Wars role.
Hot off of her high-profile victory over opponent Azuka at WWE Survivor Series 2020 (as Sasha Banks, of course), Mercedes Varnado spoke with CinemaBlend about making her steeped-in-mystery Mandalorian debut. Considering we still don't know if we're going to see Koska and Bo-Katan again in Season 2 – not to mention third banana Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) – I asked if she would be interested in sticking with the role if Koska would ever appear in the animated Star Wars universe. To say that she was agreeable would be to vastly understate things. Here's how Varnado put it:
It's almost 100% certain that storytelling mastermind Dave Filoni, who also serves as a writer and executive producer on The Mandalorian, would be the creative mind behind whatever future Star Wars animated series would theoretically bring Mercedes Varnado's Koska Reeves back into the fold. Filoni was a big reason why both The Clone Wars and Rebels went from youth-oriented fare to must-watch canon, and Varnado was very thankful for the endless guidance and information that he provided where Koska was concerned. So it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for it to happen.
It doesn't hurt that the Star Wars universe is already set to continue expanding in 2021 with the upcoming animated series The Bad Batch, which will be set in a timeline between the events of Clone Wars and Rebels. Interestingly enough, the most recent grain-of-salt Bad Batch rumor (from Cinelinx) says that Bo-Katan will make her animated return in the series, though without surety over whether Katee Sackhoff would be reprising the role.
While none of that is confirmed, obviously, that rumor does set up the best situation for Mercedes Varnado's Koska Reeves to take on her own animated debut in the near future. I can't imagine Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau created such a badass quasi-sidekick for Bo-Katan only to use her once. Plus, it's likely that at least some voice work has already been recorded for The Bad Batch, so Vernado might already be on that show without anyone realizing it. Or she might just be holding out hope for whatever the next animated project is. Either way, she's still a WWE champ.
Ideally, we'll get to see Mercedes Vernado return as Koska Reeves so she can go into Sasha Banks-mode by whooping up on some of Moff Gideon's mysteriously dark troopers. (Or all of them, single-handedly, because why not?) It likely all depends on what will happen when Mando finally meets up with Ahsoka Tano and figures out what to do next with Baby Yoda. Mando might need someone like Koska to tag along with if The Child goes away for a while.
New episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2 hit Disney+ (opens in new tab) bright and early every Friday at 3:01 a.m. ET. While waiting to see what comes next, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule and our 2021 Winter and Spring TV guide.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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