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The Mandalorian Is Finally Paying Off Darth Vader's TESB Bounty Hunters

The Mandalorian and Darth Vader

Darth Vader's team of bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back were mostly forgotten on the big and small screens, save for Boba Fett, but now it seems that The Mandalorian is bringing back those characters - or, at least, their species. The Star Wars franchise is at a crossroads right now, with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker acting as the concluding chapter in the core Skywalker saga. But the story revolving around what happened in that saga doesn't end there.

Audiences shouldn't expect to see what comes immediately after the Skywalker story ends - in-universe, that is - but everything that came before is up for grabs, particularly the eras between trilogies. That's where The Mandalorian takes place, shortly after Return of the Jedi but long before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In addition to showing what happened to the Imperial remnants after the Empire's collapse, viewers will also partially see the rise of the First Order. But more importantly, The Mandalorian will also pay off a scene from the original trilogy.

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Related: The Mandalorian Trailer Breakdown: 22 Secrets & Story Reveals

In The Empire Strikes Back, there's a scene in which Darth Vader hires a slew of bounty hunters to track down Han Solo, including Boba Fett. It had characters who fans wanted to see more of, but they didn't reappear in live-action (except for Boba Fett) - only in Legends and perhaps in animation. But The Mandalorian seems to be bringing back their race/species, thereby paying off the scene in some way. So far, there's the titular Mandalorian (Boba Fett), IG-11 (IG-88), and a group of Trandoshans (Bossk).

Darth Vader Bounty Hunters in The Empire Strikes Back

It's worth noting that Boba Fett himself wasn't a Mandalorian, and neither was his father, Jango Fett, whom he was cloned from. Both of them wear the iconic Mandalorian armor and helmet, so they were presumed to be Mandalorians themselves. However, the Clone Wars animated series disproved that fact when Mandalore's prime minister, Almec, told Obi-Wan Kenobi that Jango Fett was merely a bounty hunter who somehow acquired the Mandalorian armor. Since Boba Fett follows Jango's lineage, he, too, isn't a Mandalorian. But despite that, Star Wars fans have typically associated Boba Fett with Mandalorians for generations, so it's safe to say that Pedro Pascal's character is an analog of Boba in the Disney+ series, at least to some extent.

As for IG-11, the droid played by Taika Waititi is merely a different version of the lancer droid series. And the Trandoshans who appeared in a recent image for The Mandalorian are giving fans a chance to see the species again in live-action - and they aren't the only aliens from the original trilogy returning on the small screen; a Twi'lek was spotted in the series' first trailer, played by Natalia Tena. So there are plenty of races from the original films to look forward to in the new show.

Next: The Mandalorian’s Carbonite Trick Risks Being Star Wars Fan Bait

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