The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau confirms IG-88 will not be in the upcoming Disney+ series. Exploring the underbelly of the Star Wars galaxy, many fans are expecting to see a number of nefarious scoundrels and mercenaries over the course of the eight episodes. The films have only tapped into this corner of the universe, with last summer's Solo perhaps featuring the greatest number of unsavory types. Another notable example from the movies is the now-famous scene where Darth Vader hires several bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon.
That sequence included multiple characters, like Boba Fett and Bossk, that went on to become fan-favorites despite having minimal screen time. Another bounty hunter that left an impression was IG-88, who seemingly was going to be included in The Mandalorian. Not only has there been photographic evidence pointing to his potential role, a droid that looked just like IG-88 was seen in a footage reel that played during the show's panel at Celebration Chicago. However, it's now been revealed that's a completely different character.
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Speaking with EW, Favreau stated the droid on the series is simply another IG unit, dubbed IG-11. Based on another behind-the-scenes picture he shared, it would appear IG-11 will be voiced by Taika Waititi (who also directed an episode of The Mandalorian).
Favreau's made it abundantly clear The Mandalorian will feature plenty of Easter eggs and nods to the larger Star Wars franchise, but his ultimate goal here was to tell a fresh story populated by new characters for fans to follow. At the panel, he compared his approach to what he did on the original Iron Man film, explaining The Mandalorian would have something for die-hard fans, casual viewers, and people largely unfamiliar with the property. With that in mind, it makes sense for the show to go this route, rather than tapping into nostalgia for a specific background character. It also allows Favreau and the team a little more creative freedom, as they're molding an all-new character they can do anything with. Admittedly, IG-88 was already something of a blank slate, but he has appeared in other areas of canon since his big screen debut.
Dating back to the very first Star Wars film, droids have always played an integral role in the narratives. With newcomers like BB-8, K-2SO, and L3-37 following in the footsteps of R2-D2 and C-3PO, robots have left an endearing and enduring legacy that many viewers are fond of. It'll be interesting to see what IG-11's contributions are to the tradition. At the very least, he seems to have a speaking role, suggesting he could be a key supporting player on The Mandalorian. In the early going, the show's marketing campaign is spotlighting the trio of The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), ex-Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano), and bounty hunter guild head Greef (Carl Weathers), but it's only a matter of time before other members of the ensemble are showcased.
The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ November 12, 2019.