Feeling confused about that headline above? Well, now you know how I felt following the debut of The Mandalorian late last year. Prior to the live-action TV series’ premiere on Disney+, speculation was rife as to the actual identity of star Pedro Pascal’s titular armour-wearing bounty hunter. And I felt like I was taking crazy pills because clearly it had to be Cobb Vanth, a character introduced in Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath novels who wore Boba Fett’s old Mandalorian armour. All the details lined up perfectly and yet nobody was mentioning him. And then the first season of the show actually dropped… and Pascal was totally not playing Cobb Vanth. Instead, his Mandalorian was a totally new character named Din Djarin. But it would appear that my initial intuition was not completely wrong though.
THR broke the news this weekend past that Timothy Olyphant had joined the cast of The Mandalorian for the upcoming second season in a secret role. A secret that has now slipped out as /Film‘s sources have confirmed that Olyphant was spotted filming scenes on set wearing none other than Boba Fett’s iconic armour. Sound familiar? Yes, it seems that the fan-favourite Justified and Deadwood star is actually playing Cobb Vanth.
We know very little about Vanth, who was a very minor character in the Aftermath novels, introduced in a small handful of interludes scattered throughout the books. It would appear that he was a slave (signified by markings on his back) at some point in his life, but when we first meet him he has tracked down a group of Jawas on Tattooine. The diminutive scavengers had raided the remains of Jabba the Hutt’s barge where Boba Fett had met his fate at the hands of Luke Skywalker and co and ended up in the gaping maw of the Sarlacc. Somehow the Jawas had retrieved Fett’s armour, which Vanth bought off them. Wearing the iconic suit of beskar steel, Vanth would set himself up as a local lawman of sorts on Freetown, a small settlement on the desert planet, trying to quell the unrest that had sprung up after the fall of Jabba’s criminal empire.
In the fourth episode of the first season of The Mandalorian, after Pascal’s Djarin engages in an almost-botched bounty hunting mission on Tattooine that leaves a few dead bodies in the desert, the episode ends with somebody approaching the corpse of the assassin Fennec Shand. All we can see and hear are the spurred boots of this character… the very same spurred boots once worn by Boba Fett and which was supposedly now in the possession of Cobb Vanth. Except, once again, people didn’t seem to be talking about him and assumed that this meant Fett was somehow back from the dead.
That story gained massive traction earlier this month when a report claimed that Temuera Morrison had joined the cast of The Mandalorian and would be playing Boba Fett. Since Morrison had played Jango Fett in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, having him play Boba – the cloned “son” of Jango – made perfect sense. But there was a second report that claimed that Morrison could also be playing Commander Rex, a popular clone trooper – who also bears Jango’s face – from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated shows. Could this second report actually be the correct one and the claim of Morrison somehow reviving Boba Fett (who should be well-digested in a Sarlacc stomach at this point in the timeline) was actually just a conflation of him joining the cast and Olyphant wearing Fett’s armour as Cobb Vanth?
Only time and a snazzy trailer will tell.
Last Updated: May 20, 2020