If you haven't seen the latest episode of The Mandalorian, reading this might spoil a couple things for you. Proceed with caution.
There's a lot for hardcore Star Wars fans to love in The Mandalorian. All the callbacks to the original series. All the Easter eggs pointing toward the books and storylines that fill the gaps between the nine movies. (And, yes, even Rogue One and Solo.) All the teasers of things to come.
But as Chapter 11 (that's Episode 3 of Season 2) reminds us, some of the real fun in The Mandalorian doesn't come from Pedro Pascal's strong-but-slient type. It comes in the form of cameos.
The season opener was strong with the arrival (and, I assume, the departure) of Cobb Vanth, played by Timothy Olyphant. That character was very much in the same vein in which we've seen Olyphant in recent years, first as Seth Bullock in Deadwood, then as Raylan Givens in Justified.
And there's more fun to be had this week in "The Heiress." I'm not deeply immersed in the Star Wars lore — check out our full review of the episode for more on that. But you can't help but smile more than a little at the sight of Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan, who previously voiced the character in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Sackhoff is the quintessential space pirate. It's been almost two decades since she resurrected (in more ways than one) the character of Starbuck as Kara Thrace in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. She was a space-based badass in Riddick. There's also the less memorable 2036 Origin Unknown and Another Life on Netflix. (The latter of which just started filming Season 2.)
Red hair and all, she's great.
But there's another appearance of note this week, too.
Titus Welliver has been "that guy!" in movies and series for the past 30 years. From Matlock (yes, really) and The Commish to the Man in Black on Lost, a cop in The Town, an Irish gangster in Sons of Anarchy, and most recently in Showtime's Bosch.
He shows up this week in The Mandalorian as a stoic Imperial captain trying to get guns off the planet. That's not going to go well when Mando & Co. decide to put a stop to that.
Presumably this is another one-off appearance. It's doubtful a no-named ship captain — who did his darnedest to make sure the character can't show up again — will be a recurring character somehow. And on one hand that's a shame, because Welliver is great in whatever he's in. (And the character's dialog was way less painful than what we've gotten from Amy Sedaris.)
On the other hand? It just makes space for more fun cameos in the future.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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