Breaking down The Mandalorian episode 6 cameos, from a Clone Wars vet to Dave Filoni
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian episode 6, “The Prisoner.”
The surprise cameos, Easter eggs, and expanded world-building keep coming as The Mandalorian continues its trek across the galaxy with the eponymous bounty hunter (played by Pedro Pascal) and little boo-boo Baby Yoda. As last week’s installment brought us Ming-Na Wen’s steely assassin Fennec Shand, comedienne Amy Sedaris as mechanic Peli Motto, and a mysterious pair of boots (we have thoughts!), this week’s episode, “The Prisoner,” provided an onslaught of guest stars and cameos.
If you watched the half-hour, let’s dig in, in general order of appearance.
Mayfeld and Ranzar Malk
As the title suggests, “The Prisoner” sees Mando taking on a mission from Ranzar Malk, played by Batman Begins actor Mark Boone Jr. ; he’s looking to rescue his associate from a New Republic prison transport vessel. Mando joins Ranzar’s team of bounty hunters, which includes comedian Bill Burr (F Is For Family, Daddy’s Home) as Mayfeld, a former Imperial sharpshooter. To see Nick’s cousin on New Girl as a member of the Star Wars universe is truly a milestone.
Another member of this team of shady mercs is Burg, the muscle. As a Devaronian male, he hails from the jungle planet Devaron and sports two horns on the top of his head. (Female Devorianians are hornless.) He’s also impervious to fire, as Mando later finds out.
Clancy Brown is the actor beneath this alien makeup. The actor has already been a part of the Star Wars saga, having voiced numerous roles on the animated series, including Nightbrother Savage Opress on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Ryder Azadi on Star Wars Rebels.
Mando and Xi’an have history, but they won’t kiss and tell. We just know that Xi’an, a Twi’lek, doesn’t get personal anymore when business is concerned, a lesson she learned from whenever her path last crossed with Mando.
Natalia Tena, who played Tonks in the Harry Potter movies and Osha on Game of Thrones, takes on this alien bounty hunter.
Everyone’s a comic, apparently.
We know how much Mando just looooves droids, and this team also has a droid named Zero, a.k.a. Q9-0, touting reflexes faster than organic beings. Richard Ayoade, of The Souvenir and shows like Neo Yokio, is the heart inside the droid.
Matt Lanter (Timeless) makes his live-action debut in the Star Wars universe as the lone New Republic officer on a ship full of droids. Lanter famously voiced Anakin Skywalker on all seven seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. “The Baby Yoda’s outta the bag,” the actor tweeted after the episode dropped.
As it turns out, the man Ranzar needs to extradite from this prison is Qin, Xi’an’s brother. This comes as a surprise to Mando, who’s then thrown into the cell in an act of betrayal. Ismael Cruz Cordova, an actor known for roles in Mary Queen of Scots and Ray Donovan, plays Qin.
“The Prisoner” keeps with the surprises till the very end. In the final moments, we see Mando delivering Qin back to Ranzar, and before these shady thugs can betray Mando again by blasting him out of space, they realize the bounty hunter planted the New Republic beacon on Qin. That’s when three X-wings emerge out of lightspeed and open fire on their ship as Mando and Baby Yoda make a leisurely escape.
Each of those X-wing pilots is played by a Mandalorian director. Dave Filoni, a George Lucas padawan and architect of The Mandalorian with showrunner Jon Favreau, plays Trapper Wolf. Filoni’s presence is also a good indicator of why Brown and Lanter were both in the episode, being that The Clone Wars is one of his babies.
Trapper’s two comrades are Jib Dodger (Rick Famuyiwa) and Sash Ketter (Deborah Chow). Famuyiwa directed this week’s episode and co-wrote the teleplay with Christopher Yost, while Chow directed episode 3 and is on track to showrun the upcoming Star Wars live-action series about Obi-Wan Kenobi with Ewan McGregor.
Did yousa catcha this reference?
And finally, there’s one inclusion that’s not a cameo at all, but such a fun Easter egg that we had to include. As this group of bounty hunters wonder what Mando looks like underneath his helmet, Mayfeld jokes that he could be a Gungan and follows it up with an impression of the Naboo species. All we can say is, justice for Jar Jar.