Season 2 of “The Mandalorian” is just over a month away and Disney launched the first trailer for the new episodes today to begin the marketing machine. So, if you go on social media, you’re going to be inundated with more Baby Yoda memes and nerd speculation. That’s just the way of “Star Wars.” And instead of going frame-by-frame and analyzing each and every Easter Egg in the trailer, how about we take a second and recognize the surprise character that showed up in the footage that was only rumored and never confirmed by Lucasfilm/Disney—the hooded figure played by WWE superstar Sasha Banks.
Judging by the trailer and the end of Season 1, the new batch of episodes of “The Mandalorian” finds our hero and “The Child” (aka Baby Yoda) on the run. Mando is desperate to find a place to deposit The Child and keep him safe. Apparently, this leads him on a collision course with the sorcerers known as the Jedi, which is when we see Banks’ mysterious character show up. Not much is revealed except when the Jedi are mentioned, she’s shown wearing a mysterious hood and cloak. And if there’s one thing we know about the Jedi, they do love flowy hoods. They’re given their cloaks after they are given a lightsaber, I believe. (I have no time to venture through Wookieepedia to clarify, so I’m just going to follow my own headcanon.)
So, who is Banks playing? Well, some educated guesses lead us to a couple of different conclusions. Obviously, she’s a Jedi. Even though Banks’ involvement in the series was never confirmed before today, it was heavily rumored around the fandom that she would appear in Season 2 and have a pretty solid part to play. But if the trailer is to be believed, she could be the person that bridges the divide between the live-action films/TV and the much-beloved animated galaxy.
The first and easiest answer is that Banks is playing a new Jedi character that survived the Order 66 protocol, which saw the destruction of the Jedi Order at the end of the Prequel Trilogy. Considering the place in the timeline that “The Mandalorian” sits, the Jedi have yet to fully come back after the events of the Prequels, with Luke just defeating Vader and going off to somehow kickstart the movement again. The Jedi are deemed enemies of the state and evil sorcerers. So, it’s clear why the Mandalorian isn’t a bit skeptical of joining forces with them and why Sasha Banks’ character appears in the shadows.
But if we really were to make an educated guess, we’d speculate that Banks is actually playing Sabine Wren, a fan-favorite character from the animated “Star Wars” universe. Without getting bogged down in the lore (head here if you have time to read a detailed bio), suffice it to say that Wren has ties to Mandalorian culture (she is actually from Mandalore), as well as the Darksaber (which showed up at the end of Season 1) and was last seen in ‘Rebels’ alongside Ahsoka Tano (a character that is heavily rumored to appear in Season 2, played by Rosario Dawson). And as an added little bit of proof, Wren’s hair is often shown to be different colors, and Banks’ hair in real-life is just as bright and colorful.
This would lead us to believe that Mando finds Wren on a distant planet, teams up with her, and is brought to Ahsoka Tano, bridging the gap between the animated series and the live-action universe. Something that ‘Mandalorian’ producer-writer-director Dave Filoni has been clearly interested in doing with the Disney+ series.
Obviously, this is “Star Wars” and we’re basing all speculation on the lore of the universe and a (very) brief clip from a trailer. So, there’s the chance that all of this is wrong and Banks’ character is of no significance. But hey, it’s fun to guess!
You can watch the trailer below: