Jon Favreau created quite a discussion with a Christmas Day tweet. In case you missed it, Favreau stirred up Star Wars fans by tweeting out a photo of what appears to be IG-88. This seemingly confirms that the bounty hunter droid from The Empire Strikes Back will appear in the upcoming series The Mandalorian. But… does it, really?
I don’t think it does.
I know what you’re thinking; don’t be the dark cloud raining on our IG-88 parade. Well, I’m afraid I’m going to be that dark cloud. Upon further review of Jon Favreau’s photo, I think we can say with a high degree of certainty that the droid pictured is not IG-88 from Episode V.
Will IG-88 Appear in The Mandalorian?
As we know, The Mandalorian is set sometime around 5-7 years following the events of Return of the Jedi. We also know that the show’s main setting is the Outer Rim, where lawlessness still reigns relatively unchecked. Bounty hunters are plentiful in the Outer Rim, and sure, we’d like to see them in the show. Therefore, I suppose it could make sense for IG-88 to appear. But the IG-series assassin droid pictured in Favreau’s tweet is not who we want to think it is. Here is the tweet:
And here is a photo of IG-88 from The Empire Strikes Back:
Right away you can see many, easily noticeable differences. First and foremost, the head of Favreau’s droid is different than that of the silent and imposing assassin we saw amongst Vader’s cadre of bounty hunters. The red lights/circles are in different places, for starters. Likewise, the arms, shoulders and chest are visibly different as well.
In this day and technological age, prop designers can and have recreated things from the original trilogy down to the last, painstakingly accurate detail. Look no further than the Millennium Falcon as it appears in the sequel trilogy. When it comes to IG-88, there is no shortage of photos of the droid. For example, there’s this, full body shot from Episode V:
I suppose it’s possible that the droid made some upgrades or changes in the ten years or so between Empire and The Mandalorian, but is that really likely? Keep in mind, IG-88 was not a one-off. There was a whole series of IG-model assassin droids, and they’ve been around a long time. They even appeared in The Clone Wars.
A focus on bounty hunter culture in the show is certainly possible, especially considering the rumored Mandalorian plot. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t put my money on this being the actual IG-88. Besides, Favreau just tweeted a picture. He didn’t actually say it was IG-88 now, did he?
The Mandalorian will debut on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, sometime in late 2019.