When Lucasfilm announced that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi would be a part of Star Wars, fans immediately grew skeptical. Fast forward to now: most people consider Waititi’s Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian one of the best, if not the best episode of the season, if not the series. Likewise, there’s growing excitement for his upcoming feature film for the franchise. But it was his portrayal of the hunter-turned-nursemaid droid IG-11 that really captured us. Well, the droid is back… from a certain point of view.

In promotion of Hasbro’s Mission Fleet line of toys, the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel recently dropped a new, animated short. The seventy-one second spot features Din Djarin and Grogu trying to evade Stormtroopers. Pinned down, the Mandalorian gets some unexpected help…. From IG-11. And no, the short isn’t a rehash of the action-packed Season 1 finale. So how is the droid still alive?

IG-11 returns to Star Wars in animated Mandalorian short

IG-11; Star Wars; The Mandalorian
A memorial statue of IG-11 stands tall in the town square on Nevarro. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

The short answer is that he’s not. IG-11 sacrificed himself in the lava flats so that Din Djarin, Grogu, Cara Dune, and Greef Carga could escape. There is even a statue of him on Nevarro honoring the selfless act. So even though he appears in Star Wars in the Mandalorian short, he is not “back.” The new animated short, you see, is not considered part of canon. Rather, let’s call it what it is – a commercial. Stroll through the toy section of any Target or Walmart and you’re bound to see a slew of the Mission Fleet Star Wars toys on the shelf. One of them includes Din Djarin on a speeder bike with Grogu in tow, just like in the animated short.

IG-11; The Mandalorian; Star Wars; Hasbro
Image: Hasbro

Fans were sorely disappointed (rightfully so, IMHO) when IG-11 perished in The Mandalorian Season 1. Waititi brought the character uniquely to life. Though we won’t see him again in the show, he’ll live on in our hearts, animated or otherwise.