So close, yet so far! That’s how Star Wars fans are feeling after the Season 3 debut of The Mandalorian which tantalized fans before letting them down. Chapter 17 of the series brought a new kind of trouble into Din Djarin’s path in the form of pirates. For longtime fans of Star Wars, especially those of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, the appearance of the pirates most likely brought to mind the premiere pirate in the galaxy, Hondo Ohnaka. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, at any point during the tense standoff between Greef Karga, Mando and the band of thirsty pirates, Hondo was going to walk around the corner and help cooler heads prevail. Alas, the old Weequay outlaw was nowhere to be found, but that certainly doesn’t mean he won’t make an appearance sooner or later.
Theories about a potential live-action debut for Hondo aren’t anything new. In fact, they date back well over two years when it was revealed that Season 3 of The Mandalorian was filming under the working title “Buccaneer.” The Mandalorian co-creator Dave Filoni created Hondo for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and has never been shy about his love for the pirate; as he and Jon Favreau continue to find ways to bring fan (and creator) favorite characters into their expanding live-action universe it would be shocking if Hondo didn’t eventually make the jump and the events of the episode of The Mandalorian, The Apostate, seem to hint at that possibility becoming very real very soon.
Though it jumped around a bit, The Apostate was primarily set on the Outer Rim planet of Nevarro. The Outer Rim Territories have always been a wild place full of pirates, slavers and outlaws of all sorts, so it’s unsurprising that the gang of pirates, run by newcomer to the franchise Gorian Shard, found their way into the episode. Though Din Djarin made short work of Vane and the rest of Shard’s nameless gang, he certainly left a score to settle with the pirate king when he escaped after briefly squaring off. Past seasons of The Mandalorian have given enough reason to presume that Shard will come back into play at some point in Season 3, most likely at a very inopportune time for Din Djarin and Grogu, and when he does it might just open the door for another chapter in the legend of Hondo to be written.
Presumably, no pirate roams the Outer Rim Territories without having a shared history with its most famous–at least in his own mind–outlaw. Hondo is known to be alive and well during this New Republic era and while he turned in his pirate hat to help the Rebellion during the rise of the Empire, it’s possible he’s found his way back to his favorite past time. Hondo’s appearances in Filoni’s stories have almost always served the same purpose: to bail the good guys out of a jam and with Shard on the hunt for Mando, an appearance by Hondo to help out a new hero seems all but a sure thing. Oh, the stories he could tell…so many of them true!