The notorious bounty hunter IG-88, of The Empire Strikes Back and Shadows of the Empire fame, seems to be doing some work in Disney’s Star Wars spin-off streaming show, The Mandalorian–and he’ll have a Marvel Cinematic Universe alumnus providing his voice.
Showrunner Jon Favreau shared a photo on his Instagram feed of Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi in a voice recording booth, apparently working on The Mandalorian. The screen Waititi is facing in the photo shows a beloved bounty hunter: the spooky droid IG-88. From the context of the photo, it looks like Waititi is providing IG-88’s voice.
IG-88 first showed up in The Empire Strikes Back on Darth Vader’s star destroyer. The droid was among the many bounty hunters Vader dispatched to find the Millennium Falcon, of which Boba Fett wound up being successful. (It’s worth noting also that Boba Fett was a Mandalorian, which were a group of famed warriors in the Star Wars lore.) IG-88 and the other hunters never showed up in the movies again, but they had backstories fleshed out in novels, comics, and video games in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. IG-88 even showed up as a villain in the 1996 video game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire on N64 and PC.
With Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, the old Expanded Universe stories became non-canon. But it looks like IG-88 lives on beyond his turn in the original Star Wars trilogy. The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) and follows a lone gunfighter beyond the reaches of the Republic in the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, so IG-88 apparently survived at least that long.
Waititi is among the directors slated to take on episodes of The Mandalorian. This isn’t the first time he’s lent his voice to a character in a project he was also directing–Waititi voiced Korg, an alien composed of rocks, in Ragnarok, and damn near stole the movie. Hopefully that means IG-88 will carry some dark humor to go with his murderous ways.
The Mandalorian is set to appear on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, sometime in 2019.