Who could imagine a simple rocket firing could mean so much? But in the season two premiere of The Mandalorian, director Jon Favreau gave knowing fans a huge smile by arming Cobb Vanth with a rocket jetpack that was deployed in a very specific way. We wrote about this in our episode recap, but wanted to explain a little more about why it’s such a fun thing.
Though it has yet to be officially confirmed, it’s more than likely the armor Vanth (played by Timothy Olyphant) wears in the latest episode of The Mandalorian is that of bounty hunter Boba Fett. After Boba Fett first appeared in an animated segment on the Star Wars Holiday Special, Kenner gave fans a chance to get an early look at Empire Strikes Back’s mysterious new villain as part of a mail-in-offer for its line of Star Wars action figures. When his first toy was revealed way back in the late ‘70s, it was advertised as coming with a jetpack complete with a launching rocket.
However, before it was released to the public, the toy was recalled for fear that kids would shoot themselves in the eye with the projectile, creating a safety hazard. The rocket-firing Fett is one of the most infamous collectible relics for Star Wars fans—today, rare early prototypes of it are some of, if not the, most valuable and sought-after Star Wars toys in the world.
So when Cobb Vanth shoots the Krayt dragon in the eye during “The Marshal,” Favreau knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s winking at that. Don’t forget, last season the show featured a vehicle called an Imperial Troop Transport—a vehicle that was made into a toy by Kenner but never seen in a movie, and eventually canonized by Star Wars Rebels and then The Mandalorian. The same now goes for Boba Fett’s rocket. The rocket was always in his jetpack in the original films, but he never fired it. But now, again, it’s canon.
But that’s not all. Think about how Vanth shoots the rocket, which he does twice in the episode. He does so by bending at his waist. Considering the rocket has a targeting system tied to the helmet, and the Star Wars universe is pretty technologically advanced, you’d imagine it could very easily shoot up and hit its target. There’s no reason for him to bend over like he’s an action figure with limited articulation. That is, unless, it’s a reference to the fact the original Star Wars toys only bent that way. Which, come on. It absolutely was:
That, along with the pearl from Knights of the Old Republic, the glimpse of Constable Zuvio, Cobb Vanth himself being from the Aftermath novels, the Krayt dragon from A New Hope, all made for an episode packed with Easter eggs. But our favorite, by far, is the rocket jetpack.
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