The Mandalorian's Robot Bounty Hunter Is Not the Droid You're Looking For

An IG-86 Sentinel Droid, as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Also not the droid you’re looking for!
Image: Lucasfilm

Late last year, Jon Favreau set about breaking the minds of Star Wars fans by Instagramming a simple photo from the set of The Mandalorian that seemingly hinted at the return of a minor, but beloved Empire Strikes Back villain. But alas, it turns out that isn’t actually going to be the case.

Many (including us!) had assumed that Favreau’s shot of a tall, lanky IG-Assassin Droid had meant that IG-88—one of the iconic bounty hunters seen aboard the Executor alongside Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back—would be returning for the Disney+ series. Fires were stoked even further when Favreau shared a more recent behind-the-scenes photo of director Taika Waititi (who will direct at the least one of the eight episodes in the show’s first season) recording voice-over dialogue for the the droid, thinking that IG-88 could be getting a pretty killer set of pipes for his appearance.

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But with The Mandalorian’s debut at Star Wars Celebration yesterday, we’ve got clarification that, well, this isn’t actually the droid we’re looking for. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly after yesterday’s panel, Jon Favreau confirmed that the droid he teased is an IG-Droid, but it’s not IG-88—it’s IG-11. In the fiction of the galaxy far, far away, the IGs are designed by Holowan Laboratories, a line of security, assassination, and enforcement droids that covered everything from the Magnaguards seen in Revenge of the Sith to the enforcement droids seen in Star Wars Rebels. IG-88 (specifically IG-88B), alongside four other identical assassin droids in his product line, gained sentience and went rogue, killing his creators and deciding to roam the galaxy as a terrifying mercenary. Pleasant chap!

Given the footage shown on Sunday included IG-11 spinning around like crazy and killing a bunch of Stormtroopers, it likely shares some violent tendencies with its cousins in the 88 line. But we at least know it’s not the same droid who was offered the chance to hunt down the Millennium Falcon aboard Darth Vader’s flagship all those years ago.

The Mandalorian is set to premiere in the US on November 12, exclusively as part of the launch programming for Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+.

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!