This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
If you were wondering whether The Mandalorian season 3 would deliver the same number of cameos as past seasons, it’s safe to say that “Guns for Hire” has more than answered your question. The episode, which takes Din, Grogu, and Bo-Katan to the planet of Plazir-15 on a search for Mandalorians, is absolutely full of guest appearances that will take fans by surprise. There are three particularly shocking ones.
But this episode isn’t just about cameos. There are also plenty of easter eggs and references to other Star Wars stories sprinkled throughout “Guns for Hire.” Here are the ones we found…
Lizzo as The Duchess
Melissa Viviane Jefferson, better known as the talented singer-songwriter and rapper Lizzo, makes her Star Wars debut in this episode as The Duchess of Plazir-15. Lizzo is of course one of the most popular artists performing today, with several very successful studio albums and singles to her name. While we’re still in the early stages of her professional acting career, Lizzo has also appeared in movies and other TV series, most memorably in 2019’s big-screen hit Hustlers.
Jack Black as Captain Bombardier
Comedian, actor, and musician Jack Black is having a big week both on the big and small screens. Not only does he voice Bowser in the new Super Mario Bros. Movie but now he’s also a part of Star Wars history. He cameos in this episode of The Mandalorian as Captain Bombardier (hilariously bad name), an ex-Imperial who’s been rehabilitated through the New Republic Amnesty Program and become the Duchess’ husband in the process. A former facilities planning officer for the Empire, Bombardier oversaw the rebuilding of Plazir-15 into the opulent and prosperous society Din, Bo-Katan, and Grogu encounter in the episode.
Christopher Lloyd as Commissioner Helgait
Yes, that’s Doc Brown from Back to the Future! Christopher Lloyd cameos as Commissioner Helgait, the security officer in charge of keeping Plazir-15 safe. Of course, we learn this former Separatist is still mad about the Clone Wars and has hatched a plot to spark a battle droid uprising against the city. He gets caught in the end, but hopefully this isn’t the last time we get to see Lloyd in the galaxy far, far away.
Simon Kassianides as Axe Woves and Mercedes Varnado as Koska Reeves
Bo-Katan’s former Nite Owl partners in crime from season 2 are back, this time wandering the galaxy as mercenaries on an Imperial Star Cruiser that formerly belonged to Moff Gideon. We learn that Simon Kassianides’ Axe Woves has become the new leader of the Mandalorian clan that used to follow Bo-Katan and has basically reverted them back to bounty hunters willing to work for the highest bidder. But when Bo beats Axe in a duel and recovers the Darksaber from Din, it seems that all the other Mandalorians, including Mercedes Varnado’s Koska Reeves, are ready to fall in line and take back Mandalore.
Christine Adams as Captain Shuggoth and Harry Holland as the Mon Calamari Viceroy’s Son
British actor Christine Adams, best known for her role as Lynn Pierce on The CW superhero drama Black Lightning, plays a Quarren named Captain Shuggoth, who has fallen in love with the Mon Calamari Viceroy’s son played by Harry Holland, Tom Holland’s younger brother. Since the Quarren and the Mon Calamari fought each other in the Clone Wars for control of their shared home planet of Mon Cala, this interspecies romance is forbidden and doomed to fail from the start. Still, Shuggoth and her beau share one last sweet moment before the Viceroy’s son is taken away by Mandalorians.
One other fun detail: the name “Shuggoth” is very likely a nod to Shoggoth, one of the many squid-like monstrosities that haunt H.P. Lovecraft‘s Cthulhu Mythos.
Seth Gabel as Bartender Droid
Bryce Dallas Howard directed this episode, so it only makes sense that her husband Seth Gabel would get a cameo as the Bartender Droid who just wants to save his kind from being decommissioned by the New Republic. While Gabel has appeared in lots of stuff, you probably know him best from the TV series Fringe and Salem.
Matthew Wood as Droid Foreman
Lucasfilm sound editor Matthew Wood makes a brief cameo as the Droid Foreman trying to protect his battle droid assembly line from Din and Bo-Katan. Wood is of course one of the talented leads at Skywalker Sound, but you may know him best as the voice of General Grievous in Revenge of the Sith as well as for playing Bib Fortuna in The Phantom Menace, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett.
Plazir-15, Karthon, and Paraqaat
– We learn Plazir-15 suffered greatly during the Imperial era, but now it’s thriving thanks to the New Republic taking over. It’s citizens don’t even need to work anymore now that reprogrammed Clone Wars-era battle droids are here to do all the heavy lifting. The people of Plazir-15 can now just sit back, relax, and have a little sip-sip with the Duchess and Captain Bombardier. This is the planet’s first appearance in Star Wars.
– Karthon is mentioned in the episode. The Mandalorian fans will recall that Karthon is the moon on which Migs Mayfield (Bill Burr) was imprisoned until Din and Cara Dune recruited him for a dangerous mission in season 2 episode “The Believer.”
– Helgait is sentenced to exile on the moon of Paraqaat by the Duchess. It’s the first time this location has been mentioned in Star Wars.
The Separatists, Techno Union, and Count Dooku
The episode brings back lots of Clone Wars lore!
The Separatists, officially known as the Confederacy of Independent Systems, was an alliance of planets that broke away from the Galactic Republic in the Prequel Trilogy. This led to the Clone Wars. The faction was led by the late, great Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku, a former Jedi Knight turned Sith Lord and revolutionary. One of the members of the Confederacy was the powerful commerce guild known as the Techno Union, which boasted its own fleet and droid army.
Frog People, Ugnaughts, and Sullustans
The Mandalorian season 3 has been a true delight for fans of Star Wars alien races. This season has featured all the classics from the Original Trilogy as well as quite a few species introduced in the Prequels and Sequels.
– This week, we have to shout out the Frog People (this species doesnt have an official name yet) sitting at the Duchess’ dinner table on Plazir-15. We first encountered this race in season 2 when Din was tasked with escorting our beloved Frog Lady to the water moon of Trask.
– Also featured prominently in the episode are Ugnaughts. The galaxy’s most famous Ugnaught is undoubtedly Kuiil, the vapor famer and handyman who helped Din on his quest in season 1. We really miss him. This race was first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, working in the depths of Cloud City.
– We also get a look at some Sullustans, which were first introduced in Return of the Jedi through the brave Nien Nunb, Lando Calrissian’s Rebel co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor.
Battle Droids, the Droid Bar, Nepenthe, and Spark Pads
– We get both B1 and B2 battle droids in the episode. You’ll certainly recognize these models from the Prequel Trilogy. Not only did B1s execute the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo in The Phantom Menace but they were also the primary infantry unit used by the Separatists during the Clone Wars. The more powerful B2s, colloquially named “Super Battle Droids” by some, first appeared in Attack of the Clones.
– The droid-only bar seems to be a nod to the Mos Eisley Cantina, which refused to serve droids in A New Hope. Of course, things have changed five years after Return of the Jedi. We learned in earlier seasons of The Mandalorian that that cantina now features a droid bartender, too. Progress.
– “Guns of Hire” throw out a few new terms at us: Nepenthe, a droid lubricant that prevents wear on mechanical parts, and Spark Pads, which seem to be some kind of command module for droids. Both are new details introduced in this episode.
Quacta and Stifling
The episode makes reference to the Quacta and the Stifling, two creatures that have been mentioned a few times on The Mandalorian. They’re described as “slimy entities” on Wookieepedia.
Ancient Order of Independent Regencies
At the end of the episode, Grogu is knighted into the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies by the Duchess. Whatever that means. It’s the first time this order has been mentioned in Star Wars.