Star Wars toys remain one of the venerable franchise’s most reliable metrics when it comes to assessing the enduring sustainability of its films and television shows, and also accurately identifies which characters continue to capture the imaginations of fans young and old alike. However, the miniaturized medium is occasionally used as a tribute to some of the franchise’s esteemed behind-the-scenes personnel. In fact, Hasbro has just revealed that the latest recipient of this honor is none other than The Mandalorian’s Dave Filoni.
Among Hasbro’s reveals for its heralded PulseCon 2021 toy event was a Star Wars The Black Series 6” scale action figure for The Mandalorian‘s New Republic pilot, Trapper Wolf. To the layperson, the figure would appear to be just a generic representation of a body-mold-recycled Rebel pilot, which begs the question as to why it’s getting the deluxe treatment, sold for $29.99, which is well above the line’s current standard SKU price of $22.99. Of course, the answer lies in the fact that the Trapper figure is a limited release specifically aimed at collectors, a group who know that the character represents the memorable onscreen cameo(s) of the celebrated Star Wars visionary. Minus the missing sartorial choice of a cowboy hat, the figure’s un-helmeted head bears an uncanny resemblance to the famed producer.
Hasbro’s official box copy for the—Filoni-cloning—Trapper Wolf figure describes the character by stating, “A veteran of the Rebellion against the Empire, Trapper Wolf now serves as a pilot in the New Republic. He flies his X-wing as part of a squadron that patrols the outer reaches of the galaxy.” Yet, inside-baseball-privy Star Wars fans know Filoni as the executive producer and driving force behind popular animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, who subsequently teamed with creator Jon Favreau to conceive The Mandalorian in all its live-action glory, and will work on upcoming live-action spinoff shows such as The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka. Indeed, like Favreau, he has been catapulted to a legendary status upon the success of the Disney+ series, something that facilitated this minor onscreen role, which has even managed to become a recurring one.
Filoni first played Trapper Wolf in The Mandalorian Season 1, Episode 6, “The Prisoner,” and returned in Season 2, Episode 2, “The Passenger.” Yet, unlike other instances of these cameo-type parts, Filoni’s onscreen presence, while brief, helped drive the plot and even came with speaking lines. In the former episode, he was seen piloting one of the New Republic X-wings that intercepted the Bothan-Five correctional transport—on which Din Djarin’s prison caper group project went sideways due to betrayal. However, in the latter episode, Trapper was initially positioned as an antagonist, pursuing Din’s Razor Crest on planet Maldo Kreis, after which he returned to rescue the embattled bounty hunter from a siege of ice spiders. It was a memorable role that saw the producer directly interact with the stoic, helmeted protagonist, and even held him at gunpoint (as the figure effectively represents) after the ice spider incident before deciding that Din’s good deeds justified letting him off with a warning about his pesky non-emitting transponder.
Filoni’s onscreen role plays into a tradition for the franchise’s creative minds previously fulfilled—to varied degrees—by such luminaries as creator George Lucas (as Revenge of the Sith theater patron Baron Papanoida), key concept artist Ralph McQuarrie (as Rebel General McQuarrie in The Empire Strikes Back), Original Trilogy threequel director Richard Marquand (as an AT-ST driver in Return of the Jedi), on-set artist Joe Johnston (as the “spacetrooper” seen walking outside the Death Star in A New Hope, whose face is shown in a famous behind-the-scenes photo), original Boba Fett portrayer Jeremy Bulloch (as Jeremoch Colton, pilot of Bail Organa’s ship in Revenge of the Sith), and even Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best (as nightclub patron Achk Med-Beq in Attack of the Clones) et al.
By no coincidence, all of the mentioned walk-on roles have similarly received action figure treatments by Hasbro across the various iterations of the Star Wars toy line at some point. In fact, Lucas received the plastic tribute in 3 ¾” scale on multiple occasions, first in 2002 as a Rebel pilot with a play on his name, called “Jorg Sacul,” then as a 2006 mail-away stormtrooper figure that bore his face underneath the removable white dome. Most notably, he received a figure as the blue-skinned Baron Papanoida, which was part of a 2006 4-pack released as the “Lucas Collector’s Set,” which also included representations of his children’s onscreen cameos in Revenge of the Sith, with son Jett Lucas as (doomed) Jedi youngling Zett Jukasa, daughter Amanda Lucas as senator Terr Taneel, and daughter Katie Lucas as Twi’lek senator Chi Eekway.
Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the saga of Dave Filoni’s Trapper Wolf is destined to expand beyond the scope of a few (maybe more) appearances across Disney’s new, small-screen-expanded Star Wars continuity. However, if nothing else, the prolific producer and de facto fulcrum of the entire franchise can always hang one of his signature Stetsons on the proverbial hat rack of action figure immortality.