Please do not share the details of this article openly on social media and spoil Star Wars: The Mandalorian for those that want to remain spoiler-free. These are very general spoilers but let’s respect other fans’ wishes and not spoil those that do not appreciate spoilers. What follows will be considered a spoiler to some so as always, be cool! Guard your language like a Gamorrean.
If you remember back to our first ever report on Star Wars: The Mandalorian, I was being told that the production was going to be using some cutting-edge technology to bring the cost of rendering real-time visual effects down exponentially, allowing for a TV show to do things only done on film. The savings would allow for a TV budget, and to not have to wait for the shots to be fully rendered. In other words, the Mando crew knows what they’re getting in real time in a lot of ways and it would be dirt cheap in comparison.
On past episodes we had hinted that the studio space being used for The Mandalorian was extremely close to the production of Avatar 2. It isn’t uncommon to see “Huckleberry” (aka The Mandalorian) crew members eating lunch with “Coral” (aka Avatar 2) crew members. Apparently a lot of the same technology is being used between Cameron’s production and this one. This technology is being used for one of the main cast members already announced, who is playing a CGI character, and this allows for the production to make a digital mold of the actor’s face and render his work in real time for the alien creature he’s playing in the series.
The most interesting thing sources have noted is that the technology being used has been seen using Sabine Wren’s helmet from Star Wars Rebels. Is Sabine Wren in The Mandalorian? We don’t know. But apparently her helmet is. Is Gina Carano playing Sabin Wren? Right now if I had to guess I would think she could be playing the Mando clan leader we heard about and maybe she wears Sabine’s helmet or maybe that owl-shaped helmet is more common for Mando women than Star Wars Rebels let on (which I believe did show the style of Sabine’s helmet on different Mando women). I think the more conservative angle is its the same style of helmet but with Dave Filoni’s involvement and the work he’s done on the mythic Mando culture, history, and heritage, it is possible we could see her in the series.
So we can confirm the helmet is in the series. We can’t confirm the helmet belongs to Sabine. Gina Carano can kind of look like Sabine if she started working out. I believe Carano is an Italian name and I always thought Sabine’s character was Asian. So understand I don’t know if the woman clan leader in the series is Sabine and we aren’t even 100% sure that Carano is that character at this time. We just know they are rendering her helmet in real time for the series according to MSW sources.
For a time we thought maybe the helmet was simply a placeholder object but sources have seen the helmet. A “Coral” (aka Avatar 2) source visiting the set confirmed the Sabine helmet was being light checked (which we’ve seen them do with the Mando’s helmet at the set location a few times). Our connection on Avatar 2 isn’t a Star Wars fan at the level of watching the animated Star Wars stories so it was a general confirmation of the helmet’s existence in the series based off having seen products and just knowing the series existed.
So there you have it. In a surprising turn of events, while digging on who one of the actors in The Mandalorian was playing, we uncovered Sabine or at least her helmet design is in The Mandalorian thanks to James Cameron’s Avatar 2.
One Final Reminder
We don’t know if Sabine Wren is in the series. Keep your hopes tempered as there’s still elements to this story that have yet to unfold. She might be based on the design. But that conjecture is like saying Boba Fett might be in the series because his helmet is kind of in the series too. We have these disparate elements that paint a picture but offer no confirmation other than the existence of the prop itself and it is being rendered digitally in real time while they shoot the series. Issues of ethnicity and the consideration of past ethnic implications complicate the analysis (to Star Wars Rebels’ credit it was never really clear what ethnicity any of the cast was in human Earth terms). We know there’s a female Mando clan leader. We know there’s the helmet. We know Carano is in the series. Do these things connect? That’s the ongoing mystery for now. Let us see how it all develops from here.
The image above is from TheRogueRebels.com. Here is a look at the epilogue of Star Wars Rebels done by a costumer that is extremely good: