Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian episode “The Marshal”
The second season of The Mandalorian has arrived. And as was rumored, Timothy Olyphant appeared in Boba Fett’s trademark green armor in the season two premiere. He’s not playing Fett. No, that honor goes to Temuera Morrison, who appeared at the end of the episode. Olyphant is playing one Cobb Vanth, the marshal of Mos Pelgo, a small town on Tatooine.
If you’re not familiar with the character, Vanth first appeared in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novels. The episode, appropriately titled “The Marshal,” explained that Vanth got the armor from Jawas. He traded a camtono of crystals that he stole from the Mining Collective. The collective swept into Mos Pelgo after the destruction of the second Death Star. Vanth narrowly escaped and stumbled through the desert until he ran into the Jawas. Once he acquired the armor, Vanth headed back into the town and cleaned out the collective and took up the role of the town’s protector. But what about before The Mandalorian? Well, his story was a little different in the novels.
Who is Cobb Vanth?
The last time we saw Boba Fett in the Star Wars universe, he was falling into the Sarlacc pit on Tatooine. He was presumed dead, but fans have long speculated that he might have made it out (and now we know he did). This is Star Wars, after all, where a character like Darth Maul is severed in half and still comes back for seconds.
In Wendig’s Aftermath novels, we meet a character named Cobb Vanth, a Tatooine native who steals a set of Mandalorian gear—found by Jawas—from Adwin Charu, a member of a shady organization known as the Red Key Syndicate. He then dons the armor and declares himself the mayor of Freetown, a settlement on Tatooine. While it’s never outright stated in the book, it’s heavily hinted that the armor in question is Boba Fett’s.
We don’t know much more about Vanth, as his story is told through the POV of other characters. He was once a slave on Tatooine, much like Anakin Skywalker, and has a star-shaped scar on his back that once marked his ownership. That would explain why he’s so ready to run when the Mining Collective shows up to Mos Pelgo—besides the fact that they were shooting everyone in sight.
Described as a skilled combatant and stern leader, Vanth is dedicated to making Freetown a safe and stable home for his community. So even if the TV series has changed his background, he still fits in as the perfect character for The Mandalorian.
Did we see him in season one?
Episode five of the first season of The Mandalorian, appropriately titled “The Gunslinger,” ended with a mysterious figure hovering over the body of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) on Tatooine. Fans immediately speculated that this was Boba Fett, mostly due to the distinguished sound of spurs clinking that accompanied his presence. And while Fett doesn’t wear spurs (nor does the figure from the episode), his armor does make the same clinking sound.
Could that have been Vanth? Perhaps all of the events of “The Gunslinger” took place near Mos Pelgo. Maybe Shand survived and we’ll see her again… we’d better.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm
Originally published on May 22, 2020.