These days, fandom stretches to the furthest reaches of the industry, meaning a seemingly innocent appearance for an actor in one place can portend something happening in another production. Even the smallest of clues can be signs that an actor is returning to a role. And that’s the case with Timothy Olyphant who recently appeared on a talk show looking remarkably similar to his character from The Mandalorian. Could it mean the actor is returning to the Star Wars universe, or did he just grow his hair out some? Only time will tell, but as I said, internet sleuths leave nothing to chance.
Appearing on CONAN with Conan O’Brien, Timothy Olyphant had the same hairstyle we saw him rocking when he played Cobb Vanth in The Mandalorian Season 2 premiere “The Marshall”. Olyphant’s character is the titular lawman on Tatooine, in possession of Mandalorian armor in Mos Pelgo. We come to learn that, of course, Vanth isn’t a trained Mandalorian, but rather had come on the armor from a destroyed transport. He’d used it to take back the town from the group who’d violently overthrown it sometime before. Though he and Mando are at odds to start the episode, they eventually come together to take down a dragon to save the town.
Though he only appeared in this one The Mandalorian episode, Timothy Olyphant was great in the role. He brought his casual snark, that uber confidence of a lawman who was completely in control of his situation. It really wasn’t all that dissimilar to the role he played on Deadwood or again on Justified. This guy was just born to play the law on screen and it’s no surprise he was cast in this particular role and then subsequently crushed it. So could we see him return to this world? The haircut would suggest yes.
How Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth would get worked back into the story isn’t known at this point, but it wouldn’t be all that difficult. He clearly is in possession of Mandalorian armor that he really shouldn’t have, and it clearly belongs to Boba Fett after it was taken from the Sarlacc pit at some point after the events of Return of the Jedi. Working this out as part of a smaller or larger narrative wouldn’t be that heavy of a lift. Additionally, we know that Boba Fett is on the hunt for the armor himself and clearly this will be part of the overall story. Whether it’s on The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett isn’t totally clear, but this is a pretty easy one.
The Mandalorian is set to pick up its third season sometime in the beginning of 2022. Considering its revitalization of the Star Wars universe on Disney+, it’s become something of a flagship show for the streaming platform. It’s kickstarted a number of other series coming down the pike both in this timeline and others within the franchise that will round out stories from the movies as well as establish new characters in the universe. It’s almost done as much for the franchise as anything else out there.
And in this, it’s set about to establish a group of characters it can keep checking back in on from time to time. In this way, it makes total sense that Timothy Olyphant would work himself back into the mix at some point. They gave him too many threads to pull on and just the right threads to wear. The haircut might be a clue, but we probably didn’t need it to know he’d be coming back at some point.