Last month, Jon Favreau shared a photo from the set of The Mandalorian that confirmed the return of bounty hunter IG-88 from The Empire Strikes Back, and as it turns out, the upcoming Star Wars spinoff show has at least one more Original Trilogy droid lined up for a comeback.
R5-D4 is best known for his brief appearance in 1977’s A New Hope as the astromech that Owen Lars initially intended to purchase from the Jawas, only for Luke’s ill-fated uncle to go with R2-D2 instead when R5 started to malfunction. In various other canonical fiction, however, it’s revealed that R5’s breakdown was a deliberate means of helping R2 in his high-stakes mission. Regardless, in a new photo posted to Favreau’s Instagram, R5 is looking a little worse for wear, but the fans seem happy enough to witness his return, whether his role amounts to an Easter egg or something bigger.
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The droids won’t be the only somewhat niche-y callbacks to the Original Trilogy to feature in the first live-action Star Wars TV series. Last year, Favreau also shared images of the bucket-shaped “ice cream maker” prop first seen carried by Wilson Hood in The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the two-pronged weapon that Boba Fett wielded in 1978’s The Star Wars Holiday Special. There’ve even been some unconfirmed reports lately that a few classic aliens will be returning, including the Jawas.
Indeed, Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo claimed after a set visit a couple of months ago that The Mandalorian is “at the forefront of cutting edge tech,” and that Favreau “is shooting this in a way that no one has ever shot anything ever before,” suggesting that we could be seeing quite a few nonhuman characters impressively rendered for the small screen. But whatever left the helmsman dazzled, all will be revealed when the show premieres on Disney Plus later this year.