Jon Favreau, showrunner, writer and executive producer of the first live action Star Wars television show: The Mandalorian, has teased that a familiar droid could appear in the upcoming Star Wars TV show. Key word there, “could”.
Because as you can see in the image below, while it looks a lot like R5-D4, whom appeared briefly in the Original Star Wars back in 1977. It’s not confirmed to be THE droid.
Jon Favreau or LucasFilm have neither confirmed nor denied this. But I think it’s jumping the gun stating that R5-D4 is returning. It could be the case, or just a similar looking droid. That could just be hanging around the in back ground. Or maybe even having a more significant role, perhaps. And I say that because of the Star Wars book From a Certain Point of View, which contains an anthology of 40 short stories told from the perspective of background characters in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
R5-D4’s canonical origins story was retold in Rae Carson’s short story “The Red One”, which was published in the 2017 anthology collection From a Certain Point of View. As in the Legends Star Wars radio adaptation, R2-D2 still attempts to sabotage R5-D4 but relents when the droid wakes up. R2-D2 instead convinces R5-D4 that the fate of the galaxy depends on him being sold. After R2-D2 mentions he is fighting for the Rebellion, R5 decides to sacrifice his own opportunity of being sold in order to guarantee the success of R2-D2’s mission.
R5-D4 was also featured in a number of Star Wars Legends stories too. One such story was “Skippy the Jedi Droid”, an Infinities story from the 1999 comic book anthology Star Wars Tales 1. The story posited that the character, nicknamed Skippy, could use the Force. After seeing a vision of Luke Skywalker’s future, Skippy made it appear that his motivator malfunctioned so that Owen Lars could purchase R2-D2 and Skywalker could fulfill his destiny as a Jedi Knight.
If this is indeed R5, he joins the droid Bounty Hunter IG-88 in the cast, which also includes Pedro Pascal as the title character alongside Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog.
Set roughly three years after the fall of the Empire in Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi, the first 10-episode series will chronicle the mysterious lone gunfighter operating far from the authority of the New Republic.
Written by: Connor Heggie