Star Wars Battlefront 2 star Janina Gavankar reveals her secret role in The Mandalorian season 2, and it is very different than playing Iden Versio.
Janina Gavankar, star of Star Wars Battlefront II, had a secret role in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 3, and she's revealed the surprising way she was involved. The new season of The Mandalorian has already been filled with some big-time cameos and supporting characters. Episode 1 featured Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth and Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, while episode three had Katee Sackhoff make her live-action debut as Bo-Katan Kryze.
Shortly after The Mandalorian season 2, episode 3 – titled "The Heiress" – debuted on Disney+, Gavankar teased she played a role in the episode. Gavankar is not a stranger to Star Wars, as she played the lead role of Iden Versio in Star Wars Battlefront II. Iden's story in the game sees her begin as a member of the Empire's army and commander of the Inferno Squad. But, she eventually switches sides to help the Rebellion. Although Gavankar's tease gave fans hope Iden Versio would make the jump to live-action in The Mandalorian, it turns out her role was quite different.
After Gavankar revealed she was connected to The Mandalorian season 2, episode 3, she spoke to IGN about her secret role. Those who have scoured over the episode to try and see Gavankar will have no such luck though. She revealed her role was not as an actress, but rather a puppeteer. Special effects veteran Frank Ippolito was hired to work on the episode's Mon Calamari aliens, and he has a long-time working relationship with Gavankar. So, he asked her if she'd want to help him out and operate a portion of the Mon Calamari on Trask. Gavankar enthusiastically accepted the invitation:
There is a Mon Calamari who puts their hands on their hips. That’s Frank Ippolito who’s inside that rig. He made that headpiece and it takes two puppeteers to animate it. And they needed a second puppeteer to just handle the nostrils of this character. And [Ippolito] called me and he said, ‘Do you want to come puppeteer the nostrils of this Mon Calamari?’ And I said ‘f**k yes.'
Not only are fans likely surprised to hear Gavankar's role in The Mandalorian's newest episode is to control the nostrils of a Mon Calamari, but it turns out her presence was a surprise to most on set too. She said executive producer, director, and writer Dave Filoni was among those who were confused to see her on set. His response upon learning Gavankar was serving as a puppeteer was "one of those 'of course you are,' kind of things."
Although Gavankar's participation in this episode of The Mandalorian didn't manifest an Iden Versio appearance, perhaps her involvement could lead to such a return. Versio is still alive during the events of The Mandalorian, and Battlefront II left a huge gap in her story between the Battle of Jakku and the events of the sequel trilogy. Now that she's been on set, Filoni and Jon Favreau could begin thinking about how Iden could factor into the story, even if just for a single episode. And, since Gavankar is also the perfect age to play Iden Versio during The Mandalorian's time period, she could be the latest character from the wider Star Wars canon to make an appearance.