The Mandalorian Episode 5, “The Gunslinger”, has finally arrived on Disney+ — and it’s doing a lot. In just 36 minutes, we revisit the desert planet Tattooine, make a pit stop at the Mos Eisley Cantina, and get an eyeful of those Stormtrooper helmets on pikes. (Talk about a trip down memory lane!) Also among the highlights was the introduction of Ming-Na Wen’s character, the ruthless assassin Fennec Shand, and while Mandalorian Episode 5 may suggest her role in the series is already done, there’s reason to believe we haven’t seen the last of this sharpshooter.
Spoilers below for The Mandalorian Episode 5.
Even though the episode seemingly ends with Fennec’s unfortunate demise, there are a few clues here that should give us pause and question whether The Mandalorian has bigger plans for the character.
Early on in “The Gunslinger”, we learn Fennec is on the run in the deserts of Tattooine. Mando meets a newbie bounty hunter named Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale) who’s looking for her in hopes that bringing her in will get him into the bounty hunter’s guild. Since Toro is still green, he asks for help, and Mando seems game — but not before warning Toro about Fennec’s reputation as a notorious mercenary who worked for the five crime syndicates before their leaders were tossed in jail by the New Republic. Toward the end of the episode, once Toro and Mando have caught Fennec and handcuffed her, she tries to convince Toro to betray the Mandalorian and turn him in for breaking bounty hunter rules. Instead of releasing Fennec and working together, Toro shoots her and leaves her presumably dead body out in the desert.
So the question remains: Is Fennec is really dead? There may be enough plausible deniability over whether the mercenary is officially out of the game based on some intriguing evidence. The first eye-catching thing comes from Wen’s IMDb credit for The Mandalorian; it doesn’t exist. To be fair, the site may not be updated with the information yet (although we’ve known about her role for some time) and other famous actors who’ve appeared in just one episode, including Giancarlo Esposito, who is set to appear in Episode 7, do have the single credit already listed. It’s worth mentioning here fellow Episode 5 cast member Amy Sedaris also doesn’t have a credit for The Mandalorian on her IMDb page either. However, there’s an argument to be made Fennec has relatively more importance within the world of The Mandalorian and Star Wars canon as a crime syndicate-connected mercenary over Sedaris’ Tatooine mechanic.
We should also consider the final moment of The Mandalorian Episode 5, which focuses on a mysterious character approaching Fennec’s body in the desert. Fennec appears to be dead (or unconscious) but the character still bends down to inspect. The scene cuts to the closing credits before we can glean more information, but the open-endedness of this moment is one of the most tantalizing closings to a Mandalorian episode since the series premiere revealed Baby Yoda.
What does this character want with Fennec’s body? Is it possible Fennec isn’t dead but just wounded? A quick consult of the Wookiepedia entry on blasters, which Toro used on an armored Fennec, implies it’s possible to just injure or stun rather than kill based on the setting. Considering the Mandalorian made it clear earlier in the episode it’s better to bring Fennec in alive, could Toro have stunned her while the episode intentionally misled us to believe she’s dead? That would have given him the advantage of a head start back to Mos Eisley to trap Mando, and it’s the kind of reckless move a new bounty hunter who isn’t thinking a few steps ahead might make.
All things considered, it feels hasty to say Fennec is completely out of The Mandalorian’s overall story. With clues from the show and the real world alike leaving some shadowy doubts over the character — in addition to her already shadowy past — Fennec just might return in some manner later on in The Mandalorian.
*The Mandalorian only has 3 episodes left. Those air on Disney+ on December 13, December 18, and December 27.