With The Mandalorian Season 2 finally arriving on Disney+ in a few weeks, interest in the series is once again peaking. But a simple Google search for "The Mandalorian" shows all sorts of articles claiming Din Djarin himself (Pedro Pascal) quit filming halfway through Season 2 after complaining about not being able to show his face under that iconic helmet.
Showbiz rumors are one of the most prolific forms of entertainment coverage, going all the way back to the days of Hedda Hopper. Nowadays, covering the possibly-true goings-on of Hollywood has moved to Twitter and YouTube, but in a time of unprecedented information access, these rumors can be easily debunked if you know the right place to look.
The rumor of Pascal's departure started with infamous leaker Grace Randolph, who claimed half of Mando's scenes in Season 2 were filmed by his body double after Pascal complained about not getting to show his face. This doesn't exactly scan with past interviews with one of Pascal's two body and stunt doubles, Brendan Wayne (John Wayne's grandson!), who said the Mandalorian star is incredibly cooperative.
"The great thing about him is he’s not impressed with himself," Wayne told Vulture after Season 1. "He’s just an actor. And I mean that in the good way, not the bad way. He likes to learn and he likes to collaborate and he’s very good at it”
How could an actor who is explicitly praised for being humble end up walking off set mere months later?
These rumors were "substantiated" by YouTuber Dicktor Von Doomcock, who claimed Pascal complained to George Lucas himself about not being able to show his face in the series. Even if Pascal had concerns, how likely would it be for a veteran actor like him to not discuss these concerns with the showrunners but instead to the former head of the franchise who now only serves as a figurehead with no real input?
Meanwhile, Phil Szostak, the creative art manager for Lucasfilm and author of several Star Wars books, tweeted on Saturday that he was given a tour of the Mandalorian set in February, one of the last few months of filming, and was able to say hi to Pedro Pascal.
This may seem like minor news at first, but it directly debunks the entire "halfway through filming" exit rumors.
If Pascal wants to move his role to audio-only, he absolutely could, and it seems like he trusts his body doubles to move as he would. But stoking rumors he's doing so out of some weird jealousy against Baby Yoda without proof is creating drama for drama's sake.
Yes, gossip like this is part of the fandom experience. Where else would we get harebrained theories about Boba Fett's return or Ahsoka's first live-action appearance? But all of these theories and rumors, no matter how widely reported or legit they look, are still theories and rumors.
So while it's fun wondering if Yaddle could be involved this season, take your fandom news with a grain of salt if it's not backed up by an official source. Especially when it's coming from some dark corner of the internet and aimed at a female or non-white star of a major sci-fi property.
The Mandalorian Season 2 premieres on Disney+ on October 30.