Cad Bane might have seemingly met his end in The Book of Boba Fett, but he should arguably be handed a second chance at live-action in The Mandalorian season 3. Appearing in episode 6 of Boba Fett, Cad Bane was killed off almost immediately. Such a brief and shallow use of the infamous bounty hunter was met with much disappointment and criticism, but he could potentially return for a more satisfying story arc in The Mandalorian if it transpires his demise was a fake-out.
Death tends to not be permanent in the Star Wars universe. The Emperor returned in The Rise of Skywalker, while one of Bane’s apparent assassinations, Cobb Vanth in Boba Fett, turned out to be a fake-out with Vanth being treated for a modifier at the show’s ending despite being left for dead. Vanth remains on the board for future Boba Fett and The Mandalorian antics, so it would be remiss to remove Bane from it too. Bane returning in The Mandalorian could be an opportunity to correct the problems of Boba Fett and hand Bane the interior depth and level of threat his character deserves.
As a fan favorite from Star Wars: The Bad Batch but especially The Clone Wars, there was understandably plenty of excitement about Bane’s arrival into live-action in Boba Fett. The hype only expanded with Bane demonstrating his deadly prowess by ruthlessly defeating Timothy Olyphant’s Vanth as an introduction. This made it all the more disappointing when Bane was seemingly taken out just one episode after his arrival, killed by Fett’s Tusken Raider gaffi stick in the finale.
There was certainly a dramatic weight to the moment, given Bane learned his bounty hunter trade from Fett’s father, Jango, before taking Boba under his wing prior to their relationship souring. The complicated and adversarial history is there. But it wasn’t satisfyingly played out because there was such little exploration of their relationship in Boba Fett itself. Their dynamic and history was given too little time to breathe and become compelling. Casual Star Wars fans won’t know why Fett and Bane were such antagonists or why they should care, while hardcore fans are left feeling that such a promising rivalry was underserved by the dialogue and storytelling.
That is where The Mandalorian season 3 can come in. By becoming a member of The Mandalorian‘s cast, and potentially even an antagonist, Bane could settle into a more coherent and nuanced role. Rather than being a two-dimensional villain who exists in Star Wars live-action only in relation to Fett, he might have more scope to fulfill a similar role to that in the animated series: an intimidating, complicated, and charismatic figure who is involved in various schemes and adventures across the galaxy. The Mandalorian‘s promise to become even more sprawling with different subplots to complement Din and Grogu’s adventures could be the perfect way to reintegrate Cad Bane into the live-action world following The Book of Boba Fett.
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