Christopher Lloyd Made Back to the Future Fans Happy With His The Mandalorian Cameo
The following story contains very light spoilers for Season 3, Episode 6 of The Mandalorian, “Guns for Hire.”
If there’s one thing The Mandalorian has always been, it’s a hub for great guest stars. Series creator Jon Favreau clearly has a lot of talented friends in the industry, and it’s shown throughout the series, in the form of recurring guest stars like Amy Sedaris and Taika Waititi and surprise cameos like Jason Sudeikis in Season 1. But in addition to his role as creator and writer for The Mandalorian, Favreau has also carved out a career as a filmmaker capable of making blockbusters for all audiences, like the first Iron Man or Elf. And when you’re thinking about blockbuster for all audiences, is anything better than Back to the Future?
“Guns for Hire,” the sixth episode of The Mandalorian‘s Season 3, had the overarching plot of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) trying to help Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) retake her place as leader of the group of Mandalorians we first met her with, back in Season 2.
But sandwiched between the bookends of that story came an adventure on the planet Plazir-15, where Din and Bo-Katan were recruited to help solve a problem of seemingly malfunctioning droids. Not fun. And while this episode was filled with guest stars, perhaps the most exciting one to see was Christopher Lloyd, the man best known for playing genius mad scientist Doc Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future series.
The minute you heard Lloyd’s voice, you knew it was him—it’s that recognizable. Here, he plays Comissioner Helgait, Plazir-15’s head of security who has a little bit more to him than he initially lets on.
Christopher Lloyd made his Star Wars debut in The Mandalorian episode “Guns for Hire” as Commissioner Helgait.
Everyone who watches The Mandalorian knows that the show always manages to balance its overarching story—at this point, it’s mostly about Bo-Katan leading the Mandalorians back to glory—with fun, largely self-contained side missions. “Guns for Hire,” as a result, was a blast; it largely found Din and Bo-Katan searching for answers in a mystery surrounding malfunctioning and dangerous droids. The mystery led their paths to Commissioner Helgait (played by Christopher Lloyd), who’s essentially the head of security and controller of droids, and into a mystery that felt like I, Robot set in a Blade Runner city.
Ultimately, as soon as we saw Lloyd, we had to know that he wasn’t just going to be a droid-controlling bureaucrat. As it turns out, Commissioner Helgait had purposely commissioned the malfunctioning droids to misbehave, and while at one time he was loyal to the Duchess (Lizzo), he was also a Separatist (someone who, during the Clone wars, wanted independence from both the Jedi Order and the Empire).
It’s an absolute blast to hear the great Christopher Lloyd proclaim his love for Count Dooku (Christopher Lee’s Separatist character from the Star Wars prequel films), and Favreau using him as the mastermind of this fun little plot was ultimately an inspired choice.
Christopher Lloyd is best known for his role as Doc Brown in the Back to the Future series.
If it feels like Christopher Lloyd looks basically the same in The Mandalorian as he did when you saw him in the ’80s touchstone series Back to the Future, well, you’re certainly onto something! As it turns out, Lloyd was actually only in his late 40s when he played Doc Emmett Brown, the mad scientist who figured out the 88 MPH trick to time-travel—but was made up to look much older.
So, as a result, now that he’s actually 84 years old, it feels like he’s been stuck in Carbonite like Han Solo for the last 35 years.
Lloyd isn’t just known for Back to the Future, though—he’s also a three-time Emmy winner, winning twice for his role in the iconic sitcom Taxi and once for playing the lead in the dramatic series Road to Avonlea.
He’s kept quite busy in the time since Back to the Future as well, notably playing Uncle Fester—and doing a great job with it—in two ’90s live-acton Addams Family films. In recent years, he’s largely spent his time playing bit parts in films and on television. His most notable recent role was probably in the Bob Odenkirk-starring, hyper-violent action film Nobody, where Lloyd played Odenkirk’s dad. It was pretty great.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.
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