Jack Black Made His Star Wars Debut in The Mandalorian and Life Has Never Been Better
The following story contains very light spoilers for Season 3, Episode 6 of The Mandalorian, “Guns for Hire.”
YOU’D THINK we’ve run out of cameos and guest stars on The Mandalorian that would really surprise you. In Season 1, we got the likes of Amy Sedaris (who became a recurring character) and Jason Sudeikis. In Season 2, we got Timothy Olyphant and Rosario Dawson. Hell, last week we even got comedy great Tim Meadows! This show has it all. Or so I thought, until “Guns for Hire,” the sixth episode of The Mandalorian‘s third season, decided to show me Jack Black—Jack Black!—about ten minutes into the episode.
It’s a big week for Mr. Black, who voices the villainous Bowser in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, out this week and destined to make bundles and bundles of box office cash. But working on movies and voicing iconic video game villains clearly didn’t stop the man known as Jables (in his Tenacious D persona) from taking a pit stop in a Galaxy Far, Far, Away to play a former imperial officer-turned-royal-turned-leader named Captain Bombardier (who’s also married to the Duchess, played by Lizzo!) in The Mandalorian.
It brings an obvious question to mind: why is Jack Black not cast in, you know, everything? Years ago, Black expressed interest in being cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kingpin. Our response then was the same as it is now: why not? Sure, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is iconic, but Marvel is all-in on the multiverse right now. So why can’t Jack Black be Kingpin from another world? We got him in Star Wars. Now we just need him in more.
Black is simply such a delightful presence that we cannot resist asking for more of him.
“So fun working with @lizzobeeating on @themandalorian as the king and queen of Plazir-15!!!” he wrote to his nearly 10 million Instagram followers following the airing of “Guns for Hire.” Hopefully he gets to have more of that fun in the future.
Jack Black makes his Star Wars debut as Captain Bombardier in The Mandalorian episode “Guns for Hire.”
On its surface, Jack Black’s presence in The Mandalorian—alongside his wife, the Duchess, played by Lizzo—is just fun. It’s Jack Black! Of course it’s fun.
But it’s also an important piece of world-building for both The Mandalorian and Star Wars at large, because it’s a bit of living, breathing proof that the New Republic’s amnesty program does sometimes work how it’s intended to. This season, we’ve seen Katy M. O’Brian’s Elia Kane do a whole lot of scheming—she’s likely secretly working with Moff Gideon to help Palpatine “somehow” return.
We’ve also seen the less fortunate Dr. Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi) make his own attempt to integrate into society using the New Republic’s Amnesty program, only to get fairly easily convinced (by Elia Kane) to return to his old ways of practicing evil Space Nazi cloning science. Whoops!
In Jack Black’s Captain Bombardier, and his honorable position on Plazir-15, we get to see that not every participant in the Amnesty program is still actively evil, and not every participant in the Amnesty program is easily convinced to start doing Space Nazi cloning science. Sometimes, when they’re Jack Black, they can just be a good guy.
Now, maybe we can get a look into Captain Bombardier’s more sinister past—probably only about 10 or so years in the past—in the upcoming Season 2 of Andor? Pretty please?
Jack Black has been one of Hollywood’s most likable stars for nearly 30 years.
You’ve certainly seen Jack Black in at the very least a handful of movies through the years. But he’s actually been grinding his way toward stardom for longer than you may have even realized. Throughout the ’90s, Black had a series of supporting roles in movies like Demolition Man, The Jackal, and The Cable Guy, while making his name in the comedy world on the iconic HBO sketch comedy show Mr. Show with Bob and David. It was also around this time that Black established his two-man band, Tenacious D, (which he co-founded with his pal Kyle Gass), with a cult-favorite HBO series.
Black had his major breakthrough, of course, in High Fidelity, where he played record store clerk Barry alongside John Cusack’s sad sack Rob. A few years later he really blew up when he starred in Richard Linklater’s The School of Rock, a truly perfect film that earned him a Golden Globe nomination (and, if we’re being real, in a just world could have earned him an Oscar).
Stream The School of Rock Here
Throughout the years, Black has remained a presence in film and on television, starring in movies like Tropic Thunder, the Kung Fu Panda series, Nacho Libre, the underrated Bernie (showing off his dramatic chops), and the two Jumanji movies. Among other projects, you can expect to see Black in Eli Roth’s adaptation of the popular video game Borderlands, out later this year.
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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