The Mandalorian’s Toro Calican is an underrated star of the show as we see his great bounty hunting skills and thematic importance to the story.
He’s a brat, a traitor, and he kidnaps Baby Yoda, so it’s really no surprise that Toro Calican was not an instant fan favorite. But underneath his arrogant exterior, we see an immensely skilled and ruthless individual who is one of the greatest characters that The Mandalorian has to offer.
Here are the three reasons why he’s so great.
Toro is the Mirror Image of Han Solo.
Toro Calican is what Han Solo could have been. From the moment we see Toro in that recognizable booth in Mos Eisley cantina, with his feet up on the table and a smirk on his face, the parallels between the two of them are clear.
But Toro is more than just a wannabe Han Solo. His character represents a different, darker route that Han Solo could have taken if a more questionable character had approached him instead of Obi-Wan in A New Hope.
By taking a job with Obi-Wan instead of with a bounty hunter (or worse!), Han found his best life, whereas Toro met his doom, telling us how the fate of the galaxy often rests on the smallest of circumstances in the Star Wars universe, as in our own.
His journey offers a fascinating insight into what it takes to be a bounty hunter.
For all the Bossks and Embos we’ve seen, rarely do we get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a bounty hunter starting out in the galaxy, and Toro’s story provides just that as we see him embark on his first hunt.
He wants to be a legend, he says, telling us that he’s grown up in awe of the big names of the bounty hunter world (one can imagine a young Toro listening to stories of Boba Fett) and he’s clearly learned a thing or two from them: his act of smashing his tracking fob tells us he’s wisely not going to trust anyone in this world of scum and villainy.
What’s more, he’s willing to accept his own weaknesses and reach out to the Mandalorian for help in hunting Fennec Shand, a clever move that ensures he manages to capture her, unlike the dead bounty hunter we see who clearly went at it alone.
This partnership between the two is reminiscent of that between Aurra Sing and Boba Fett back in The Clone Wars, reminding us once again that Toro really has taken the lessons from the best to heart.
He’s well on his way to becoming a great bounty hunter in his own right.
Toro is so much more than a wannabe Boba Fett as behind his whiny exterior, we see a ruthless character who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Throughout the adventure, he follows the Mandalorian’s advice to the letter (even if he occasionally whines about it) and, come the final confrontation, he manages to sneak up on Fennec Shand and puts up a good fight against her, truly impressive considering she is one of the galaxy’s greatest threats.
What’s more, he sees through Fennec’s manipulations and assassinates her at point-blank range when he sees an opportunity for greater fame.
All of these point to his skill as a bounty hunter and his potential to become a legend in his own right…
But his fatal mistake is undermining the Mandalorian. Blinded by his desire for fame, Toro throws all his skills out the window in a shoddily planned-out showdown, leading to his death.
And this is more than a pathetic death for an up-and-coming threat, as Filoni and the team behind the show use it as a lesson, highlighting how no matter how skilled one might be, a lust for fame is always self-destructive.
That’s why Toro Calican is one of The Mandalorian’s best characters. An epic bounty hunter in his own right, he ultimately serves as a warning against what can happen when one places one’s own reputation and glory above the good of everything and anyone else.
The Mandalorian is available to watch now in its entirety on Disney+.