It’s a big week for Jack Black! On the same day that The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released, where he stars as the delightfully evil King Bowser, the actor made a surprise appearance in The Mandalorian.
In “Chapter 22: Guns for Hire,” Black plays the role of Captain Bombardier, an ex-Imperial in the New Republic’s Amnesty Program. Bombardier married the Duchess of the planet Plazir-15, who was played in another major surprise cameo by Lizzo! This episode was a cameo fest for sure.
After weeks of watching Katy O’Brian’s Elia Kane using the Amnesty Program to infiltrate the New Republic, Black’s Bombardier was a refreshingly different take. His character seems to want to make an honest change for the better, one of the prevailing themes of the episode. He doesn’t wish to squander his second chance at a new life and regrets the trouble his past brought to his wife’s planet. Books, comics, and animated series have done an excellent job exploring ex-Imperials who truly weren’t evil or were caught up in the propaganda of the Empire. Characters like Ciena Ree, Thayne Kyrell, Imanuel Doza, and Tam Ryvora’s grandfather come to mind.
Jack Black is a well-known actor, comedian, and musician as one of the frontmen for Tenacious D. Always someone who defined his career his way, his work includes The Holiday, Jumanji, and School of Rock, the last of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a musical or comedy. He’s also no stranger to the world of animation, playing the lead character Po in the Kung-Fu Panda franchise and the aforementioned The Super Mario Bros.
Personally, I adore Jack Black. He’s one of my favorite actors. The man can do no wrong, and he is an American treasure that brings joy and laughter to any role. Bombardier was a wonderfully campy new addition to The Mandalorian, already a series known for being on the more pulpy side of Star Wars. It was a delight to see him, and I hope Black returns to the franchise sooner rather than later.