Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Hidden Bib Fortuna Easter Egg Everyone Missed In The Mandalorian

There are, it seems, no depths of Star Wars obscurity which John Favreau will not plumb, no peak of nerd minutiae that he will not summit. From the practical purpose of an ice cream maker in space to the return of "maclunkey," The Mandalorian has now spent two full seasons sinking its teeth into some of the most pedantic references available, met at every turn with fan appreciation. 

In the closing moments of the show's second season finale, longtime fans got a big surprise in the form of a return visit to the Star Wars galaxy's most evocatively smelly-looking den of scum and villainy: Jabba's Palace, last seen in live action during the events of Return of the Jedi. For an all-too-brief moment, viewers got to catch up with old friends like Background Weequay, Enslaved Twi'lek Number 14, and, best of all, Bib Fortuna, Jabba's sniveling toady from Episode VI.

And the showrunners didn't stop there. True to form, they included an even more obscure reference in their post-credits sting for The Book of Boba Fett. Unlike some of their other callbacks, you didn't even need to be an obsessive fan to spot it — you just needed to have $2.99 back in 1983. 

The Mandalorian pays tribute to the toys

It all goes back to the original trilogy, merchandising, and the fact that action figures, which absolutely are not dolls, need to accessorize. Star Wars action figures were especially well regarded in the field of adding weird extra bits of plastic to sweeten the deal for kids, with each addition nearly tripling the odds of losing part of your favorite toy to a vacuum cleaner. An especially popular accoutrement for any given action figure was a vaguely stick-shaped thing. Admiral Ackbar had a stick thing for some reason. So did General Madine. And Bib Fortuna? Well, Bib Fortuna had the most stick-shaped thing of all.

Yes, Kenner's original Return of the Jedi tie-in Bib Fortuna action figure carried with him a long, twisty staff — a weird detail, considering that the character never had one in the movie, but hey. "Gross pale fleshy-headed criminal guy" is a tough sell, and kids love walking sticks, right? Maybe. Pictured above, this was the same staff that Favreau and company gave to Bib in his brief appearance at the end of The Mandalorian's second season finale

With any luck, this won't be the last action figure callback in the series, and next season will feature the return of Luke Skywalker, now with Collector Coin™ and Saber Slam Action Attack. Batteries sold separately, of course. 

However, by this point, you're probably wondering who this Bib Fortuna guy is, in the first place. Sure, he was in Jabba's palace, and you know he's the guy with the bumpy tentacle head, but every Star Wars character has a super-elaborate backstory, don't they? And maybe, somewhere in that backstory, there might be an explanation for his staff? 

Wait, so who is Bib Fortuna, anyway?

Thankfully, the mighty Star Wars-loving aficionados at Wookiepedia have foreseen this great question, and are here to answer any and all questions about who Bib Fortuna is, on a deeper level. Unfortunately, it seems that the history of his staff — in canon, that is — remains unanswered, but thankfully, some details about Bib Fortuna himself have been established. 

He is a Twi'lek from the planet Ryloth, who at some point rose to become the second-in-command to Jabba the Hutt, Tatooine's infamous crime lord. As it happens, the rancor seen in Return of the Jedi — you know, the one they try to kill off Luke with — was previously a birthday present that Bib Fortuna gave to his master, which is, frankly, about as weird as birthday presents get. Earning this prestigious position was, for the record, a tough battle. His main competitor for the role, a guy named Bidlo Kwerve, ended up being sacrificed to the aforementioned rancor, and has thus only been seen on film as a usefully-placed skull in Return of the Jedi. Dubious hiring practices aside, Bib Fortuna worked alongside his master for decades, going back all the way to at least The Phantom Menace. Following Jabba's death, The Mandalorian shows that he took great pleasure in gaining control of his former boss' palace, slaves, and fortunes, up until his rather unfortunate (for him) encounter with Boba Fett.

Behind the scenes, Bib Fortuna has been played by a few actors. Scottish actor Michael Carter was the original, and the character's subsequent appearances in both The Phantom Menace and The Mandalorian have seen Matthew Wood take the role.

Is he coming back? Probably not. As you saw in The Mandalorian, it seems that Bib Fortuna has met his maker, and ascended into whatever mysterious afterlife the Star Wars universe possesses. But hey, at least he got to finally hold that cool action figure-style staff before kicking the bucket, right?