Disney+’s The Mandalorian has been dropping some pretty insane revelations and Star Wars crossovers in its Season 2, including the likes of Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan and the imminent arrival of Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano. One such exciting moment was seeing WWE’s Sasha Banks a.k.a. Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado as a Mandalorian but the actress herself was “incredibly nervous” about her Star Wars debut, especially as it involved her heroically rescuing Baby Yoda.&
In The Mandalorian Season 2’s Episode 3, “The Heiress”, Mando and The Child face a life-threatening betrayal and get trapped. Just when everything seemed lost, three Mandalorians dropped in from the sky and dispatched the enemies. But while Mando was instantly saved, Baby Yoda was inches away from becoming the lunch of a gigantic mamacore.&
With Din Dijarin in no shape to carry out the daring rescue himself, one of the new Mandalorians dived down into the giant mouth of the terrifying creature and brought a visibly shaken Baby Yoda to safety. As the trio shockingly remove their helmets, months of obsessive debating over who Sasha Banks will be in the series was put to an end– she plays Koska Reeves, a member of Bo-Katan’s group of Mandalorian warriors known as the Nite Owls and the one who saved Baby Yoda.&
For Sasha Banks, though her inclusion in The Mandalorian was a dream come true for her, it was the additional task of being the Child’s saviour that had her tripping.
“I get to save him. When I found out I got to save him, I freaked out. I just thought there’s no freaking way. I couldn’t even believe that I was chosen to be part of Star Wars coming from WWE. I’m just so, so thankful because, Yoda in general and the Star Wars universe is so iconic and legendary. But this Baby Yoda, the Child, it just brings a whole new presence into the Star Wars world. And to get to save him, I was just like, you know what? You go do that. You do the thing.”
“When they told me that I was going to be saving baby Yoda, that I would be eating an octopus, that I would be kicking butt and be part of this amazing team, I was like, oh my god. Life is so cool and life is so special,” she further added.& While Banks has had varied experiences across the WWE circuit, when it comes to working with Baby Yoda, she confesses that it’s a whole new world of wonder.&
“Oh my gosh. It was so freaking cool. It was definitely a dream come true because in person it just, it feels like a real person. It moves, it has all these different facial expressions. He is the star of the show. So he takes over the whole set. He is amazing.”
Sasha Banks went onto say that she won’t be returning anytime soon, as her role in The Mandalorian Season 2 is one and done. Though she hopes to return sometime in the future, perhaps in the already announced Season 3 or Season 4.
“Well, I can only hope that the fans get to know more, I’m only in this episode. It’s awesome but we can only hope for more stuff. So, if I can pray and manifest anything, I just hope myself and Katee, Bo-Katan, can hopefully get the Darksaber one day. But we’ll have to see, I don’t know.”
Ever since Sasha Banks’ mysterious appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2 trailer (which made her “incredibly nervous”) as a hooded figure watching Mando from afar, there had been major speculation that she was going appear as the first live-action portrayal of the Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren. She initially feared that Star Wars fans would turn on her after “The Heiress” for not being what they predicted but their immense love and appreciation has made her “thankful to be a Mandalorian.” This interview was first published in Inverse.