If Din’s destiny is tied up to the final battles against the Imperial remnant, Rebels regular Hera Syndulla is the perfect character to guide Mando through that larger saga story as someone who once fought on the fringes but is now a New Republic leader. She’s also a popular character with the versatility to appear in a variety of different situations, and her voice actor is an obvious choice for her live-action portrayal. In fact, The Mandalorian has set a precedent for voice actors to return to their characters in live action roles with Katie Sackhoff playing Bo-Katan in season 2. Hera’s voice actor Vanessa Marshall, well-known for her animated characters, has played Hera in several different animated mediums and did motion capture for a relatively realistic-looking version of the character in the video game Star Wars Squadrons. She certainly has the chops and the look to fit neatly into Hera’s shoes.
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An ace Twi’lek pilot and general for the New Republic, Hera’s been fighting the Empire since it first took over the galaxy right at the end of the Clone Wars. Her childhood on Ryloth, which had a rich tradition of freedom fighters including her father, taught her about fighting invaders early on, lessons that came in handy when the early Empire established a presence on her home planet, as shown in The Bad Batch. After initially fighting the Imperial occupation on Ryloth, she eventually joined the effort to thwart the Empire in other parts of the galaxy.
Years after Return of the Jedi, Hera serves as a general for the New Republic, and has a minor but important role in the Alphabet Squadron book series as the commander of a mission to take out an elite squad of Imperial pilots determined to keep going after the Empire proper has failed.
But how does Hera fit into Din and Grogu’s story? Hera’s work with the Rebellion and New Republic has generally kept her out of the underworld Mando thrives in, although she does work with Lando Calrissian from time to time. The most direct connection is via Ahsoka.
Remember when Ahsoka said she was looking for the evil Grand Admiral Thrawn? Thrawn was dragged into hyperspace in his apparent defeat at the hands of Jedi apprentice Ezra Bridger, who disappeared alongside the villain into parts unknown in the series finale of Rebels. Ezra is Hera’s found family “son,” with Ahsoka and some other Rebels characters setting off on a mission to find him at the end of the series.
When Din meets Ahsoka in The Mandalorian season 2, the Jedi is still looking for Thrawn, which means she’s most likely still searching for Ezra, too. And you can bet that Hera is aiding in that search from her position of power within the New Republic.
A connection to Ezra, Thrawn, or Ahsoka would be the clearest “six degrees of separation” to Din. But even a live-action cameo in The Mandalorian could be a good stepping stone for Hera to become a major part of the upcoming Rangers of the New Republic series, a spin-off that presumably explores Mando’s world from the perspective of the galactic government (and is being produced by Hera’s creator, Dave Filoni). When first announced, Rangers was said to be one of four shows that would eventually collide in a big crossover event, providing plenty of space to explore different corners of the galaxy within the timeline of The Mandalorian.