Ming-Na Wen wants ‘Star Wars’ fans to start a #FennecLives petition to get her back on ‘The Mandalorian’

ming na wen the mandalorian fennec

  • Ming-Na Wen joined "The Mandalorian" on season one, episode five as an assassin, Fennec Shand.
  • Still, her character was seemingly killed after one episode. 
  • While speaking about home release of "Mulan" on 4K and Blu-ray, Insider asked Wen if we're ever going to learn what really happened to her "Star Wars" character.
  • "She got shot at close range. So…," Wen told Insider.
  • But we've seen "Star Wars" characters return from worse fates, including Boba Fett. 
  • When pressed a little further, Wen said she wanted fans to start petitioning for the return of her character, using the hashtag #FennecLives.
  • "Sort of like what they did with #CoulsonLives, #FennecLives," Wen added.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

On season one, episode five of "The Mandalorian," Ming-Na Wen joined the "Star Wars" universe as a kickass assassin, Fennec Shand. But just as we were getting to learn more about the mysterious character, Shand found herself shot by episode's end, stranded in the Tatooine desert. 

Still, is Shand's time on the Disney Plus original series really over? 

"Oh, gosh. I mean, you saw that episode last season, right?" Wen ("Mulan," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") told Insider when asked if we're going to find out what happened to her "Mandalorian" character.

"She got shot at close range. So…," she added.

No one really stays dead in the 'Star Wars' universe, so Shand could still make a return to 'Mandalorian'.

Shand is shot at "close range" on Chapter 5 of "The Mandalorian."
Disney Plus/Lucasfilm

Wen's right. Her character was shot in the stomach. But here's the thing: Does anyone really stay "dead" in the "Star Wars" universe?

When Insider pointed out how many times Darth Maul has been brought back, Wen cracked up laughing. More recently, we learned Boba Fett shockingly survived the Sarlacc pit. 

Our assessment? It's going to take a little bit more than a gunshot wound to take Wen out of the "Star Wars" universe. In fact, there's a reason her character wasn't shot in the head. 

"From your mouth to Jon Favreau's ears," Wen said, referencing the show's creator. "I can always keep hoping, for sure."

Most "Star Wars" fans probably would have assumed Shand was toast, but at the end of episode five, we see someone hover over the assassin's body. It seems like someone still has plans for her. 

"I like your theory," Wen said. "I like it. I like it a lot."

Wen wants fans to start a petition to bring back her character on the next season of 'The Mandalorian.'

A mystery figure — who very well could be Giancarlo Esposito's "The Mandalorian" character — was spotted over Shand's body at the end of season one, episode five.
Disney Plus

According to "That Hashtag Show," Wen will appear on season two of the Disney Plus original, but her return hasn't been confirmed yet.

When asked if Wen would like fans to see more of Fennec Shand in the "Star Wars" universe, the actress said, "I would like for you to start a petition."

"I think they just announced they [were] picked up for season three," Wen continued. "So I want you to start a petition, sort of like what they did with #CoulsonLives — #FennecLives."

#CoulsonLives became an online fan movement after Wen's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." costar Clark Gregg was seemingly killed in 2012's "The Avengers." Several months after his theatrical death, Gregg's return to the ABC show was announced at New York Comic Con. The actor credited the fans for bringing him back to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Ming-Na Wen, Katee Sackhoff, and Gina Carano play three female warriors, who have been introduced on "The Mandalorian."
Disney Plus/Lucasfilm

If you grew up with the original "Star Wars" trilogy, released between 1977 and 1983, there weren't a lot of strong female characters to rally around outside of Princess Leia. So it's exciting to now see characters such as Cara Dune (Gina Carano), along with Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) take center stage.

Still, when Wen, a woman of color is taken out of "The Mandalorian" after one episode, what message is it sending female viewers, especially as Hollywood continues to preach about diversity? Wen agreed.

"And that's the message you need to let those guys that are putting that show together know," she said in response. "We need the voices. We need your voices heard."

Joining the 'Star Wars' universe was a huge deal for Wen, who grew up dreaming of playing a Han Solo-like character.

Here's what part of "The Volume" looks like when you're filming "The Mandalorian."
Lucasfilm

Playing Shand wasn't just another role for Wen. It was a big deal for the actress to become a part of the "Star Wars" universe. 

"Growing up, 'Star Wars' was my religion," Wen said. "The force — I believed in it as much as I believed in Buddha as much as I believed in God. I used to pray to all three."

"I remember when I was a little girl and I'd be drawing pictures of me in sort of a Han Solo get up," Wen continued.

"I wanted to be a rebel, a scoundrel," she added, laughing, "just daydreaming about being part of 'Star Wars.'"

Fast-forward years later and Wen is standing on "The Mandalorian's" virtual set, a massive 75-foot wide, 21-foot high space with a roof comprised of LEDs called "The Volume." 

"When they turned on the lights, suddenly I was in Tatooine and my mind was blown," Wen recalled of her first time on the Disney Plus series. "I'll never forget that moment when I saw the two binary sunsets. I gasped, I was like, 'Wow, I'm here.' And it's not an amusement park ride."

Wen is the only actor to have played a Disney Princess, Marvel character, and now a 'Star Wars' character.

Ming-Na Wen's Disney roles: The actress has voiced the original Mulan in the 1998 animated film, played a cameo in Disney's live-action adaptation, played assassin Fennec Shand in "The Mandalorian," and Agent May on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Disney Animation, Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm, Marvel

Wen is the only actor to have had the unique honor of playing a Disney princess as Mulan, a Marvel hero on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and Shand on "The Mandalorian."

While many actors have played both "Star Wars" and Marvel characters, the only other star who comes close to holding Wen's distinct honor is Samuel L. Jackson who played Mace Windu in "Star Wars," Nick Fury in the MCU, and Frozone in "The Incredibles" franchise.

Wen was quick to point out that Jackson wasn't a Disney princess though, adding, that he would "make a very cool Disney princess if he wanted to."

Every Disney Legend has their hand prints and signature on a commemorative bronze plaque.The plaques are displayed at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California in the Legends Plaza.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

"It means everything," Wen said of being a part of three huge Disney franchises. "I'm so grateful to Disney and Mickey Mouse for keeping me employed and they can keep acquiring as many franchises as possible as long as they dish out a couple of parts to me. I'd be very happy. I'm a total nerd and a total geek."

In 2019, the actress was given the title of Disney Legend at the company's bi-annual D23 Expo. When her team initially read her former Disney CEO Bob Iger's induction letter she cried. 

"I burst into tears," Wen said. "It was that important and that special. I always tell kids, I'm an example. Believe in your dreams and never stop dreaming. Never stop believing that something that you want can happen."

New episodes of "The Mandalorian" air on Disney Plus on Fridays. 

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