The following contains casting spoilers from Episode 3 of Disney+’s The Book of Boba fett.
As expected as it was to see Danny Trejo pop up in The Book of Boba Fett — after all, filmdom’s erstwhile Machete has appeared in many of his second cousin Robert Rodriguez’s projects — it still snuck up on Boba himself.
Trejo’s casting as a Rancor wrangler “actually was kept a bit of a surprise,” series lead Temuera Morrison told TVLine during the show’s Television Critics Association winter press tour panel. “I didn’t know until the last minute, until Danny got there that day for filming.”
Morrison pointed out that he and Trejo “go way back, to the  movie Six Days, Seven Nights,” in which the two played pirates chasing after Harrison Ford and Anne Heche’s characters. As such, Morrison was an established fan. “Danny has got that great face, great texture, great voice… We had a great time together” as Boba got schooled on How to Train Your Rancor.
Ming-Na Wen, who co-stars as Boba’s assassin cohort, Fennec Shand, attested that she is “a massive Danny Trejo fan,” and said it was “inevitable” that he would show up, given that Rodriguez is showrunner and sometime director on the seven-episode Star Wars series. “Danny is the coolest human being,” she added. “He has the heart of a warrior, and the personality of a teddy bear.”
Also new to the Tatooine mix in Episode 3 was a small gang of cybernetic-enhanced “insolent youths” known as The Mod Gang, led by Drash (Yellowjackets‘ Sophie Thatcher).
Motoring around Mos Espa on shiny, brightly colored swoop bikes, “I thought they brought a lot of color to it,” Morrison said, “and a lot of youthfulness, of course.”
Surveying Fett’s surprising decision to recruit the street rats to his small army, Morrison said that his character likely was considering some lessons learned during his (re)formative time with the Tuskens.
“It was another little thing about Boba, where he’s trying to sort things out and says, ‘Oh, maybe we can get these guys on our side,'” the Kiwi actor ventured. “If you can’t beat these people, sometimes it’s good to join them — or get them to join you.”
Wen in turn said that “if you know [Star Wars creator] George Lucas,” the Mods and their rides represent “a real homage to a lot of things he’s always loved” — including his first major directorial work, 1973’s American Graffiti. “At the same time,” she said, “It lends itself to the storytelling, and learning more about the citizens of Tatooine.”
Besides, Morrison chimed in, Boba Fett’s digs are quite sprawling, so every helping hand helps.
“Hey, it’s a big palace!” he noted with a chuckle. “We can put one in the kitchen to do the dishes….”