IG-88 is officially making his return to the live-action Star Wars universe. We recently heard rumors that the bounty hunter was set to appear in The Mandalorian, the new live-action Star Wars series being produced for Disney+, Disney's streaming service that is set to launch next year. Now, executive producer and writer Jon Favreau has confirmed that IG-88 will indeed be appearing in the show. Not only that, but he's revealed the first image of the deadly droid.

Jon Favreau took to Instagram to share the image of IG-88, who is seen from the torso up and looks very much like the bounty hunter fans are familiar with. It's a practical droid set against a green screen backdrop. So we're going to see some tangible IG-88 action to go along with whatever CGI is necessary to bring the character to life. Favrea simply captioned the photo with "merry Christmas," acknowledging that, to a certain group of Star Wars fans, this is indeed a gift. Even for those who may not be all too familiar with the character, or to those who may feel indifferent, this does signify that the show will be a scum and villainy filled bounty hunter adventure, which is unlike anything we've seen from the franchise in live-action previously.

For those who may not be familiar, IG-88 was first introduced to a galaxy far, far away in The Empire Strikes Back during the sequence when Darth Vader has a group of various Bounty Hunters lined up alongside Boba Fett. The droid was scarcely on screen for a couple of seconds and didn't have a single line of dialogue, but fans, over the years, became a bit obsessed with him and that has helped to keep him alive. He's also appeared in other forms of Star Wars media, such as the Shadows of the Empire video game for Nintendo 64.

Related: The Mandalorian Trailer Is Here, First Look at the Star Wars Live-Action TV Show

The Mandalorian will center on a lone gunslinger in the outer rim, as portrayed by Pedro Pascal, during the time period after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. Other cast members that have been officially announced include Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte. Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates) are all on board to direct episodes of the series as well. Filoni will direct the pilot.

With the inclusion of IG-88, it opens the door for other notable bounty hunters, such as Bossk (who has previously been rumored as well), Dengar and others to appear. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we'll finally find out what happened to Boba Fett. Did he really die in the Sarlacc pit? If we're really lucky, he'll actually show up in the series, which would be a treat for many fans since his movie is no longer happening. The Mandalorian doesn't yet have a premiere date set, but the series will debut sometime in 2019. Be sure to check out the first photo of IG-88 from Jon Favreau's Instagram below.

Ryan Scott