With the recent reveal of some Borderlands 3 gameplay, we've also received a deeper look at some of the villains, namely the Calypso Twins and the Children of the Vault. We also know that Rhys, the protagonist from Tales of the Borderlands, is returning in a potentially antagonistic role, but some are also hoping that we see the return of Handsome Jack, who many know by now died in Borderlands 2 and had a role as an AI in the aforementioned Telltale series.
Yet in a recent interview, Gearbox’s Managing Producer of Narrative, Randy Varnell, confirmed that Handsome Jack is dead for good. That's not to say he won't have some presence on the world of Borderlands 3, however. He is the most iconic baddie of the franchise, so it makes sense that Gearbox looked at what they did well with him for the inspiration of the new enemies.
When designing the Calypso Twins, Varnell stated they looked at it from the perspective of Handsome Jack: what lessons did Gearbox learn? Varnell states that they wanted to preserve his "humor, his relatability, some of the snark" in Borderlands 3, but at the same time, it was important that the Calypso Twins stand out, promising that they become more threatening than Handsome Jack.
Knowing his legacy carries over in some form to Borderlands 3 will likely be some relief to those who wanted him to return, but that doesn't seem to be the only way he is coming back, despite being definitively dead. In another interview, Varnell mentioned the possibility of Handsome Jack being mentioned in a side quest or two, as the character is too big in the Borderlands universe not to get some type of honorable mention even postmortem.
Hopefully, the force of personality behind the Calypso Twins will match that of Handsome Jack, but this won't likely be revealed until Borderlands 3's release date. Recent reports indicate that Borderlands 3 may take 30+ hours to beat, so players will want to buckle up for their ride with the Twins.
Borderlands 3 releases September 13, 2019, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One