The Mandalorian will explore the origins of the First Order, particularly how the state of the galaxy allowed them to rise to power. In just a couple of months, Star Wars will finally make the leap to live-action TV with The Mandalorian, a Disney+ original series set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. It introduces a bevy of new characters to the franchise, taking viewers through the galactic underworld and examining the complicated profession of bounty hunting.
As many Star Wars fans know, The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, meaning there's a lot of territory for Lucasfilm to explore. While it sounds like The Mandalorian won't be directly connecting to the Skywalker saga, it would be impossible for it to no touch on certain aspects. For example, remnants of the fallen Empire are very present in the show, and it looks like The Mandalorian may address how the First Order came to be.
Speaking with EW, The Mandalorian executive producer Jon Favreau and director Dave Filoni discussed how the series fits into the larger fabric of the franchise. They talked about how since the First Order is in full power by the time The Force Awakens picks up, things obviously didn't go so well after Endor:
Favreau: Also, what could happen in the 30 years between celebrating the defeat of the Empire and then the First Order? You come in on Episode VII, [the First Order are] not just starting out. They’re pretty far along.
Filoni: Pretty well equipped.
Favreau: So somehow, things weren’t necessarily managed as well as they could have been if [the galaxy] ended up in hot water again like that.
Based on these comments, it wouldn't appear as if The Mandalorian is going to provide explicit answers to questions like Supreme Leader Snoke's backstory. Instead, it'll provide a more generalized overview of the state of the galaxy post-Return of the Jedi and how that might have allowed the First Order to come into prominence. Judging from marketing materials, The Mandalorian explores a lawless corner of the Star Wars universe, one where everyone is fending for themselves as the New Republic attempts to establish a new government. It'll be interesting to see how the Imperial characters, like Giancarlo Esposito's Moff Gideon, factor in. Star Wars canon has detailed Emperor Palpatine's contingency plan and the idea some Imperials wanted to rebuild, so perhaps there will be some subtle hints to the First Order. It's worth mentioning in the Star Wars timeline, The Mandalorian takes place roughly 25 years before Force Awakens, so there shouldn't be anything too overt.
Arguably, that will be for the best. Nods and tie-ins to the films will surely be present and be appreciated by fans, but the whole idea behind these Disney+ series like The Mandalorian is to go off and tell different kinds of Star Wars stories, ones that aren't necessarily dependent on the Skywalker saga. The goal should be to make the universe feel larger, and it sounds like Favreau and company are on the right track. Showing how the Empire's downfall reverberated through unseen parts of the galaxy has the potential to be quite interesting. The Rebels had every right to party, but surely not everyone felt the same way.