The first of several live-action Star Wars series coming out in the next few years, The Mandalorian is the highly-anticipated story of a lone gunslinger making his way in the galaxy after the fall of the Empire. Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and directed by Dave Filoni fresh off his successes with The Clone Wars and Rebels, it promises to be an exciting look at the adventures of an all-new character in the Star Wars Universe separate from the Skywalker Saga.
We’ve been able to gather information from Jon Favreau’s Instagram and Twitter feed, as well as panels at the latest Star Wars Celebration in Chicago to help illuminate what the series will focus on, what it will look like, and who’s going to be in it. Drawing from several different genres (including Samurai and Western), and marrying practical effects and CG, this eclectic and exciting series seems to have something for everyone. Here’s everything we know so far ahead of its November 12th release.
10 IT TAKES PLACE 5 YEARS AFTER RETURN OF THE JEDI
Director Jon Favreau revealed on his Twitter that The Mandalorian would take place roughly 5 years after the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, when the Empire’s second Death Star was destroyed, along with the Emperor and Darth Vader. With the Empire’s iron fist rule of the galaxy in shambles and the New Republic struggling to pick up the pieces to rebuild order, the galaxy has become a Wild West of sorts.
On the outskirts of the Outer Rim, where the reach of the New Republic wains, a lone gunslinger makes his way in the galaxy. Though we don’t know his objectives, we do know that Favreau has described them as being very “morally ambiguous”.
9 IT HAS THE GRITTY FEEL OF THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY
Given the series takes place just after Return of the Jedi, we can expect it to have the gritty feel of the original trilogy, as a galaxy ravaged by civil war licks its wounds. The Mandalorian himself is part of a dark underworld of shadowy figures that make lucrative careers feeding off the tumult and chaos in the galaxy, the sort Obi-Wan would describe as the “scum and villainy”.
The clips shown at the most recent Star Wars Celebration showed familiar creatures and races from the original trilogy such as Jawas, Dewbacks, Rodians, Twi’Leks, and Trandoshans. It even provided us a glimpse of The Mandalorian’s ship, Razorcrest, moving through parts of the galaxy not yet explored in the films.
8 IT HAS 10 EPISODES AND WILL DEBUT ON DISNEY+
Season 1 will air exclusively on Disney’s new digital streaming service Disney+ on November 12, 2019. This is the same day that the service premiers in North America, and is expected to have every Star Wars film and series available to stream, though not collectively at the time of its debut. It will cost $7 a month, or $70 for an annual subscription.
The series will feature 10 hour length episodes, which seems to be the standard format for live-action series on the service, including the Rogue One spin-off series focusing on Rebel Alliance operative Cassian Andor. All future Star Wars films and live-action series will premiere only on Disney+.
7 IT HAS BOTH CG AND PRACTICAL FX
Series creator Jon Favreau will utilize the pioneering motion-capture special effects that he debuted with his computer animated film The Jungle Book in 2016 for many characters in The Mandalorian, as well as computer generated spacecraft, landscapes, and urban environments to show the scope of that galaxy far, far away.
Given the fact that the series takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi, however, it would make sense that Favreau wants to include as many practical effects as he can. That’s why some of the effects are reportedly to be done using the model-making techniques of early ILM artists from the original trilogy.
6 IT STARS PEDRO PASCAL
If Star Wars fans have also been watching either HBO’s Game of Thrones or Netflix’s Narcos, they will recognize the charismatic Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell and Javier Pena, respectively. He has a knack for conveying both effortless charm and danger, though we don’t know yet how much of that will come across as The Mandalorian.
If he’ll behave anything like Boba or Jango Fett, he’ll be a man who is economic with his words, letting his methodical actions do the talking. If his archetype is indeed the lone gunslinger, we imagine his personality and origins will be revealed to us over time with each new episode.
5 IT STARS GINA CARANO
Opposite Pedro Pascal will be Gina Carano playing Cara Dune, an ex-Rebel shocktrooper and the lead female role. Dune will be dealing with the ramifications of reintegrating into society after years of being a soldier in the Rebel Alliance. She’s depicted as a loner who feels that civillians don’t understand what she went through.
Gina Carano is a mixed martial artist who you may have seen in Deadpool and Fast and Furious 6, among other action-packed films. She insists on doing her own stunts, so we’ll be excited to see the raw authenticity she brings to a role that seems ideally suited to her physical talents and skills.
4 IT HAS A STAR-STUDDED SUPPORTING CAST
In addition to stars Pedro Pascal and Gina Carano, The Mandalorian will sport a star studded supporting cast to add gravitas and depth to its universe. Nick Nolte (48 Hrs.) has signed on for a yet unspecified role, as has Emily Swallow (Supernatural, The Mentalist).
Carl Weathers (Rocky, Predator) will star as Greef Karga, the leader of a group of bounty hunters looking to collect a particular prize, who run afoul of The Mandalorian in a showdown in an unknown location. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul), Bill Burr (Breaking Bad), Omid Abtahi (Better Call Saul) and Werner Herzog (Jack Reacher).
3 EACH EPISODE HAS A FAMOUS DIRECTOR ATTACHED
As big name stars have flocked to the medium of television for its narrative focused format and character development, so have big name directors. It’s not uncommon to see the names of prominent directors flash by in the credits of a single episode of a television series, even if they’ve just wrapped up a multi-million dollar blockbuster.
2 IT FEATURES AN OBSCURE BOBA FETT WEAPON
Favreau has been sharing little pieces of The Mandalorian puzzle with Star Wars fans in the months leading up to the big day of the series premier. As filming proceeds, more props, cast, and sets are revealed behind the scenes of one of the most anticipated series in the science fiction genre.
He took to Instagram to showcase a distinct rifle with a unique prong on the end, which eagle-eyed Star Wars fans pointed out looked exactly like a weapon used by Boba Fett in the much derided Star Wars Holiday Special. He confirmed it was in fact the Amban Phase-Pulse Blaster, and would be utilized by our lone gunslinger.
1 IT COULD FEATURE A BOUNTY HUNTER FROM EPISODE V
For Star Wars fans hoping that The Mandalorian would bump into other famous bounty hunters in his travails across the galaxy’s wild frontier, they can rejoice in the fact that they will get to see an IG series bounty hunter appear on screen. Jon Favreau confirmed as much with a post on Instagram last December of the model.
Sadly, this isn’t the infamous IG-88, the droid bounty hunter that was hired along with Boba Fett to hunt down the Millennium Falcon. He was nearly blown to pieces by Fett on Bespin, and only narrowly managed to survive. This new figure is IG-11, and we don’t know yet if he will be friend or foe.