When is The Mandalorian set in relation to the rest of the Star Wars universe? For most of its lifetime, Star Wars has saved its live-action adventures for the big screen, with animated fare such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels propping up the franchise's television output. That's all set to change now that Disney have an entire streaming platform to stock with original content, and several live-action Star Wars TV shows are set to drop, with The Mandalorian slated to arrive first.
Borne out of the dropped Boba Fett solo movie concept, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as the titular bounty hunter navigating the galaxy's lawless outer reaches. Although many specifics of The Mandalorian remain under wraps, an impressive supporting cast has been revealed that includes Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad's Gus Fring) as a former Empire Moff, Taika Waititi as the voice of an IG droid, and Gina Carano as a fellow mercenary. Nick Nolte, Ming-Na Wen, Bill Burr and Werner Herzog will also feature in currently unspecified roles.
Disney's expansion of the Star Wars universe has encompassed sequels, prequels and midquels, and The Mandalorian falls into the final category, set in between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The exact time placing has fluctuated somewhat throughout The Mandalorian's development, with Jon Favreau giving estimates between 3 and 7 years after the Battle of Endor but at the Star Wars Celebration held earlier this year, showrunner, Jon Favreau, confirmed that The Mandalorian would be set five years after The Return of the Jedi.
In terms of the Star Wars franchise's standard calendar system, The Mandalorian is set in 9ABY (after the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope), which also means the story will take place 25 years prior to The Force Awakens.
This time frame will likely prove very fruitful for The Mandalorian, as the series will straddle both the original and sequel Star Wars trilogies, and allow elements (and characters) from both eras to be incorporated. The setting will also means that The Mandalorian can simultaneously explore the demise of the Empire - with Esposito's character, for example - and the gradual rise of the First Order, with the outer region locale lending itself ideally to this purpose.
In terms of Disney's updated Star Wars canon, the period in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens is relatively unexplored, giving The Mandalorian a considerable sandbox to play with. Interestingly, the choice of time period also means that The Mandalorian should never catch up with The Force Awakens and be forced to skirt around the events of the movie series. This issue proved problematic for Star Trek: Discovery, which attempted to introduce a huge war between the Klingons and Federation only ten years prior to the start of the iconic original series.
The Mandalorian premieres November 12th on Disney+.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019