War’s over. He’s a peacetime Mandalorian.
So far, the story of this new Disney+ series has stumped Star Wars historians.
Now we’re about to learn what life is like in a lawless part of the galaxy after the fall of the Empire as the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago reveals the first details of The Mandalorian.
The first episode debuts when the Disney+ streaming service launches on Nov. 12.
Here are all the updates from the live presentation with executive producer Jon Favreau (Iron Man, the upcoming The Lion King) and the actor playing the masked man — Narcos and Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, executive producer Jon Favreau, and director Dave Filoni (of Rebels and The Clone Wars fame) are onstage.
Kennedy begins by describing Favreau first pitching the idea for the show. “It was instantaneous. We were so excited there was an opportunity to bring this to the screen,” Kennedy says. “I have a feeling that everybody in this room knows that this guy,” she added, pointing to Filoni, “is a rock star. What could be more exciting than Dave Filoni directing live action?”
She steps back, and let’s Filoni and Favreau steer the ship.
“Dave and I met each other up at the ranch … I was mixing Iron Man,” Favreau said. (That, of course, would be Skywalker Ranch.)
“I was working on The Clone Wars, Season 1,” Filoni said.
They swapped screenings, and were the first to watch each other’s projects. After that, Filoni recruited Favreau to voice the Mandalorian fighter Pre Vizla.
Favreau said he was struck by “the idea of that world after Return of the Jedi, and what would happen, and the type of characters that would survive, and what it was like before the new Republican took over. … You have only the strong surviving, you have chaos taking over in the galaxy.”
“Yes, good chaos,” Filoni said.
Favreau says “scum and villainy” is a rich environment for a new Star Wars story.
The main character looks similar to Boba Fett, but Lucasfilm has stated he’s not the same person.
This story takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi and tracks the experiences of a man from the same warrior tribe as notorious bounty hunter, who was last seen plunging into the hungry jaws of the Sarlacc pit on Tatooine.
Pascal will be joined in the cast by Apollo Creed from the Rocky films, Carl Weathers; Deadpool‘s Gina Carano; Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul; Omid Abtahi of American Gods; Emily Swallow of Supernatural; Nick Nolte as the voice of an alien creature.
Even the stoic German filmmaker Werner Herzog will play a part.
The first episode is directed by Filoni, the creative force behind the animated The Clone Wars and Rebels. Other directors stepping behind the camera for episodes are Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Dope), actor-turned-director Bryce Dallas Howard (who made the short film Solemates), and Thor: Ragnarok‘s Taika Waititi.
In addition to executive producing The Mandalorian, Favreau is also a writer, and the series showrunner is Karen Gilchrist, who executive produced The Jungle Book with him.
Another thing we know already is that Favreau is unleashing some heavy-duty, deep-dive nostalgia.
Throughout filming, he has tantalized followers on Instagram with images of characters who may be obscure to casual fans but are iconic to the hardcore ones.
Among those he has teased are:
• IG-88 — the imposing killer droid first glimpsed among the rogue’s gallery of bounty hunters in The Empire Strikes Back.
• R5-D4 — the red and white fail-droid from 1977’s original Star Wars, who fritzes out moments after Luke Skywalker and Uncle Owen buy it and C-3PO from the scavenger Jawas. (That allows them to choose R2-D2 instead, keeping the pair together for their mission.)
• Willrow Hood — this character is famous because he’s so indistinct. He is played by a background extra running through the hall behind Lando Calrissian during the evacuation of Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back, and although the actor is unknown and the character was nameless, he inspired endless jokes and speculation because the “futuristic” device he was carrying was actually an ice cream maker. In his hype for The Mandalorian, Favreau posted this:
What a scoop!
Finally, The Mandalorian has a callback to a truly arcane bit of Star Wars …
• The Star Wars Holiday Special — This 1978 broadcast was actually Boba Fett’s first appearance in the galaxy, turning up in an animated short about a year and a half before The Empire Strikes Back.
Above is the weapon he carried in that short, and below is an image Favreau sent out from the set.
Even though The Mandalorian is not Boba Fett, it seems that old bounty hunter’s shadow looms over it.
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