"Mandalorian, look outside, they're waiting for you." The wait is over -- the Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series hit the streaming service three weeks ago. (Read my full recap for the .) The , and are out too, and -- giving us a few days to featuring , indulge in and prepare our wallets for .of
The show's title has deep roots in the franchise's history, with links to bounty hunter.
We got the first episode on Nov. 12 with the launch ofin the US, Canada and the Netherlands, and will hit on Dec. 6, 13, 18 and 27.
Disney Plus arrived in Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 19, but it won't be launching in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Germany until-- long after the season has ended elsewhere.
Who's in it?
Pedro Pascal (best known for playing Game of Thrones) is the bounty hunter behind the helmet: He's a lone Mandalorian gunfighter operating in the outer reaches of the galaxy.in
He's joined by a star-studded cast:
- Giancarlo Esposito (who played Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul)
- Gina Carano (MMA fighter and actress)
- Carl Weathers (of Rocky and Predator fame)
- Taika Waititi ( )
- Werner Herzog (who directed and narrated Grizzly Man)
- Emily Swallow (Supernatural)
- Nick Nolte (Down and Out in Beverly Hills)
- Omid Abtahi (American Gods)
- Ming-Na Wen (Agents of SHIELD)
- Julia Jones ( )
At thein April, Pascal said the Mandalorian is "a mysterious lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. Some might say he has questionable moral character." He also casually in an interview -- Din Jarron.
The Mandalorian will work closely with Weathers' character, Greef Carga, He's the head of a bounty hunters' guild, the actor revealed at Celebration, and "the Mando is a guy who he figures can get the job done."
The Celebration Chicago panel also revealed that Esposito plays an Imperial -- since named as Moff Gideon. Herzog's character appears to be some sort of ex-Imperial crime boss, known only as The Client, and Abtahi's is a doctor.
Waititi is IG-11, a droid that's the same model as IG-88 -- one of the bounty hunters seen on Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back as the Sith Lord tasked them with tracking down the Millennium Falcon.
We've also met an Ugnaught -- the porcine species previously seen working as janitors on Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back -- named Kuill, an ally of the Mandalorian who's voiced by Nolte.
Wen plays Vanity Fair reported on Nov. 4., an assassin who encounters the Mandalorian,
Why isn't this about the usual Jedi and Sith conflict?
The Star Wars underworld is a very rich storytelling environment, according to executive producer Jon Favreau. He wanted to get back to the tone of the old Western and samurai films that inspired George Lucas, and said.
The Mandalorian is likely to be the streaming service's biggest draw, even if. It's one of four shows set in a galaxy far, far away coming to the Disney Plus streaming service.
The company announced theover the summer and a focusing on rebel spy Cassian Andor in 2018. And Ewan McGregor will in a brand new show, set to start shooting in 2020.
What else do we know?
Lucasfilm steadily drip-fed us information about the show since Favreau was Pre Vizsla -- the violent leader of a Mandalorian splinter group -- in and played pilot Rio Durant in .in March 2018. It's not his first Star Wars rodeo. He voiced
In summer 2018, Favreau revealed that the show is Return of the Jedi (so six years after the Empire's final defeat at the Battle of Jakku and 23 years before The Force Awakens) and focuses on all-new characters.after
Directors for the first season:
- Dave Filoni -- and Rebels creator will helm the first and fifth episodes, making the jump into live action for the first time.
- Rick Famuyiwa -- The Dope director led the second and sixth episodes.
- Deborah Chow -- Directed Jessica Jones and Better Call Saul. She handled episodes three and seven (and the upcoming Obi-Wan show).
- Bryce Dallas Howard -- Better known for her acting but she's directed shorts including Soulmates. She'll direct episode four.
- Taika Waititi -- Directed , and will helm the eighth episode of The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian is among the first projects for ILM TV, the newly announced TV division of Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic visual effects company. It'll be run from a new studio in London.
The show's soundtrack is Creed II. Göransson's Black Panther score won him on Feb. 10 and on Feb. 25., who scored , and
"In these next months I hope to honor the tradition of Star Wars' musical landscape while propelling The Mandalorian into new and unchartered territory," he said in a statement posted to StarWars.com. "And I will try to remember that there is no try."
Waititi mentioned after a Television Critics Association panel that the show is similar to the original trilogy and that he had to curb the signature comedic instincts he used in Thor: Ragnarok as he directed his episode.
"Star Wars, you know, is just very different to the Marvel style," he said. "They know that whatever was set up in the tone of the first films really should be kind of adhered to and that's what the fans like and you can't really disrespect it, I guess, is a nice way of saying it. Can't have too many jokes, but there's a little bit. Definitely my tone is in there, with the dialogue and stuff like that."
He also mentioned working on "scenes with like 50 or 60" stormtroopers -- implying that we'll see a big battle in the season finale.
Filoni and Favreau also hinted to Entertainment Weekly that the show will reveal how the state of the galaxy allowed the First Order to rise from the ashes of the Empire, with Filoni suggesting that things got messy on the outer reaches of the galaxy after the second Death Star blew up.
"Things weren't necessarily managed as well as they could have been if [the galaxy] ended up in hot water again like that," Favreau told the magazine.
The Mandalorian's ship is called the Razor Crest, and it seems to pay homage to Jango Fett's original ship -- Kuat Drive Yards Amphibious Interstellar Assault Transport/infantry -- seen in the Legends canon 2002 video game Bounty Hunter.
Is there a bounty of Mandalorian merch for us to hunt?
Merchandise hunting is a complicated hobby, but you know you want it. The Mandalorian stuff hit on Oct. 4, known as Triple Force Friday. That date also brought merchandise from The Rise of Skywalker and , so expect to see a whole bunch of new toys, collectibles, books and clothes based on the Disney Plus TV show, the movie and the game.
CNET reporters attended Force Friday previews in San Francisco and New York, so you can. Three characters from the show are represented in the six-inch Black Series -- The Mandalorian himself (along with a shiny carbonized variant), Cara Dune and the Offworld Jawa. IG-11 is getting a figure too.
What's a Mandalorian?
Mandalorians are humans from the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, its moon Concordia and the planet Kalevala, whose story was largely told in The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Their world went through major political upheaval during the Clone Wars and early days of the Galactic Empire's rule, but many of the clans united under the rule of Bo-Katan Kryze after she took control of the. The black-bladed weapon was created more than 1,000 years earlier by Tarre Vizsla (the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order) and became a symbol of leadership.
You probably associate bounty hunters Boba Fett and Jango Fett with the term because they wear the cool armor, but they aren't true Mandalorians. Jango once claimed to be from Concord Dawn, a Mandalorian world, but the government considered him (and by extension, his cloned son Boba) to be pretenders.
Could Boba Fett show up?
"Boba Fett is not one of the all-new original characters," Favreau told GMA in August. "There's a 30-year stretch of story time that hasn't been explored at all, except in the extended universe."
You'll note that wasn't an outright "no" -- fans have been clamoring for Boba's return to the Star Wars galaxy despite his fall into the maw of a hungry sarlacc in Return of the Jedi, but there's been no indication that will happen. Kennedy confirmed thatbut that could pave the way for his dramatic return in The Mandalorian.
Fans of the Legends material (developed in) will recall that Boba escaped the sarlacc in that continuity and went on to become the leader of Mandalore in a very different post-Return of the Jedi galaxy.
In Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy of novels, Mandalorian armor that's heavily implied to be Boba's is recovered from the pit and worn by former slave Cobb Vanth. Using the armor as a symbol of power, he becomes sheriff of Freetown (a settlement on Tatooine) and offers sanctuary to anyone willing to battle the world's crime syndicates.
The character we've seen could be Cobb -- the area in the first official Mandalorian photo certainly looks like it could be Tatooine -- but his armor is much better shape than Boba's would be; the helmet should be dented and the whole set should show signs of acid damage from its time in the sarlacc. He could've cleaned it up, but surely acid marks don't come out that easily.
Which characters are likely to appear?
We probably won't see any major characters from the movies, since the actors who play the main human characters aren't the right ages and they most likely won't be explored in depth until after.
However, we might see characters from the CGI animated series. Sabine Wren from Rebels is a Mandalorian. That show was set before A New Hope, but it ended with a flash-forward to a point after Return of the Jedi. We saw Sabine embarking on a quest with former Jedi Ahsoka Tano to find the lost Ezra Bridger.
That's highly speculative, but it'd be amazing to see Sabine (and maybe Ahsoka) in live action for the first time. It's unlikely to be the show's main narrative thrust since it'd demand that viewers have a certain level of foreknowledge prior to starting The Mandalorian.
One of the announced cast members, Omid Abtahi, was the voice actor for Mandalorian cadet Amis in two episodes of Ion Cannon podcast. Given that the Celebration Chicago panel revealed he's playing a doctor, it seems unlikely that he's bringing his role from the CGI animated show into live action (which would be a cool link between the Mandalorians of the prequel era and the time following Return of the Jedi)., as noted by the
What other stories could they draw from?
Star Wars 1313 was a video game that got shelved when Disney actor Wilson Bethel (who recently ).-- Lucasfilm's game development group -- in 2013. We saw an impressive demo for -style adventure before that, featuring
It would've seen players exploring the bowels of the city planet Coruscant -- the title was a reference to its grimy underworld Level 1313 (which later appeared in).
After it was canceled, we found out that Boba Fett was going to be the star and that Kennedy later agreed the concept art was "unbelievable."
"So our attitude is, we don't want to throw any of that stuff away. It's gold," she told Slashfilm in 2015. "And it's something we're spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to."
In that same interview, Kennedy noted that Lucasfilm read through the material Lucas developed for the canceled TV show Star Wars: Underworld, which was announced in 2005 and canned in 2010 due to budget constraints. It was to be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and would have tied into 1313.
Originally published Nov. 14, 2018, and updated regularly.