• The Mandalorian will be the first ever live action Star Wars series.
• It will debut in November on Disney +
• The show will star Pedro Pascal, and is run by Jon Favreau.
It’s a big year for Star Wars. Not only will the latest saga come to a close—we’ll finally see what happens with Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren in J.J, Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—but for the first time we’ll get a big budget, in-universe, live action show set directly in the Star Wars universe. That show is The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian isn’t expected to bring any of your old favorite characters into the fold—don’t wait for Han Solo or Lando to come flying into frame—but it explicitly takes place in George Lucas’ universe.
There isn’t a ton of information out there about the series so far, but we’re here to fill in all the blanks we possibly can.
What exactly is The Mandalorian?
The Mandalorian is the first show to launch on Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney+. It will debut on November 12, 2019, which is also the launch day for the service itself.
Mandalorians are the race of people in the Star Wars world that come from the planet within the world known as Mandalore. The most famous of these is Boba Fett, the very cool looking bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in George Lucas’ original trilogy. Boba Fett is the son of Jango Fett, the bounty hunter who appeared in the prequel trilogy, and another Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian, in this case, focuses on another person from that planet, to be played by Game of Thrones and Triple Frontier star Pedro Pascal. The show is said to follow “a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.”
Who’s making it?
Jon Favreau is the primary force behind The Mandalorian. If you’ve been following film or television at basically any point in the last 30 years, there’s a good chance you know Favreau’s work. He’s well known both as an actor—appearing in movies like Swingers and various MCU offerings, and with roles in TV series like Friends—but somehow his greater mark has come in the last two decades as a director: with movies like Elf, Iron Man, the upcoming The Lion King and the underrated Chef (which he also starred in) to his name, he’s shown a real talent behind the camera.
Favreau wrote the first season of the series and will serve as the showrunner, but he won’t be directing any episodes. Instead, those duties have been parsed out to a number of different directors including Bryce Dallas Howard (star of the Jurassic World films and Ron’s daughter) and Taika Waititi (director of Thor: Ragnarok, one of the very best films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
This is something of a passion project for Jon Favreau
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Favreau spoke about the project at length, describing how he’d been thinking about it since Disney first acquired the Star Wars rights for more than $4 billion back in 2012. He even said that he wrote four episodes of the show before he even had a deal with Disney. “I wanted to do this, but only if they wanted to do the version that I wanted to do.”
Due to some schedule finessing, he managed to balance his duties as showrunner and writer with his other projects (mainly, directing the 2019 live-action The Lion King remake). As it turns out, the television medium—namely, Disney+—helped him find the time for everything.
“When I was working on Lion King, it was a full-time job for a few of the years, but there was a lot of time when I just had to be available for three very focused hours a day,” he said. “The TV model allowed me to be an executive producer [on Mandalorian], which allowed me to, on my own time, write everything.“
That TV model, also, is the reason why Favreau is so excited about The Mandalorian. While it is a high-profile project in that it’s Star Wars, and its Disney+’s first series, he says that not having to deal with the expectations that come along with a major, tentpole, holiday release allow him to tell the kind of story he wants to tell. “The type of Star Wars that I’m inspired to tell is a smaller thing with new characters.,” he told THR in the same interview.
Will The Mandalorian connect with the Star Wars movies?
While it’s not clear if The Mandalorian will connect with any characters that already exist in the Star Wars films, we do know that it will exist in the same universe.
In terms of the show’s aesthetic, Favreau has said that he wanted to capture the spirit of not only the original trilogy, but specifically the first act of the first film. “What was it like on Tatooine? What was going on in that cantina?” he asked THR. “That has fascinated me since I was a child, and I love the idea of the darker, freakier side of Star Wars. The Mad Max aspect of Star Wars.”
The series is said to take place “after the fall of the Empire and before the rise of The First Order,” meaning it takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Who’s in the cast of The Mandalorian?
Pedro Pascal—aka Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones—plays the titular Mandarin. Joining him in the cast is Nick Nolte, MMA-fighter turned actress Gina Carano, Breaking Bad villain Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Bill Burr, and a pair of very notable directors: Werner Herzog (who says he’s never seen a Star Wars movie), and Waititi, who in addition to directing episodes of the series, will also voice a droid named IG-11.
How many episodes will be in the first season?
The first season will have eight episodes.
How can I watch The Mandalorian?
Disney+ will be the exclusive home for The Mandalorian. Since it’s the first series on a new streaming service, there’s no precedent set for how the show will be released.
However, it appears that the show will be released on a week-to-week basis, rather than all at once.
Is there a Mandalorian trailer yet? A poster? Anything?
You are in luck: the first teaser trailer for The Mandalorian debuted on Friday at Disney’s D23 expo. It was the first footage revealed from Disney+’s new flagship series.
An official series poster was also revealed earlier in the day:
In the months prior to the big reveals at D23, there were a number of photos released of characters, including Carano’s, Weathers’ and multiple of Pascal’s Mandalorian.
Additionally, if you’re interested in this show at all, you should probably follow Favreau on Instagram. He frequently shares nuggets, behind the scenes photos, and cool fan art from the show:
If you want to sift through, the official Star Wars YouTube also posted the entire Star Wars Celebration Mandalorian panel. It’s about 45 minutes long, and features Favreau, Pascal, and the cast talking about the show.