When Disney+ launches later this year it will set a course to the galaxy far, far away, with the first ever live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. The show will explore a time period of great upheaval after the fall of the Empire and before the First Order became a threat. But whose story will it tell during this dangerous and important era in the galaxy? And when can we expect to see it? Here's everything we know about the The Mandalorian so far.
UPDATE: New Characters, Details, and More from Star Wars Celebration
Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Carl Weathers offered lots of new information and photos from the show during a panel at this year's Star Wars Celebration held in Chicago. In addition to learning more about Pascal's Mandalorian (and his sweet looking ship), we also found out Carano will play an ex-Rebel shocktrooper turned mercenary, and Weathers will play the head of a bounty hunter guild who hires the Mandalorian for an important job.
Werner Herzog Teases His Role
In an interview with IndieWire, Werner Herzog offered up the first insight into his role on the show, saying it's "a small part, real small part." He also said he likes acting, "but only if I have to play a real villain." That certainly sounds like he'll be playing a baddie on the series, so let the speculation commence on who that could be.
Premise and Setting
The show will "follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic." The warrior will hail from Mandalore, a planet whose distinct armor was made famous by Jango and Boba Fett. Set photos revealed that the project will include a return to Tatooine for at least part of the first season, though the show is expected to also travel to other locales.
The series will begin three years after Return of the Jedi, which puts it far closer in time to the original trilogy than it does to the events of The Force Awakens. That's why a classic villain guarded by some very dangerous Empire-era stormtroopers could play an important role on the show, as well as a beloved hero from another Star Wars series.
While a few Star Wars novels and video games have been set in this period, it is still an under-explored time ripe for further storytelling.
Creators, Directors, and Producers
Show creator Jon Favreau (Elf, Iron Man) wrote all eight-episode for the first season. He is also serving as an executive producer along with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Dave Filoni (creator of the three Star Wars animated series), Colin Wilson, and Karen Gilchrist.
While Filoni directed the first episode, Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones, Mr. Robot), Rick Famuyiwa (Confirmation), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows), and Bryce Dallas Howard will also be behind the camera.
Favreau has also said the show will utilize the advanced CGI, motion-capture technology he used to great success on the live-action The Jungle Book. And with a reported $100 million budget for eight episodes, it sounds like that won't be the only technology the show utilizes.
The show has no official release date yet, but Disney+ launches in the fall of 2019. While The Mandalorian completed principle shooting at the end of February, the series is most likely to debut sometime in 2020, after Episode IX comes to theaters this December.
Game of Thrones's Pedro Pascal was tapped for the titular role of the Mandalorian, which makes him one of the few people in the cast whose part we know. He'll be joined in still unannounced roles by Gina Carano (Deadpool), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Emily Swallow (The Mentalist), Omid Abtahi (American Gods), Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul), and Werner Herzog (no, seriously).
Additionally, director Taika Watiti will voice the infamous and vicious assassin droid IG-88, who was first seen in Darth Vader's lineup of bounty hunters in The Empire Strikes Back.
One other character (or at least one of his fellow models) who might be joining the show is R5-D4, who possibly sacrificed himself in A New Hope so Luke could buy R2-D2 from the Jawas.
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While not a character, Favreau also teased the reappearance of arguably the most infamous/absurd prop in all of Star Wars, the ice cream maker seen in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. Does this mean Willrow Hood will have a cameo? No, but we can dream can't we?
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What's a Mandalorian?
Mandalore is a planet in the Outer Rim that was home to fierce warriors. Most famous in the Star Wars movies for being where Jango and Boba Fett got their armor from (though they weren't Mandalorians themselves), it played an important role in The Clone Wars TV series. After years of civil war nearly destroyed the planet a new pacifist leader exiled all of Mandalore's warriors, but was eventually overthrown by Darth Maul before the planet fell under the control of the Galactic Empire.
While we don't know if Pedro Pascal will be from Mandalore, the son of an exiled warrior, or if his character will be connected to the Fetts in any way, Jon Favreau did share an image of a Mandalorian rifle that was seen during Boba Fett's first ever appearance in the Star Wars Holiday Special animated segment.
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Make sure to check back here for the latest news, reports, and updates on the show.
Images: Disney, HBO, Paramount Pictures