Fans were given their first real look at The Mandalorian today as Disney unveiled the first Star Wars live action series, scheduled to roll out on the new streaming service, Disney +, in November. Showrunner Jon Favreau was joined by director Dave Filoni and stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Carl Weathers to reveal some details and unveil the first footage.
According to Favreau, who pitched the series to Lucasfilm, the series takes place a few years after Return Of The Jedi and and delves into more of the Mos Eisley side of the Star Wars universe, focusing on the underworld and assorted hives of scum and vaillainy. “It was really compelling to me what happens after the celebration of the Empire falling,” said Favreau. “The revolution’s successful and then what happens? If you look throughout history, it’s fun at first but it gets very complicated very quickly. The type of characters that would survive and what it was like until the New Republic took over. So you have vestiges of the Empire, you have only the strong surviving, you have chaos taking over in the galaxy.”
The show also draws on George Lucas’ original Star Wars inspirations, namely John Ford and Sergio Leone Westerns and Kurosawa samurai movies, with The Mandalorian himself (played by Pascal) said to have a great deal of Clint Eastwood in him. “The Mandalorian is a mysterious, lone gun-fighter from the outer reaches of the galaxy,” said Pascal. “Some might say he is a questionable moral character, which is in line with some of our best Westerns. And he’s a badass!”
Weathers takes the role of Greef Marda, head of a bounty hunter guild and the man who dishes out jobs to the central character. “He’s looking for someone to go after a product for a client that’s very valuable,” said Weathers. “And he finds a bounty hunter named Mandalorian. He hires this guy and sends him out there and the Mando does what needs to be done.”
Carano plays Cara Dune, an ex-rebel shock trooper. “I’m a bit of a loner and I’m having a bit of trouble reintegrating myself into society,” she explained.
As well as revealing that, finding themselves short of stormtroopers, the show called in a battalion of fan garrison the 501st Legion to fill out the Imperial ranks, Favreau showed an extended clip which saw The Mandalorian accept a referral from Greif Marda to pick up a job from Werner Herzog’s shady Imperial officer (accompanied by a handful of shabby stormtroopers) before heading off in his ship, the Razor Crest, to start his mission. The clip was paced with Star Wars fan service, from the protruding robotic ‘doorbell’ from Jabba’s palace, to the stomping Power Droid seen in the Jawa sandcrawler, a gunslinging IG-88, and even a spit-roasted Salacious Crumb.
If Star Wars fans were looking for a reason to sign up to Disney +, The Mandalorian — along with the upcoming Cassian Andor series — seems the most compelling case so far. The show arrives on the service on 12 November and you can watch the entire panel (minus footage) below.