Hey there, Rebelscum fans! Generally, we like to spotlight underrated storylines within the Star Wars Legends canon, but this week we’re changing it up and talking about the hottest Star Wars property in the galaxy. The Mandalorian didn’t only open up the potential of Star Wars live-action television shows, but it single handedly launched the Disney+ streaming service with some of the highest streaming numbers of all-time. Its characters have already grown as beloved favorites among fans.
Today with “Expand Your Mind,” we’ll be looking at the history of The Mandalorian and how it changed the direction of the Star Wars universe, but we’ll be continuing throughout the week with more Mando coverage. Our “Character Profile” will spotlight one of our favorite characters, our “Force Casting” will look at how we want to see the series continue, and our “Timeline Breakdown” will explore connections to other media. Our videos throughout the week will expand on these topic areas and provide insights on the merchandising available, with some new LEGO content incoming for the AFOLs out there.
Star Wars has had a rough history transitioning to live-action television. 1978’s The Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the most notorious disasters in TV history, and the fanbase for the two made-for-TV Ewok films Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventuture and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor is mostly regulated to those who grew up with them. George Lucas had been trying for years to create a live-action Star Wars: Underworld series with prequels producer Rick McCallum, but the proposed series set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope was met with setback after setback.
It wasn’t until March 2018 when Iron Man and The Jungle Book director Jon Faverau signed on as the showrunner of The Mandalorian that prospects looked brighter. Faverau of course recruited The Clone Wars and Rebels mastermind Dave Filoni to help him craft the show’s narrative. They envisioned a true return to Star Wars’ western roots, with a lone hero traveling between locations and meeting various eccentric characters.
Filoni had developed the history of the Mandalorians throughout The Clone Wars, so the idea of a new Mandalorian bounty hunter forced to protect a force-sensitive child was a natural transition for his narrative. Faverau had previously lent his voice to Death Watch commander Pre Vizla on The Clone Wars, and the two decided that the flexible morality of a masked character would make an interesting character arc over the course of several seasons.
The Mandalorian explores an interesting period within the timeline, set only five years after the destruction of Death Star II. The New Republic is beginning to form and Imperial remnants are scattered across the galaxy, but in the Outer Rim its frontier justice. This was the perfect launching point for the show’s new characters; Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), IG-11 (Taika Waititi), and Kuill (Nick Nolte) have competed with legacy Star Wars characters to become fan favorites, even if they’re all under the shadow of Grogu.
While the first season primarily sets up the new characters, The Mandalorian has gradually set up appearances by established characters. Among the guest stars are favorites like Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Ashoka Tano, Bo-Katan, and Bib Fortuna, as well as more obscure Expanded Universe characters like Cobb Vanth.
The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The rare science fiction series to earn Emmy nominations for Best Drama Series, The Mandalorian has impressed longtime fans and critics alike. During the midst of COVID-19 when production of new films was put on hold, The Mandalorian showed an exciting future for the franchise headed forward.
Obviously you’re watching The Mandalorian, but do you have a favorite storyline or character? What would you like to see in season three? What’s the best collectible you’ve found? Let us know below, and as always, may the Force be with you!