10:04am PT by Patrick Shanley
'Star Wars': What Is Jon Favreau's 'The Mandalorian'?
On Wednesday, director Jon Favreau revealed details from his upcoming Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, for Disney's forthcoming streaming service.
Favreau described the series thusly: "After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic."
As expected, three sentences (typed in yellow font on a black background) was all it took for Star Wars fans across the galaxy to fervently speculate further details about the upcoming series.
Mandalorians, as Star Wars fans know, are a race that inhabits the planet Mandalore, a remote celestial body that resides in the Outer Rim territories. They were a warmongering society made up of fearsome warriors known throughout the galaxy. In the film universe, two Mandalorians are prominently featured — and they are mentioned by name in Favreau's teaser for the series — Jango and his "son," Boba (he's technically a clone).
Boba Fett, with his iconic battleworn green armor and his work as a bounty hunter, made him a fan favorite in the original Star Wars trilogy in the 1970s and '80s. His "father," Jango, is much less of a cultural icon, but did help to suss out the family history and explain who exactly the clones in the infamous Clone Wars are.
Favreau's series will explore new ground for the Mandalorians, as it takes place long after Jango offered up his DNA to the long-necked cloners of Kamino in the 2002 film Attack of the Clones, in which Jango is later beheaded by Jedi master Mace Windu, and beyond the events of the third entry of the original trilogy, 1983's Return of the Jedi, in which Boba is swallowed by gluttonous desert garbage disposal, the Sarlacc.
As such, Favreau, who will write and exec produce the upcoming show, has ground to explore a character outside of the Fett family tree, something that hasn't been done in a live-action Star Wars project. Casting has yet to be announced, but many fans are speculating Game of Thrones breakout Pedro Pascal may don the helmet. It's worth noting that Jango and young Boba were both played by New Zealanders of Maori descent (the original Boba Fett never took off his helmet onscreen), though in the animated Clone Wars series, not all Mandalorians appear to have the same ethnicity as the original actors.
In media outside of the main Star Wars films, Mandalore underwent significant political machinations and power struggles among warring clans and various factions vying for power under the Empire. Given the setting of The Mandalorian in the established Star Wars timeline, Favreau's series could very well explore these facets of the lore and give fans a Game of Thrones-esque opera of feuding nobility.
That, however, seems unlikely given the description Favreau provides of his series' "lone gunfighter." There are many worlds in the galaxy and it is a safe bet to assume that the titular Mandalorian will visit more than a few. While it is always exciting to see new worlds and the various races of aliens who inhabit them, a show that focuses on the roaming escapades of a blaster-toting space assassin potentially robs audiences of a more intimate, grounded series that focuses on a centralized conflict.
On the other hand, by planet-hopping and, presumably, chasing different bounties, The Mandalorian could operate as a very entertaining episodic adventure that opens up the already incredibly expansive Star Wars universe even further. If each episode centers on a different "mark" or "target" for our hero, it would offer a nearly endlessly creative sandbox for a series to play with and explore.
If Favreau decides to go that latter route, it would do him and the series well to lean into the more Western themes and vibe that the Fetts exhibited. The very notion of a "lone gunfighter" evokes imagery of classic Old West fugitive hunters roaming the wild, untamed plains in search of dangerous outlaws. So, too, could the Mandalorian roll into some dusty, backwoods asteroid on the hunt for a nefarious alien gangster, robber or anyone else who finds themselves unlucky enough to be caught in the sights of his blaster.
Outside of all that, it would be nice to see Favreau explore the time between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order, since after two feature films and billions of box-office dollars, fans are still unclear as to how a regime that nearly identically mirrors the original dictatorship was able to rise to prominence in the span of a few decades.
A possible way to explore this, without dedicating the entire series to grander plots better left to features, is to have that rise play out in the background of the show as a growing influence that slowly pervades more and more of the galaxy. After all, Mandalore is in the Outer Rims and neighboring planets would likely be the last to feel the pressure of this new power.
Whatever he has in the works, fans should take solace in the fact that the series is in capable hands. Not only has Favreau proved himself as a filmmaker over the past two decades, but he is also no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having voiced roles in the Clone Wars and appearing in this year's Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The Disney streaming platform launches in late 2019. It's unclear when The Mandalorian will bow.