Announcing… The Mandalorian!
This week has seen a flurry of news about The Mandalorian, the upcoming live-action Star Wars TV show from Lucasfilm and writer/director Jon Favreau. It may be Disney but what we know so far actually looks (dare I say it) quite exciting…
Things kicked off on Thursday when we had an Instagram post from Favreau announcing the show’s title and synopsis:
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…
This little snippet was followed up the next day with a still from the first day of production showing the titular character in full regalia.
It’s all looking decent, right? I’d go so far as to say that this project is the most promising development in Star Wars right now.
This is what we know about The Mandalorian so far – and why the signs are looking good…
She’s got it where it counts, kid
First up, Favreau is a writer with pedigree. Swingers was the indie hit that made his name back in 1996, with indirect follow up Made (2001) confirming his talent. More recently he wrote Chef (2014), a drama that earned fair acclaim. The guy knows his way around Final Draft, that’s for sure.
Yet even more reassuring is Favreau’s experience with big-budget crowd-pleasers. Sure, he may not have actually written Iron Man, the 2008 film that started the entire MCU, but as the director, he had a pretty massive say in how that story connected with the audience.
With his resume, it’s sad that we never got to see Favreau’s take on Episode VII. That said, given the period of The Mandalorian (reportedly seven years after Return of the Jedi), this is as close to his vision as we’re going to get.
Then there are the directors. With Favreau taking a writer/producer role the director’s chair is open for a whole roster of talent. Helmers on the list include Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Waititi. The pilot episode is being directed by one Dave Filoni, the “man with the hat” making the transition from animation to live-action.
It’s a great mix of talent working with the biggest budget on television. Given the time this show has had to breathe and develop in pre-production, we could be looking at the best new canon take on events after Return of the Jedi since the campaign mode of Battlefront 2.
And if the show takes the time to actually explore the gap between the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy in a way that makes sense, then even better. Let’s hope that’s not asking too much!
Let’s keep a little optimism here
What I love about the shot we’ve seen so far is how Lucas-era Star Wars it feels. That one shot of the Mandalorian (we assume) walking down an alley immediately brought to mind the pre-production stills we saw for Mos Espa from The Phantom Menace – which was an incredibly exciting emotion to be reminded of.
While I’m not advocating a return to Tatooine, ever, there’s a real sense of the Star Wars Outer Rim in that shot. Lovely stuff.
Then there’s that Mandalorian armour.
Again, the costume looks and feels like an extension of Star Wars without stepping too close to those other famous Mandalorians we know so well. It looks light and practical – and like something we’ll need as a 6″ Black Series figure as soon as possible!
One interesting point is how the costume resembles the stripped-down Mandalorian armour of the main character from cancelled Star Wars game 1313… who was intended to be revealed as Boba Fett by the game’s end.
Thankfully the synopsis makes it seem that this is a new character. Revealing this character as Boba Fett returned from the Sarlacc Pit would be a bad move, and disappointing given how tightly wound the Star Wars galaxy is already.
That said, the design for the entire 1313 game looked very cool. If The Mandalorian carries on in the same vein, then there’ll be no complaints here.
While this is all good news, it’s also very little to go on. The Mandalorian may be the galactic underworld Star Wars story many of us have been hoping for. Alternatively, it could be more Sequel Trilogy-style dreck.
This is Disney Star Wars, after all – and at this early date, there’s just no way of knowing.
The Mandalorian is set for release in 2020.