“This is the way.” You can watch all eight episodes of the first season of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney Plus right now. The show introduced us to the gift that is Baby Yoda, season 2 kicks off on Friday, Oct. 30 and the first trailer for the upcoming season dropped on Tuesday.
What we know about season 2?
“The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire,” read the synopsis that dropped with first trailer for the second season.
Directors for the new season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed (the man behind Ant-Man and its sequel) and Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and Alita: Battle Angel), the release noted.
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Gina Carano, who plays Cara Dune in the show, confirmed in a March 6 Instagram post that production on the season had wrapped. That timing was fortunate — it finished up prior to the coronavirus lockdown, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed to CNBC that “there’ll be no delay,”unlike many other movies and shows.
On March 20, Slashfilm reported that season 2 will see Ahsoka Tano, former Padawan of the late Anakin Skywalker, make her live action debut. She’ll apparently be played by Rosario Dawson, whom you might remember playing Claire Temple in Netflix’s Marvel shows.
“That’s not confirmed yet but when that happens, I will be very happy. I’m very excited for that to be confirmed at some point,” Dawson told Variety in April.
Katee Sackhoff will apparently bring Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian warrior she voiced in The Clone Wars and Rebels, into live action in the second season. She shot her scenes in February, Slashfilm reported.
Bo-Katan, who played a pivotal role in the just-concluded The Clone Wars, held the Darksaber and united the clans of Mandalore in the final season of Rebels. Since those events, Moff Gideon took the weapon, but we don’t know how that happened.
Michael Biehn, who played Kyle Reese in The Terminator and and Corporal Hicks in Aliens, will join the cast as a bounty hunter, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Bill Burr will apparently also reprise his role as gunslinger Mayfield, according to i09.
In a Feb. 4 earnings call, Disney boss Bob Iger also mentioned the possibility that some of the show’s characters could go “in their own directions in terms of series” — hinting that we might see some Mandalorian spinoffs down the line.
Could Boba Fett show up?
It seems like he’s going to make his return in Season 2, and he’ll be played by Temuera Morrison, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Bioreports sister site Comicbook.com. The actor previously played bounty hunter Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, and also portrayed the clone troopers in that movie and Revenge of the Sith.
Jango was recruited by Count Dooku to serve as the genetic template for the clone army used by the Galactic Republic, as part of Darth Sidious’ super convoluted plot to wipe out the Jedi. Part of Jango’s payment was an unaltered clone that he could raise his son — Boba — but the elder Fett was killed during the Battle of Geonosis.
The younger Fett was played by Daniel Logan in Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars CGI animated series, but The Mandalorian takes place decades later and a grown-up Boba would look identical to Jango.
However, Boba isn’t the only person with Jango’s face. Even though clone troopers were designed to age at an accelerated speed, some could still be alive. The Rebels series finale revealed that Commander Rex fought in the Battle of Endor (a few years prior to the events of The Mandalorian), while Commander Wolffe survived until at least the end of Rebels.
You might assume that Jango and Boba are Mandalorians because they wear the armor, but Mandalorian Prime Minister Almec dismissed them as pretenders during the Clone Wars. However, Almec wasn’t the most trustworthy character, so all bets are off as to the Fetts’ heritage.
Fans have been clamoring for Boba’s return to the Star Wars galaxy despite his fall into the maw of a hungry sarlacc in Return of the Jedi. We saw a mysterious person approach assassin Fennec Shand’s body on Tatooine in the final moments of the fifth episode, with Fett’s trademark spur sound effect, but the show didn’t follow up on that tease on the first season.
We’ll also see Timothy Olyphant — who played gunslingers in Deadwood and Justified — joining the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His character will apparently wear Boba Fett’s armor, Slashfilm noted in a followup report.
Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy of novels — which are set between Return of the Jedi and The Mandalorian — saw Mandalorian armor that’s heavily implied to be Boba’s being recovered from the sarlacc’s maw and worn by former slave Cobb Vanth. Using the armor as a symbol of power, he becomes sheriff of Freetown (a settlement on Tatooine) and offers sanctuary to anyone willing to battle the world’s crime syndicates. It’d make more sense for Vanth to have been the person who inspected Shand’s body in season 1, but we’ll see.
Fans of the Legends material (developed in novels, comics and games prior to 2014) will recall that Boba escaped the sarlacc in that continuity and went on to become the leader of Mandalore in a very different (and non-canon) post-Return of the Jedi galaxy.
And season 3?
It’s apparently in preproduction. Favreau has been writing the show’s third season “for a while,” according to an April 21 Variety report, and Lucasfilm’s art department has been working on concept designs for a few weeks. Production design reportedly kicked off on April 20.
What happened in season 1?
You’re in luck! I wrote detailed recaps of each episode that you can use to catch up:
Chapter 1: The Mandalorian
Chapter 2: The Child
Chapter 3: The Sin
Chapter 4: Sanctuary
Chapter 5: The Gunslinger
Chapter 6: The Prisoner
Chapter 7: The Reckoning
Chapter 8: Redemption
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What’s the deal with the documentary?
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is an eight-episode making-of series, interviews with The Mandalorian’s cast and crew, new footage from the show’s production and round-table conversations hosted by Favreau. Episodes dropped on Disney Plus each Friday, and it’s all available now.
The titles are pretty self-explanatory, aside from the second one. It looks at George Lucas’ continuing impact on Star Wars, and features a pretty amazing monologue from director Dave Filoni, who worked directly with Lucas on The Clone Wars. He’ll make you think about The Phantom Menace in a whole new way.
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Is there any tie-in literature?
As is Star Wars tradition, readers will be able to dive in further. A bunch of books were revealed on the official Star Wars site in June. The major ones are:
- The Art of The Mandalorian Season One by Phil Szostak.
- The Mandalorian tie-in novel (telling a new story) by Adam Christopher.
- The Mandalorian: The Ultimate Visual Guide by Pablo Hidalgo.
The company noted they’ll start coming out this fall, winter and next spring — preorder pages revealed that the art book will be released Dec. 15 (and cost $40), while the novel has been delayed until fall 2021 (for $29). Marvel and IDW will also bring out comics inspired by the show.
“At the moment, we’re keeping things under wraps — including the title, synopsis, and cover,” Christopher wrote in a blog post about his novel. “But that does mean I get one of those cool and mysterious Cover Not Final placeholders.”
Who’s in it?
Pedro Pascal (best known for playing Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones) is the bounty hunter behind the helmet: He’s a lone Mandalorian gunfighter operating in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
He’s joined by a star-studded cast, but a couple of these characters didn’t survive season 1:
- Gina Carano as ex-Rebel Alliance shock trooper Cara Dune
- Carl Weathers as bounty hunter boss Greef Carga
- Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon
- Emily Swallow as the Mandalorian Armorer
- Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing
- Bill Burr as sharpshooter Mayfield
- Natalia Tena as mercenary Xi’an
- Clancy Brown as mercenary Burg
- Julia Jones as villager Omera
- Nick Nolte as mechanic Kuiil (dead)
- Taika Waititi as assassin droid IG-11 (destroyed)
- Werner Herzog as the Imperial Client (dead)
- Richard Ayoade as droid Zero (destroyed)
- Ismael Cruz Cordova as criminal Qin (presumed dead)
- Mark Boone Jr. as Ranzar Malk (presumed dead)
- Ming-Na Wen as assassin Fennec Shand (dead)
- Jake Cannavale as rookie bounty hunter Toro Calican (dead)
What’s the deal with Baby Yoda?
This little guy captured everyone’s hearts the moment he appeared in the season premiere, and we’ve got a whole separate guide for him. He’s officially known as The Child — we don’t know his real name, race or home planet, but he can use the Force pretty effectively and the Imperial Remnant wants him.
Oh, and the most detailed version of the puppet apparently cost around $5 million.
Why isn’t this about the usual Jedi and Sith conflict?
The Star Wars underworld is a very rich storytelling environment, according to executive producer Jon Favreau. He wanted to get back to the tone of the old Western and samurai films that inspired George Lucas, and said the show is Star Wars meets Mad Max.
The Mandalorian is one of four shows set in a galaxy far, far away coming to the Disney Plus streaming service.
The seventh season of The Clone Wars started in February, and the company announced a Rogue One prequel series focusing on rebel spy Cassian Andor in 2018. And Ewan McGregor will return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a brand new show, set to start shooting in 2021.
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Who else is involved?
Directors for the first season:
- Dave Filoni — The Clone Wars and Rebels creator helmed the first and fifth episodes, making the jump into live action for the first time.
- Rick Famuyiwa — The Dope director led the second and sixth episodes.
- Deborah Chow — Directed Jessica Jones and Better Call Saul. She handled episodes three and seven (and will direct the upcoming Obi-Wan show).
- Bryce Dallas Howard — Better known for her acting but she’s directed shorts including Soulmates. She directed episode four.
- Taika Waititi — Directed Thor: Ragnarok, and helmed the eighth episode of The Mandalorian.
Favreau, Filoni, Colin Wilson and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy are the executive producers, with Karen Gilchrist as co-executive producer.
The Mandalorian is among the first projects for ILM TV, a division of Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic visual effects company. The show’s soundtrack is composed by Ludwig Göransson, who scored Black Panther, Venom and Creed II. Göransson’s Black Panther score won him a Grammy and an Oscar in 2019.
Is there a bounty of Mandalorian merch for us to hunt?
Merchandise hunting is a complicated hobby, but you know you want it. Three characters from the show are represented in the six-inch Black Series — The Mandalorian himself (along with a shiny carbonized variant), Cara Dune, IG-11, the Heavy Infantry Mandalorian (named Paz Vizla) and the Offworld Jawa. Baby Yoda joined them in spring 2020., with Mando in his Beskar armor following later in the year.
What’s a Mandalorian?
Mandalorians are humans from the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, its moon Concordia and the planet Kalevala, whose story was largely told in The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Their world went through major political upheaval during the Clone Wars and early days of the Galactic Empire’s rule, but many of the clans united under the rule of Bo-Katan Kryze after she took control of the Darksaber. The black-bladed weapon was created more than 1,000 years earlier by Tarre Vizsla (the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order) and became a symbol of leadership — it also showed up in The Mandalorian’s season 1 finale.
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What other stories could they draw from?
Star Wars 1313 was a video game that got shelved when Disney shut down all projects at LucasArts — Lucasfilm’s game development group — in 2013. We saw an impressive demo for Uncharted-style adventure before that, featuring actor Wilson Bethel (who hit the target in Daredevil season 3).
It would’ve seen players exploring the bowels of the city planet Coruscant — the title was a reference to its grimy underworld Level 1313 (which later appeared in The Clone Wars).
After it was canceled, we found out that Boba Fett was going to be the star and that Kennedy later agreed the concept art was “unbelievable.”
“So our attitude is, we don’t want to throw any of that stuff away. It’s gold,” she told Slashfilm in 2015. “And it’s something we’re spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to.”
In that same interview, Kennedy noted that Lucasfilm read through the material Lucas developed for the canceled TV show Star Wars: Underworld, which was announced in 2005 and canned in 2010 due to budget constraints. It was to be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and would have tied into 1313.