Clint Eastwood in a galaxy far, far away… If that pitch from former Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal isn't enough to get you excited about the first Disney+ show Star Wars: The Mandalorian then – to quote the wise Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi – well, then you are lost.
“The Mandalorian is a mysterious, lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy,” Pascal, who will play the eponymous character, said at The Mandalorian panel at April’s Star Wars Celebration 2019. “Some might say he has questionable moral character, in line with some of our best Westerns, and some good samurai [movies]. And he’s a badass. He’s got a lot of Clint Eastwood in him.”
Still no excited? Consider that Pascal's Mandalorian has the same tailor as perennial fan-favourite Boba Fett; that the actor was a standout in his single season as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones; and that the show’s set in the mostly unexplored time period between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, light years away from the influence of the New Republic and the First Order. That's a lot of big reasons to feel ecstatic that Star Wars: The Mandalorian will finally reach our TV screens this November.
The Mandalorian TV show will be one of the first shows airing on the hotly anticipated new Disney+ streaming service when it goes live on November 12, 2019 (UK fans will have to wait a little longer). It’ll undoubtedly be a day long remembered – so here’s everything we know so far about the Star Wars: The Mandalorian cast, plot, trailer, timeline, that iconic Mandalorian armour and more!
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show release date: November 12, 2019
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show episodes: 8 (TBC)
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show cast: Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Nick Nolte, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Taika Waititi
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show showrunner: Jon Favreau
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show director(s): Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi
Star Wars: The Mandalorian release date
The Star Wars: The Mandalorian release date is November 12, 2019, which makes it a launch title for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service in the United States. That means you'll be able to able to start watching the show over a month before Star Wars 9, The Rise of Skywalker, closes out the Skywalker saga on December 19, 2019. Sounds like a pretty good way to pass the time!
For Star Wars fans in the UK, there are currently no announcements regarding a release date for Disney+, and therefore no release date for The Mandalorian. Yet.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian trailer
After months of waiting, the first Star Wars: The Mandalorian trailer was finally unveiled at Disney's D23 expo in Anaheim. The footage starts with Storm Trooper masks on spikes, then we see some shady dealings going on, a couple of wide-angle shots of the desert, a winking blue alien, and The Mandalorian standing stoic, facing down enemies. "Bounty hunting is a complicated profession," says Werner Herzog's character (more on that in a minute) as the music calms for a moment. Another character is seen frozen in Carbonite (not Han) before Herzog asks: "Don't you agree?"
At the convention Star Wars Celebration a different trailer was shown, though that one has not appeared online. The celebration trailer starts with the eponymous gunslinger following what appears to be a tracking beacon across the surface of an icy planet. He finds his way to a cantina (appointed in the familiar Mos Eisley style) full of aliens who look none-too-pleased about his arrival.
The Star Wars: The Mandalorian trailer then pulls out to more behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew. One piece of art shows The Mandalorian riding a dewback, giant lizards that are native to Tatooine, so it looks like he'll be spending some time on the Skywalkers' homeworld. It will be interesting to see what the underworld of Tatooine looks like five years after the death of its criminal kingpin, Jabba the Hutt.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian cast
Pedro Pascal – a man so charismatic as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones that it seems a waste to hide his head behind a helmet – leads the cast, playing a mysterious lone gunfighter who pilots an artillery-loaded gunship known as The Razorcrest.
Former MMA champ Gina Carano plays Cara Dune, an ex-Rebel shocktrooper who is having trouble re-integrating into society after her experiences in the war with the Empire. Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed from Rocky) plays a fixer named Greef who hires The Mandalorian to receive a certain valuable item for a certain rich client. Thor: Ragnarok director and What We Do in the Shadows star Taika Waititi is voicing IG-88, a droid bounty hunter who, like Boba Fett, is one of the six “scum" hired by Darth Vader to track down the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. A robot bounty hunter who sounds like Korg from Thor: Ragnarok? We would (and are going to) pay to see that.
The Mandalorian TV show also features Emily Swallow (Amara in Supernatural), Omid Abtahi (Salim in American Gods), Nick Nolte, and the legendary director of Fitzcarraldo and Grizzly Man (and sometime actor, mainly director) Werner Herzog. There's not too much information available about his character, but we do know that he's a villain.
“[It's] a small part, real small part, in The Mandalorian, the Star Wars sequel or whatever you like to call it,” he told IndieWire. “I like to do it because I know I’m good on screen, but only if I have to play a real villain.”
There's another star of Star Wars: The Mandalorian with form for playing villains – Giancarlo Esposito, aka Breaking Bad’s biggest bad Gus Fring. Again, not much is known about his role but he did tell Collider that he will be wearing “a great costume” and that some of the show has been filmed in “The Volume” – we're guessing he's referring to the sort of motion-capture set-up James Cameron uses on his Avatar movies.
“We’re in a place called The Volume, where we do most of our acting,” said Esposito, “where set pieces are brought in, where we can control the physical atmosphere of what is projected on the walls and control how gravity is; you get a feeling that gravity is being played with. This is a show that’s gonna be really fantastic.”
Ming-Na Wen, who voiced the original animated Mulan and later appeared in Marvel's Agents of Shield, will also be starring in the show in an undisclosed role.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian plot
Unfortunately, the Celebration and D23 panels did little to clue us in to the overall Star Wars: The Mandalorian plot. In the absence of a crack team of Bothan spies, Star Wars: The Mandalorian creator/showrunner Jon Favreau’s Instagram feed has so far proved the most important source of information about the new series. The above opening crawl-style post establishes the key facts...
The Star Wars: The Mandalorian story will focus on a masked “lone gunfighter” who – like famous bounty hunters Boba Fett and his dad, Jango Fett – chooses to wear the iconic battle armor of the Mandalorians. In Star Wars canon, it’s the look that inspired the armor of the original Clone Troopers in Attack of the Clones, the DNA of which can be seen in all the subsequent Republic/Imperial Trooper suits.
Beyond being known as “The Mandalorian”, we know nothing about the identity of the owner of the Mandalorian armour. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the internet from speculating. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a character we’ve encountered elsewhere in the Star Wars saga, even in a minor role, simply because Lucasfilm’s Story Group (arbiters of Star Wars canon) has form for it – the Rebel insurgent in Rogue One didn’t have to be Onderon freedom fighter Saw Gerrera from Star Wars: The Clone Wars with two more decades on the clock, but it helped tie things together, the same way Darth Maul’s surprise cameo did in Solo.
The best Star Wars movies, ranked
One candidate for the identity of the suit’s owner is Cobb Vanth, a character in Chuck Wendig’s post-Return of the Jedi Aftermath trilogy of novels, who crops up in Boba Fett-style togs on Tatooine. It could even be Boba Fett himself. Yes, we know the last we saw of him was his malfunctioning rocket pack blasting him towards a thousand years of misery being slowly digested in the Sarlacc’s belly. But there’s no reason a warrior as skilled as Fett couldn’t make his escape – indeed, he’s done it before, having forced his way out in the old Expanded Universe “Legends” novels that are now expunged from official continuity.
There are good reasons to suspect Fett’s repeated the trick in the official Star Wars timeline, too. The first Aftermath novel references Mandalorian armour found on Tatooine, “pitted and pocked, as if with some kind of acid” – a description consistent with someone who’s had a close encounter with a giant creature’s digestive tract. (The pristine suit revealed in the first The Mandalorian TV show image suggests he’d have since upgraded.) Meanwhile, Pablo Hidalgo, of the Story Group, told a Star Wars Celebration panel that “Boba Fett is both simultaneously alive and dead in the Sarlacc” until someone writes an official story that makes the call either way.
Fett’s an unlikely candidate, however. Even accepting that spoiler-phobic showrunners and directors are prone to fibs from time to time, the fact that Favreau told Nerdist that Star Wars: The Mandalorian will feature “all new characters [and] different planets” seems to remove the bounty hunter from the running – as does the fact that Pedro Pascal has described his character as “a bounty hunter like Boba Fett”. Also, the fact that, until recently, Lucasfilm were developing a standalone Boba Fett movie (with Josh Trank and James Mangold both attached as directors along the way) would seem to take him out of the running. Fett may be a fan favourite, but not enough to carry his own movie and a TV show.