The Mandalorian is the first live-action Star Wars TV series, masterminded by one of Hollywood’s most coveted directors, Jon Favreau.
Starring Pedro Pascal as the titular character, The Mandalorian has revealed very little in promotional clips and trailers. That leaves plenty of room for fearless forecasts.
SNIPdaily featured writer Duane Beckett and I have a lot to say about this show — and I don’t hold his Last Jedi bashing against him. Too much.
Read on for our bold predictions for The Mandalorian, which debuts November 12 on Disney+.
It won’t be as dark as the trailer makes out
(Beckett) If you’ve got a thing for Star Wars, then The Mandalorian trailer definitely got you pumped.
Stormtrooper heads on spikes. A dude getting decapitated by a door. There’s even a Mexican stand-off!
I was drooling and then it hit me — it’s Disney and it’s on Disney+. It’s sold as a family streaming service. The adult stuff is on Hulu. This isn’t changing.
Thus, The Mandalorian will be family-friendly. Expect the brutal stuff hidden — think Psycho and the shower scene.
Boba Fett makes a surprise cameo
(Fitzgerald) For as much hype as Fett gets, and as much grief as Captain Phasma has gotten, Boba went out like a punk and had far less dialogue and screen time than did Phasma. But that’s neither here nor there.
The last time we saw the vaunted bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor, he fell into the Sarlacc Pit, where he was supposed to be slowly digested over a period of 1,000 years.
Legends material has depicted Boba escaping from his agonizing fate to go on further adventures in a galaxy far, far away. While there have been hints to suggest he still lives in the new canon as well, nothing has been confirmed. Doing so in this series would be a shock, but a welcome one.
Given that he’s not a native of the planet Mandalore, unlike the eponymous protagonist of this show, there could be some interesting history tied to Boba to further his story.
This is a chance to creatively embed exposition into a fledgling rivalry with Star Wars’ new antihero.
The droid IG-11 will steal the show
(Beckett) While Pedro Pascal does his thing in silence, IG-11 will be loud. It’ll be like C3-PO got balls and blasters.
We have one guarantee in Star Wars: the droid is always comedy relief.
Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge voiced L3-37 in Solo, and her personality came through. She set a benchmark in mature droids, and Taika Waititi’s new sidekick will nail it too.
Waititi has incredible comedic sensibilities as an actor, writer and director. His upcoming film Jojo Rabbit is getting Oscar buzz, and he helped grow Marvel’s Thor into a character with a surprising amount of humor.
IG-11 will be the show’s big speaking role, compensating for The Mandalorian’s lack of chat. Get your IG-11 action figures early as they’ll be out of stock by Christmas!
World-building will emphasize quality over quantity
(Fitzgerald) One of the hallmarks of Star Wars is its ability to build exotic worlds. “Quality” is not to imply what’s preceded The Mandalorian fell short in imaginative settings and art design.
But in many instances, Star Wars films jump to different planets for sharp scenery changes. A planet typically denotes a specific climate (Hoth the ice planet, Endor’s full-forest moon, the all-desert planets of Tatooine and Jakku).
With plenty of TV episodes and a single protagonist headlining, there will be some trademark planet-hopping, but wherever this Mandalorian’s seedy operations are based, what if we spend more time in fewer places?
There hasn’t really been a contained story of that variety in Star Wars. But imagine a cat-and-mouse game across an entire planet full of diverse landscapes, without the aid of super-fast, full-blown spaceships or light speed.
These elements may not be [the droids, er, sorry] what Star Wars fans are looking for. However, it may be wind up being what they didn’t know they needed. So the Jedi mind trick I just Inception‘d into your mind still stands!
The entire series will be teasing helmet (removal)
(Beckett) He’s not going to talk — and we’re definitely not going to see Pedro Pascal’s lovely face! You might get a slight shot of cheek but it’ll be side-on and cast in shadow.
In no way will this end up with a bare-chested Mandalorian doing mind-Skype with IG-11. It’s not Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley — it’s not Twilight!
The Man(dalore) With No Name will also be a man with no face, and the show will be better for it!
A secret Jedi intervenes for at least one episode
(Fitzgerald) Why not Ahsoka Tano? A beloved character in the Clone Wars and Rebels TV series, Ahsoka was framed for bombing the Jedi Temple and ostracized from the Council. Although she was later found innocent and offered to return, she was alienated and declined.
Complicating Ahsoka’s journey was her prior apprenticeship under Anakin Skywalker. Once he became Darth Vader, Ahsoka confronted him in a climactic lightsaber battle that saw her slice Vader’s iconic mask.
Ahsoka survived the Rebels series, and its Season 4 finale coincided with the Battle of Endor. In other words, she’s very much alive (somewhere in the galaxy) at the end of Return of the Jedi.
The Mandalorian takes place only five years after the events of that film, per the canon timeline. Furthering the connective tissue here: Clone Wars and Rebels creator Dave Filoni serves as an executive producer on The Mandalorian.
Filoni is also directing the pilot episode of this new show, lending some credence to this speculation that he’d advocate for Ahsoka’s return.
Ming-Na Wen is a notable cast member whose role hasn’t been revealed yet. Once upon a time, she was the voice of Fa Mulan, a hardcore, sword-wielding warrior. How cool would it be for her to do that again as Ahsoka in a live-action setting for another major Disney IP?
Legendary actor/director Werner Herzog will end in carbonite
(Beckett) Prediction lists are vague, low stakes. So let’s put all the chips on the table. Werner Herzog will be in carbonite within 15 minutes of episode one.
That’s right — the actor with the gruff accent and the only one to speak in the trailer? He’ll be the first bounty collected by Pedro Pascal.
That’s the smartest way for Jon Favreau and Co. to grab us all by the short and curlies: If it can happen to a legend like Herzog, it can happen to anyone!
There will be a post-finale cliffhanger scene
(Fitzgerald) Disney’s massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe uses post-credits sequences to tease upcoming blockbuster installments. Why not try it in Star Wars?
Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau has confirmed he’s already writing and developing a second season of the show, with designs to direct some, too.
Disney must feel great about the material to greenlight a Mandalorian sequel campaign so fast, so it’d make sense for Favreau to leave something extra following the Season 1 finale end credits.
Post-credits scenes usually lead to fun fan speculation and anticipation for what’s to come. Star Wars could really move the needle with such a big sandbox to play in between the events of the original and sequel movie trilogies.
The Mandalorian will be a man of few words
(Beckett) To springboard off that last prediction: If Pedro Pascal says more than 30 words in the first episode, I’ll eat my lightsaber.
People in the know have already called the show a “Western in space,” comparing the Mandalorian to Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name. It’s exciting as Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars Trilogy’ puts every other Western over its knee.
What if the Eastwood character The Mandalorian follows turns out to be Pardner from Paint Your Wagon? An opening scene with Pascal walking into Mos Eisley singing “I Talk To Trees” fits Disney.
If this was Rian Johnson, I would be bricking it, but in Jon Favreau I trust. Sarlacc pits beware!
Grand Admiral Thrawn is the man behind the curtain
(Fitzgerald) Let’s end with a bang: Thrawn was such a beloved character in Legends (non-canon) lore that he was integrated into the new canon since Disney acquired Star Wars and Lucasfilm.
In his own Legends novel trilogy from the early 1990s penned by Timothy Zahn, Thrawn was in fact the one to take command of the Empire’s military forces after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Season 3 of Rebels marked Thrawn’s introduction to the official Disney Star Wars canon, so there’s a strong Dave Filoni tie there as well. This feels like an opportunity that can’t be missed, especially with Filoni on board.
This would also be a nice misdirect; the minimal Mandalorian footage shown thus far seems to suggest Herzog’s character is the overseer of the bounty-hunting underworld. Little do we know that he could be reporting to Thrawn, similar to how Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra from Solo was reporting to Darth Maul.
Let’s hope Thrawn has more direct involvement herein. He’d be a fascinating antagonist for this Mandalorian to deal with.
More than a personal conflict, this would be a clash of extra-personal galactic ideologies — Thrawn attempting to restore imperial order; the Mandalorian attempting to use the lawless, Old West-esque atmosphere to his advantage for profiteering and individual interests.