A surprising announcement concerning Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars show came out of the blue yesterday by the prominent filmmaker himself; the show is entitled, The Mandalorian, and there are several implications what that could mean. What follows is a brief history of the Mandalorians in regards to the Star Wars canon.
Before we begin to speculate, let’s have a closer look at the synopsis that Favreau himself revealed on his Facebook page.
“After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerged 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….”
The Fetts, insofar as the current Star Wars canon, are not regarded as true Mandalorians, but more bounty hunters that happen to wear Mandalorian armor. Instead, in the matter of Jango Fett, the government of Mandalore regarded Fett as a pretender and that he acquired the iconic armor through unknown means. This is revealed by Mandalorian Prime Minister Almec in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode, “The Mandalore Plot.” Furthermore, this is confirmed by Pablo Hidalgo, who is a prominent mouthpiece of the Lucasfilm Story Group. In the matter of Star Wars authenticity, Hidalgo’s comments have been known to go from Star Wars “fiction” to Star Wars “fact.” For added measure, even the official Star Wars Twitter account downplays the Fetts ties to Mandalorian culture.
That being said, we owe a lot to Star Wars: The Clone Wars for what it did for the Mandalorians, as the show not only brought the planet of Mandalore to the limelight but also the culture of its divided peoples; those who are pacifists (lead by the Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze), and the notorious warriors who seek to restore Mandalore’s violent past (led by the fiendish leader of the Death Watch, Pre Vizsla).
The Mandalorian culture is very unified and prideful. Though they may be divided into their respective clans, several of them are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep their vision of a true warrior-lead Mandalore a reality. In fact, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars the Mandalorians who sought to eliminate the pacifist leadership of Mandalore, a group calling themselves the Death Watch, even partnered with the former Darth Maul to bolster their efforts.
Dave Filoni, director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has a great description of the Mandalorians from the aforementioned show.
“This is how George has always envisioned the Mandalorians. Of course, people immediately think of the iconic Fett armor, because that’s all we’ve had to go on for so many years; it’s mysterious, and we’ve built up that mystique as fans. But Boba and Jango Fett aren’t necessarily what I would consider accurate representatives of the Mando culture. They’re bounty hunters and outlaws — totally rogue. If you go way back to the original concepts, the Mandalorians were a group of supercommando troops; it’s only now that George is really bringing that to the screen. They’re in the series because he wanted to define their culture, to explore the foundations of this warrior faction.“
Favreau describes this Mandalorian in his upcoming series as a “lone gunfighter,” lending credence to the thought that this will be a Mandalorian adhering to their race’s warrior history. This theme was further capitalized in Filoni’s next animated series, Star Wars Rebels. One of the main characters of the show, Sabine Wren, is a Mandalorian. At some point in the show, she comes to possess the darksaber, a highly sought after heirloom in Mandalorian culture. The darksaber, it turns out, belonged to the very first Mandalorian Jedi Knight, Tarre Vizsla, during the reign of the Old Republic.
“I didn’t know Mandalorians developed a type of lightsaber.“
“We didn’t. This was one of a kind. Legend tells that it was created over a thousand years ago by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi Order. After his passing, the Jedi kept the saber in their temple. That was until members of House Vizsla snuck in and liberated it. They used the saber to unify the people and strike down those who would oppose them. One time, they ruled all of Mandalore wielding this blade.“
– Kanan Jarrus and Fenn Rau on the darksaber.
More and more, the Mandalorians have been gaining their stride, and their mythos expanded upon, since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the canon was rebooted. Wouldn’t you know it, one of the latest nods to the Mandalorians can be found in Solo: A Star Wars Story. In Dryden Vos’ meeting room, aboard his personal yacht, there can be found a set of red shaded Mandalorian armor. It gets more interesting from there. Vos was a leader of Crimson Dawn, who answered to Maul, who gathered the allegiance of numerous factions and criminal organizations to supplant his former master, Darth Sidious, as ruler of the galaxy. Of course, one of those allegiances was the Mandalorian group, Death Watch. You see how all these strings tie together?
A lot of events in the galaxy concerning the Mandalorians have been seen during the Clone Wars, as well as the Galactic Civil War, but we still don’t know what they have been up to during the years prior to the emergence of the First Order from the Unknown Regions. This makes The Mandalorian already an intriguing episodic series. The only thing remotely close to this subject matter is when Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano, after the fall of the Galactic Empire, set out on a journey to recover Ezra Bridger, who had disappeared into the Unknown Regions with Grand Admiral Thrawn at the conclusion of Star Wars Rebels. I doubt this will be the premise of The Mandalorian, however. As much as I want answers to Ezra and Thrawn’s whereabouts, focusing on another Mandalorian seems most likely.
Perhaps this lone Mandalorian could be another gun for hire, as was the case with Boba Fett. It’s still far too early to tell what the new series could entail, but we’re left to the wonderment of imagination. Another thing to consider from Favreau’s brief description is that he mentions, “outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.”
One of the New Republic’s first official deeds, after the fall of the Galactic Empire, was ensuring the signing of the Galactic Concordance, which stipulated the fallen Empire’s adherence to the acts of demilitarization, ceasing stormtrooper recruitment, ending Imperial Academies across the galaxy, and for the former Imperials to remain within predetermined boundaries in the Core and Inner Rim of the galaxy.
What could this mean for The Mandalorian though? Well, we already know that the Imperial remnant, led by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, fled into the Unknown Regions following the Battle of Jakku. Over the years you can bet that Imperial sympathizers, and eventual First Order allegiant, are sure to congregate in the Outer Rim. The Outer Rim has often felt like its own galaxy, where practically anything goes, and many worlds inadvertently take part in the bigger events surrounding the galaxy. It’s also been known to be notorious in terms of law and order, a lot of the galaxy’s criminal syndicates and spice cartels flourish in this part of the galaxy, such as the Hutt Cartel, so what better place for a Mandalorian with an agenda to go?
Ultimately, it’s all conjecture until we do actually see the series unfold before our eyes. Still, I won’t say no to more Mandalorians in Star Wars. On top of that, this is new content that will take place between the original and sequel trilogies. That’s an area that has stories in the form of novels and comics, but this will be the first time we see new stories in the form of film and/or television.
I’d even wager to say that the series is in good hands with Jon Favreau. That’s because Favreau was the voice of Pre Vizsla, the head of Death Watch, himself. He no doubt had to immerse himself within the warrior culture of the Mandalorians. Plus getting to work extensively with Dave Filoni on Star Wars: The Clone Wars must have helped Favreau with the world building element of the saga. This prior experience should no doubt be reflected upon as Favreau takes direction for The Mandalorian.
There’s no word yet when The Mandalorian will begin its series run, but we’re thinking there’s always the possibility that it could start after Disney’s streaming service launches next year. For more on Star Wars, be sure to check out our multitude of other articles here on Mammoth Gamers.