The Mandalorian may be the first official Star Wars release without “Star Wars” in the title since the mid-1980s made-for-TV Ewok movies, but that doesn’t make it any less Star Wars. In fact, in a new interview in the pop-culture magazine Entertainment Weekly, series creator, writer, and showrunner Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Disney’s The Jungle Book and The Lion King reimaginings) talks about going back to the series’ roots for the live-action show set to premiere this fall on Disney+.
“It’s like after the Roman Empire falls, or when you don’t have a centralized shogun in Japan — and, of course, the Old West, when there wasn’t any government in the areas that had not yet been settled,” Favreau describes The Mandalorian’s premise. “Those are also cinematic tropes in films that originally inspired George Lucas to make Star Wars.”
More The Mandalorian facts from EW’s new cover story:
- The show is set between Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode VII: The Force Awakens in the larger Star Wars saga, and will touch on the origins of the First Order in the aftermath of the Galactic Empire.
- The main character (so far referred to only as The Mandalorian) is a bounty hunter played by actor Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) who stalks his prey during a period when “chaos reigns across the universe.”
- No major legacy characters will have a role in the show’s first season.
- The concept was inspired by the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in the first Star Wars movie. “I’ve always been curious what the other people in the cantina are up to,” says Favreau. ““We’re digging really deep in the toy chest and pulling out the action figures that people were always curious about and were not quite in the center frame, but have a lot of potential.”
- The Mandalorian, as a character, would “prefer to do the right thing,” but “his duties could very much be in conflict with that.” “Doing the right thing has many faces,” says Pascal.
- Speaking of faces, we won’t see Pascal’s very often during the show, as The Mandalorian prefers to wear his helmet. “R2-D2 is my favorite character and he barely has an eye,” Favreau explains.
- In addition to directing the first season finale, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) will voice the assassin droid IG-11– an assembly-line cousin to IG-88 as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Waititi says the character’s “innocent and naive” voice is somewhere between Siri and 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000.
- Rounding out the cast are Gina Carano (Deadpool) as Cara Dune, a “Rebel Shock Trooper-turned-mercenary,” Carl Weathers (Toy Story 4) as Greef Carga, “the leader of a bounty hunters’ guild,” and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) as Moff Gideon, “a former governor under the Galactic Empire whose world fell apart when those pesky Rebels blew up the second Death Star.”
- Esposito’s character gets to pilot a TIE Fighter in the series.
- Producer and director Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance) says fans will see things in The Mandalorian that have never been seen before in Star Wars.
Maybe that’s why the show doesn’t need the franchise’s name in the title.
The Mandalorian will premiere as a launch-day title for Disney+ when the new streaming service goes live on Tuesday, November 12.