id= »article-body » class= »row » section= »article-body »> « Mandalorian, look outside, they’re waiting for you. » The wait is over — the first episode of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian hit the Disney Plus streaming service on Nov. 12. (Read my full recap for the spoilery details.) The second and third episodes are out too, and episode 4 comes out Nov. 29 — giving us ample time to coo over that character, indulge in fan theories and prepare our wallets for an onslaught of merch.
Disney unveiled an awesome poster during D23, featuring the Mandalorian as he walks away from his ship — the Razor Crest.
Disney/Lucasfilm The show’s title has deep roots in the franchise’s history, with links to bounty hunter Boba Fett.
We got the first episode on Nov. 12, with the launch of Disney Plus in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. The second hit Nov. 15 and the third on Nov. 22. Those will be followed by weekly installments on Nov. 29, and Dec. 6, 13, 18 and 27.
Disney Plus arrived in Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 19, but it won’t be launching in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Germany until March 31, 2020 — long after the season has ended elsewhere.
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.
Pedro Pascal is the man behind the Mandalorian’s helmet, but we don’t know if he’ll ever show his face in the series.
Gabriel Maseda/NurPhoto via Getty Images He’s joined by a star-studded cast:
Giancarlo Esposito (who played Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul)
Gina Carano (MMA fighter and Deadpool actress)
Carl Weathers (of Rocky and Predator fame)
Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok)
Werner Herzog (who directed and narrated Grizzly Man)
Emily Swallow (Supernatural)
Nick Nolte (Down and Out in Beverly Hills)
Omid Abtahi (American Gods)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of SHIELD)
Julia Jones (Westworld)
At the Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April, Pascal said the Mandalorian is « a mysterious lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. Some might say he has questionable moral character. » He also casually dropped the character’s name in an interview — Din Jarron.
The Mandalorian will work closely with Weathers’ character, Greef Carga, He’s the head of a bounty hunters’ guild, the actor revealed at Celebration, and « the Mando is a guy who he figures can get the job done. »
The Client is an intense-looking guy, mostly because he’s played by Werner Herzog. The Imperial medal around his neck hints at his past.
Lucasfilm The Celebration Chicago panel also revealed that Esposito plays an Imperial — since named as Moff Gideon. Herzog’s character appears to be some sort of ex-Imperial crime boss, known only as The Client, and Abtahi’s is a doctor.
IG-11 will team up with the Mandalorian.
Lucasfilm Waititi is IG-11, a droid that’s the same model as IG-88 — one of the bounty hunters seen on Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back as the Sith Lord tasked them with tracking down the Millennium Falcon.
We’ve also met an Ugnaught — the porcine species previously seen working as janitors on Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back — named Kuill, an ally of the Mandalorian who’s voiced by Nolte.
Wen plays Fennec Shand, an assassin who encounters the Mandalorian, Vanity Fair reported on Nov. 4.
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.
Favreau said that he’s already writing season 2 and that he hopes to direct one of the episodes.
Now playing: Watch this: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Official Trailer (2019) 2:20 The Mandalorian is likely to be the streaming service’s biggest draw, even if it’s 20 years too late for some of us. It’s one of four shows set in a galaxy far, far away coming to the Disney Plus streaming service.
The company announced the seventh season of The Clone Wars over the summer and 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 2020.
Gina Carano is playing Cara Dune.
Lucasfilm What else do we know?
Lucasfilm steadily drip-fed us information about the show since Favreau was announced as its writer and executive producer in March 2018. It’s not his first Star Wars rodeo. He voiced Pre Vizsla — the violent leader of a Mandalorian splinter group — in The Clone Wars and played pilot Rio Durant in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Boba Fett wears Mandalorian armor, but isn’t a true Mandalorian.
Lucasfilm In summer 2018, Favreau revealed that the show is set seven years after Return of the Jedi (so six years after the Empire’s final defeat at the Battle of Jakku and 23 years before The Force Awakens) and focuses on all-new characters.
Giancarlo Esposito, best known for playing the big bad of Breaking Bad, seems to be playing an Imperial officer in the show.
Lucasfilm Directors for the first season:
Dave Filoni — The Clone Wars and Rebels creator will helm 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’ll direct episode four.
Taika Waititi — Directed Thor: Ragnarok, and will helm 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, the newly announced TV division of Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic visual effects company. It’ll be run from a new studio in London.
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 on Feb. 10 and an Oscar on Feb. 25.
« In these next months I hope to honor the tradition of Star Wars’ musical landscape while propelling The Mandalorian into new and unchartered territory, » he said in a statement posted to StarWars.com. « And I will try to remember that there is no try. »
Waititi mentioned after a Television Critics Association panel that the show is similar to the original trilogy and that he had to curb the signature comedic instincts he used in Thor: Ragnarok as he directed his episode.
Taika Waititi decided he couldn’t « put too many jokes » into the episode of The Mandalorian he directed.
Stefania D’Alessandro/WireImage « Star Wars, you know, is just very different to the Marvel style, » he said. « They know that whatever was set up in the tone of the first films really should be kind of adhered to and that’s what the fans like and you can’t really disrespect it, I guess, is a nice way of saying it. Can’t have too many jokes, but there’s a little bit. Definitely my tone is in there, with the dialogue and stuff like that. »
He also mentioned working on « scenes with like 50 or 60 » stormtroopers — implying that we’ll see a big battle in the season finale.
Stormtroopers might have a rough time in the show.
Lucasfilm Filoni and Favreau also hinted to Entertainment Weekly that the show will reveal how the state of the galaxy allowed the First Order to rise from the ashes of the Empire, with Filoni suggesting that things got messy on the outer reaches of the galaxy after the second Death Star blew up.
« Things weren’t necessarily managed as well as they could have been if [the galaxy] ended up in hot water again like that, » Favreau told the magazine.
The Mandalorian’s ship is called the Razor Crest, and it seems to pay homage to Jango Fett’s original ship — Kuat Drive Yards Amphibious Interstellar Assault Transport/infantry — seen in the Legends canon 2002 video game Bounty Hunter.
The Mandalorian and ex-rebel shock trooper Cara Dune are available in action figure form.
Angela Lang/CNET Is there a bounty of Mandalorian merch for us to hunt?
Merchandise hunting is a complicated hobby, but you know you want it. The Mandalorian stuff hit on Oct. 4, known as Triple Force Friday. That date also brought merchandise from The Rise of Skywalker and Jedi: Fallen Order, so expect to see a whole bunch of new toys, collectibles, books and clothes based on the Disney Plus TV show, the movie and xxxphoto the game.
CNET reporters attended Force Friday previews in San Francisco and New York, so you can check out the toys. Three characters from the show are represented in the six-inch Black Series — The Mandalorian himself (along with a shiny carbonized variant), Cara Dune and the Offworld Jawa. IG-11 is getting a figure too.