Disney+ 'Star Wars' Series 'The Mandalorian' Offers a New Look at A Galaxy Far, Far Away
The trailer for the first live-action 'Star Wars' series coming to the Disney+ streaming service in November premiered at the 2019 D23 fan expo.
After the first images of The Mandalorian Disney+ series were unveiled at the Star Wars Celebration, fans everywhere have been patiently waiting for the first trailer to arrive. And now that moment has finally come courtesy of the D23 fan expo. Over the past four decades, the Star Wars franchise has been a force to be reckoned with in the film industry, and has changed the way we look at movies forever. From the original trilogy to the prequels, to the modern Star Wars films, these epic space operas have solidified a legacy and fanbase that can be best described as the stuff of legends. And while they have had success with animated shows like The Clone Wars, Rebels and Resistance, their endeavors in live-action on the small screen are non-existent. That's right, one of the most dominant franchises in the galaxy has never attempted to enter the scripted TV world with all the live-action trimmings. Well, all of that is about to change, because this first teaser for The Mandalorian means that Star Wars is finally ready to make the leap into live-action TV.
The Mandalorian series marks the beginning of a brand new strategy Lucasfilm is taking with how it will handle its narratives on the television format. At the helm of this new area of exploration for the Star Wars franchise is Jon Favreau, serving as Executive Producer. Favreau has been a solid contributor for Disney with directing two Iron Man films, the live-action Jungle Book movie, and the live-action Lion King film. So it makes sense he'd be brought in to lead the first live-action Star Wars show with a budget estimated to be around $15 million per episode, which is more than Game of Throne. Favreau also lent his vocal skills in Solo: A Star Wars Story, so his Disney street-cred makes him a reliable candidate to pull off this ambitious undertaking.
The series stars Game of Thrones and Narcos actor Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian, a mysterious bounty hunter who makes a living hunting down bounties in the aftermath of the Empire's fall. While the powers that be try to put the galaxy back together, several factions are vying for power and this bounty hunter wants to earn a living. Carl Weathers has been cast as Greef Marga, head of a chapter of the Bounty Hunters Guild. Gina Carano plays Kara Dune, who has been described as an ex-Rebel shock trooper who's acclimatizing to life after the end of the Empire. Giancarlo Esposito is playing a mystery character. From the looks of the promo, it seems he is a leader of some Imperial kill unit, but the actor himself has suggested he may not be a villain. Actor and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Wakhiti voices IG-11, a gunslinging battle droid bounty hunter similar to IG-88 who savvy fans will remember from The Empire Strikes Back. And rounding out the star-studded trailer showcase is Werner Herzog who appears to be some crime boss or administrator. He is there to spread fear and terror, which is right up his alley, so it's safe to say he is probably the show's main villain.
While the first trailer is light on plot details, it establishes the narrative’s atmosphere and the tone viewers should expect when the first episode airs this fall. The teaser implies several clear homages to Westerns with a tense gunfight scene, while also showcasing several easter eggs to former Star Wars films. People in carbonite, IG droids, and stormtrooper helmets on spikes, which feels very Death Troopers-esque, even if that isn't canon anymore. The show takes place during a very turbulent time, with the last of the Empire hunted down by, of all people, bounty hunters. The Mandalorian looks to have a darker tone than the movies usually do while still maintaining the classic Star Wars aesthetic and vibe. Like its cinematic predecessors, The Mandalorian looks like it will seamlessly blend to a practical and digital effect. The next chapter in the Star Wars legacy promises to be one action-packed thrill ride through every episode that vividly explores the dark underbelly of the Star Wars universe.
Solo, while being a flawed film from several perspectives, did give a tantalizing look into the criminal underworld of this universe. And while that film didn't resonate with fans overall, the outlaw aspects did. Elements like the Crimson Dawn, Emilia Clarke’s character Qi’ra and Darth Maul's return are some of the high points along with the more intimate look into the criminal element of Star Wars. Since there do not appear to be any plans for a Solo sequel, The Mandalorian is without question the next best thing Lucasfilm could offer fans. There is no doubt the series will take viewers deeper into the dangerous galactic underworld than they have ever been before. Still, everything we’ve seen so far indicates that this show will be on the same level as the films, if not surpassing them.
There are other Star Wars films in development, including projects by the Game of Thrones writers, as well as The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson. But if The Mandalorian proves that stories from a galaxy far, far away are better suited for the small screen, then the possibilities are endless. We already know that an Obi-Wan series is on the way, starring Ewan McGregor back in the role that made him a household name. And we know that Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk are returning to play their Rogue One Characters in a Cassian series taking place before the A New Hope prequel. So if The Mandalorian goes the distance, reaches critical acclaim and resonates well with fans, we could see an onslaught of new stories coming from the Star Wars universe that Jedi’s and Padawan’s alike will be able to relentlessly binge watch for the rest of time. Either way, The Mandalorian promises to be another solid entry in the Star Wars franchise and a great looking start to their aggressive expansion into the TV market. The highly anticipated series arrives on Disney+ November 12.