As Disney+'s live-action smash Star Wars series The Mandalorian wraps up its distanced post-production and finally has a premiere date (Oct. 30, just in time for some safely masked Halloween costumes), cast and crew alike are finally spilling some details about what fans can expect from the titular bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal and his ward, The Child, played by that adorable Baby Yoda puppet.
EW showed off a first look at the season, teasing out photos of that viral youngster from Yoda's mysterious species as well as some featuring Din Djarin alongside returning faces like Gina Carano's Cara Dune and Carl Weathers' Greef Karga. But the real draw here is the interview details. Fans knew that its heroes would return — but they didn't know what to expect, for example, from the Darksaber.
In the possession of ex-Imperial governor Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), fans will be seeing much more of the fabled blade. “It’s so exciting for me to be in a show where I can wear a cape and own it, and where I can have a lightsaber and really own it,” said Esposito. He'll not only be getting some alone time with Baby Yoda, but "going toe-to-toe with Mando" in what he calls "an iconic battle" and commanding “a larger vehicle, hint-hint.” Fans know how much Star Wars loves its Death Stars and Death Star accessories.
Expect to see more from Gideon as he develops into a much bigger bad — and develops a closer relationship with Mando. "Maybe there’s an opportunity to get him to fight some battles for me," Esposito teases. "You may think I’m a villain, but I’m trying to harness some energy and some powers for a path that could be best for all. You'll get to see him be somewhat diplomatic and more of a manipulator."
But don't expect the second season to be more straightforward. “The new season is about introducing a larger story in the world,” showrunner Jon Favreau explained. “The stories become less isolated, yet each episode has its own flavor, and hopefully we’re bringing a lot more scope to the show.” That means episodes about people other than the masked hero, Game of Thrones style.
Some of those characters will be all-new this time around...though the secrecy surrounding them makes pinning down their exact involvement tricky. Reports have indicated that the likes of Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano, Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan Kryze, and a Fett played by Temuera Morrison would turn up in S2. Apparently, the hush-hush nature of some of these bombshell characters (two making their live-action debuts) meant actors only getting scripts for episodes they appeared in - and black-cloaked actors sneaking onto set away from prying eyes. Fans don't even know who Michael Biehn and Timothy Olyphant are playing yet.
But the biggest name on set this season was no secret: George Lucas himself stopped by to help protégé Filoni with some directing. "He would be giving Dave a hard time about how many setups he was getting and how fast he was shooting and urging him to go faster," said Favreau. "He was like a boxer's corner man coaching him, but always with a twinkle in his eye." Did it work? Filoni's only teasing, speaking to fans' great expectations for a follow-up: “You want The Empire Strikes Back to be better than A New Hope.”
Later in the day, Disney showed of even more glimpses of the second season...
The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ starting on Oct. 30.