Jon Favreau broke the internet yesterday when he dropped a title and synopsis for his live-action Star Wars television show.
It’s called The Mandalorian and… well, I’ll let him tell it:
What does this all mean, though?
Well, naturally, it means that a Mandalorian is most likely going to be taking center stage on the show. Why most likely? Because if they’re like Boba Fett and Jango Fett, then there’s every chance they’re not an actual Mandalorian.
On The Clone Wars, the prime minister of Mandalore got angry at the suggestion that Jango Fett was a Mandalorian, saying he was merely a pretender in stolen armor. Since we learned in Star Wars Rebels that Mandalorian armor is passed down from generation to generation and can be hundreds of years old, it would make sense that someone stealing that valor and lineage would be looked down upon by those hewing closer to tradition.
I have a sneaking suspicion they won’t give us a not-Mandalorian, though. There are so many interesting things going on in Mandalorian society, especially in this time period, that it would be silly to think that.
So what do we know for sure?
Aside from what the synopsis says, not a whole lot, but we can go through what we do know and what we might be able to guess.
WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE
On the red carpet of Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jon Favreau mentioned that he’d had half the show written by that point and that it was set seven years after the Battle of Yavin. For those who have trouble keeping track of the timeline, the Battle of Endor is four years after the Battle of Yavin, and the Battle of Jakku is one year after that. Five years after the Battle of Yavin is also when the New Republic is formed and the Imperial remnant heads to the unknown regions.
It’s also the same year Han Solo and Lando Calrissian join forces to track down Fyzen Gor and the Phylanx Redux Transmitter in Daniel Jose Older’s Last Shot.
Given Favreau’s timeframe, we’re looking at the New Republic being a scant two years old.
As far as Mandalore itself, the society and its people, there have been a lot of changes in its recent history, going back to the years prior to The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn were involved in settling a dispute there as the Duchess Satine took power, turning their culture away from their warrior past and embracing their peaceful ways. Since Mandalore is a culture divided into houses and families (much like Game of Thrones), not everyone was happy with this, including Pre Vizsla. Vizsla, played by Jon Favreau, led Death Watch, an extremist splinter group that joined forces with Maul to take control of Mandalore during the Clone Wars.
The Republic, with the help of Ahsoka Tano, liberated Mandalore at the end of the war, but it quickly changed hands to the Empire. The new episodes of The Clone Wars promise to give us this story.
During the occupation of the Empire, an Imperial Academy was built on the planet and young Mandalorians were trained there, including a young Sabine Wren. There she was encouraged to build a weapon the Empire could use to commit genocide against the Mandalorians, targeting their unique armor. Fortunately, Sabine escaped, joined the rebels, and was able to help destroy the device.
Eventually, the leadership of Mandalore would pass (long story, watch the shows, they’re great) to Bo Katan, a Mando from House and Clan Kryze played by Katee Sackhoff. The last we see of Mandalore in the canon, she’s left to unite the houses of Mandalore and clean up the mess left by decades of Imperial occupation just prior to the Battle of Yavin. A lot could have happened in Mandalore over the next eight years.
WHAT COULD COME TO PASS
So where does that leave us to speculate?
Well, based on Favreau’s synopsis, we know it’s in the unknown parts of the galaxy. That means he could very much be dealing with parts of the Imperial Remnant. Under the leadership of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and Brendol Hux, Armitage Hux’s father, the First Order is nothing more than an idea with lots of resources they’re going to begin to cultivate, and where did they head? The outer reaches, away from the authority of the New Republic.
We could also be dealing with a Mandalorian who left because they were part of that extremist group of Mandalorians (led by Favreau’s deceased character, Pre Vizsla) escaping retribution for their part in the Imperial subjugation of their people.
On the other hand, we could be dealing with something else entirely. In Chuck Wendig’s book Aftermath, it’s strongly hinted that Boba Fett is dead and his armor has been salvaged by Jawas. We get a vignette in that book of a lone gunfighter/lawman named Cobb Vanth buying the armor to add to his reputation to bring justice to Tatooine. There’s every chance this could be his story as he escapes the desert world in the Outer Rim territories to the Outer Reaches.
It doesn’t feel like that much of a stretch.
STAYING OUT OF THE WAY
There’s a thirst for storytelling in this era of Star Wars between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. With so many questions left unanswered, we all want to know more about what happens in the galaxy during that stretch. The only problem is that stretch of history is ever-evolving, because they’re still making movies that can reference or change that era. I doubt we’ll get a lot of impactful storytelling in this period until after Episode IX is locked down. Especially knowing how J.J. Abrams can be known to rewrite and reshoot up until the last second. What better way to give us content in this era that can shed light without damaging things than setting it out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of nobodies?
In any case, we’re going to find out probably next year when The Mandalorian hits Disney’s new streaming service.
Until then, we’re going to speculate endlessly.
That’s half the fun of Star Wars. Just don’t get too attached to your speculations.
That way leads to madness.