This December, Star Wars: Episode 9 looks to be the last Star Wars film released for the next couple of years as the space action moves to television with the release of The Mandalorian on Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+. Little but a cast list is known about the Jon Favreau-scribed series that focuses on the criminal underworld after the events of the original trilogy. I’m sure lots of new information will be coming our way very soon, particularly with Star Wars Celebration fast approaching, but before all that arrives let’s have some fun and try and predict what The Mandalorian could be about. Its story, its characters and how it could connect to other pieces of canon. This is pure speculation based on my opinion and information from recent news and canon material. Will I turn out to be correct? Probably not, but let’s speculate!
My main story prediction is that, while the series will start off as a bounty hunter/lone gunfighter focused show, it will evolve into something much bigger. I believe that the titular character will have left his life on Mandalore behind to become a bounty hunter and that this will be the focus of the first season; but over the course of the series we learn he is a much more important galactic figure than he would let on. I think he will be of noble heritage, a member of an important Mandalorian clan and has been running from his responsibility to his people. While his planet knew peace for a short time before The Clone Wars, Mandalore has always been built on a warrior culture, from the wars with the Jedi of old to the planet’s rebellion against the Empire. We don’t know anything about the state of Mandalore during the time period of the show but my guess is that, now that the Empire has left, the clans are at war with each other for the power to rule the star system. While not initially, I think the protagonist will become a major player in this conflict when Bo Katan – Katee Sackhoff’s character from The Clone Wars and Rebels – shows up at the end of the first season with the Darksaber and asks for his help. It would be awesome to see Sackhoff portray the live-action version of her animated character and her appearance makes perfect sense. Dave Filoni is a creative force on the show, directing the premiere and likely more, and loves the character and the world of Mandalore. Series creator and writer Jon Favreau does too and he even portrayed the key Mandalorian figure Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars.
When a more casual Star Wars fan might look at the promo images or upcoming trailer for the show, they might think it stars Boba Fett and this is an expectation I want the series to play with. Favreau could get meta with it and, because of the similar armour, the protagonist could repeatedly be mistaken for Boba Fett in the show, much to his chagrin. Now that Boba is dead(?), he sees this as his time to make a name for himself. Or people could see him and think Boba is still alive, even going so far to put a bounty on his head wrongly thinking that he is famed bounty hunter. Maybe he idolised Boba Fett and saw him as an inspiration, following his path of being a bounty hunter and leaving the clan and honour-obsessed Mandalorian culture behind. At least for the time being. I think a mention, let alone an appearance, of Cobb Vanth is very unlikely because of how it may confuse those who haven’t read the Aftermath trilogy. A part of me still wonders if this new protagonist is actually Boba Fett, alive and well with a new set of armour, and will only be revealed as such towards the end of the season.
Jon Favreau has confirmed that the series is set 3 years after Return of the Jedi meaning that the political power in the galaxy rests with the very newly formed New Republic. This all means that the Empire is gone; either dead after the Battle of Jakku and similar skirmishes or fled to the Unknown Regions ready to evolve into the First Order. But that doesn’t mean a key part of the story won’t be about imperial sympathisers. The Mandalorian focuses on bounty hunters and the criminal underworld and there’s good reason for those sorts of characters to align themselves with the remnants of the Empire. We know from canon that the Empire used bounty hunters fairly often while the New Republic does not and bounty hunters are having a much harder time living under their rule. Director Taika Waititi has revealed that he shot a scene which featured 50-60 Stormtroopers so we know imperial holdouts will appear, and I predict that Werner Hertzog is playing some old imperial who’s in hiding and holds vital information the protagonist requires, drawing him into the conflict between the remnants of the Empire and the New Republic.
The New Republic may hold the political power but we know from canon that control of the criminal underworld at this point in time was anything but stable. The death of Jabba the Hutt causes a power vacuum that every crime syndicate, from the Hutt Cartel to Black Sun to the Pike Syndicate, are trying to fill. The Hutt Cartel are at war with each other and I would love to see the return of Rotta the Hutt, Jabba’s son from The Clone Wars movie. He was a gross looking baby in that film but maybe he’s grown up and wants to inherit his father’s power while other relatives plot his demise. It’s like Game of Thrones but with giant space slugs. It’s a tumultuous time in the Outer Rim, which is confirmed to be the main setting of The Mandalorian. Our titular hero may need to pick a side in this gang war or maybe play the different factions against each other, depending on whose shifting territory he finds himself in.
A location I predict will appear is Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. This is the setting of the upcoming Star Wars theme park Galaxy’s Edge and it makes perfect sense to promote the park wherever they can. It’s a hot bed of criminal activity and similar to Mos Eisley spaceport in many respects, making it a perfect setting for the show. The location has already been mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story, has appeared in recent canon novels such as Thrawn: Alliances and is even set to receive a prequel novel to the story you play out while visiting the park. I wouldn’t put it past Lucasfilm to try and squeeze it into Episode 9 but I think The Mandalorian is the better fit. If the park is as immersive as they say it is, maybe they could even film the episode there. Imagine having the bartender at the cantina in the episode be played by the real bartender in the park. The experience would mix theme park and set visit and the story you discover while exploring Galaxy’s Edge could tie into the show. We already know the park is going to connect to The Clone Wars and Rebels with the appearance of animated character Hondo.
I think that about does it. What are your predictions for The Mandalorian? Do you think mine are anywhere close to what the show will be about? Let me know in the comments, speculate responsibly and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.