Though light on plot details, the teaser gave audiences their first look at the new series. The program, which follows the titular bounty hunter (played by Pedro Pascal) looks like it fell out of the original trilogy—in a good way. The series’ sets and props have the same grimy, used-future feel that George Lucas first introduced in 1977 with “Star Wars: A New Hope.” It also captures the science fiction, western vibe that Ron Howard tried to give 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” only with much better lighting.
“The Mandalorian” also has a boldly cinematic visual aesthetic. Creator Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”) obviously made sure that each episode’s $15 million budget is visible on the screen. It would be easy to believe that the trailer was for an upcoming movie rather than a Disney+ original series. That’s a good sign for the streaming service.
A New Vision of the Star Wars Galaxy
Breaking with both franchise tradition and naming rules, “The Mandalorian” is set during a period of intergalactic peace. The program takes place sometime after the fall of the Empire in “Return of the Jedi” but years before the emergence of the First Order, the antagonists of the “The Force Awakens.”
The show also features a morally ambiguous protagonist; its eponymous warrior is after high-dollar bounties, not the fate of the galaxy.
Indeed, Jon Favreau told the Hollywood Reporter that he wants to showcase the “darker, freakier” side of Star Wars. The filmmaker also said that he envisions the series as “bigger than television” but not as a big a major theatrical release. Still, Disney gave the show a blockbuster budget. The studio dedicated $150 million to produce its 10-episode first season.
Top-Notch Cast and Crew
In addition to its cinematic look, “The Mandalorian” has a top-notch cast and crew.
The program’s supporting cast includes Omid Abtahi, Bill Burr, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, and Ming-Na Wen. Furthermore, the program’s first season features episodes directed by Deborah Chow (“Better Call Saul”), Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope”), Dave Filoni (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), and Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnorok”).
The show’s fantastic special effects are being handled by the Lucasfilm subsidiary Industrial Light and Magic. The legendary production house opened a new television division in November 2018 and “The Mandalorian” is its first project. “Black Panther” composer, Ludwig Göransson, is supplying the program’s suitably epic score.
After its August 23 release, “The Mandalorian” trailer racked up more than 10 million views in less than 48 hours. That bodes well for the launch of Disney’s new subscription video-on-demand platform. Earlier this month, the studio revealed that it spent $553 million to establish Disney+. Market analysis firm Morgan Stanley predicted that the service would attract 13 million subscribers by the close of 2020.
Viewers will have a chance to finally see the first live-action Star Wars TV series when Disney+ launches on November 12. “The Mandalorian” will follow the Hulu release model, wherein the service will release new episodes every week.