Star Wars Celebration: 8 Things We Learned From 'The Mandalorian' Panel
By Ash Crossan
The first-ever live-action Star Wars show is coming later this year, and ET has all the new details!
The Mandalorian panel kicked off Sunday morning at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was on-hand to introduce the panel with Executive Producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, and the show’s stars, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Carl Weathers.
During the hour-long panel, the cast and creators revealed brand new character details and images, along with some footage. Now, ET's breaking down all the biggest takeaways!
The Mandalorian Takes Place 5 Years After Return Of the Jedi
We knew the events of The Mandalorian would take place sometime between Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode VII: The Force Awakens, but now we know The Mandalorian takes place about five years after the Rebel Alliance blew up the second Death Star and had a dance party with a bunch of Ewoks on Endor.
"It was really compelling to me, what happens after the celebration of the Empire falling?” teased Favreau. "The revolution’s successful… and then what happens?”
The Star Wars Holiday Special Was Referenced a Lot
Yes, this was a big takeaway in our opinion. Interestingly enough, The Star Wars Holiday Special was referenced what felt like 300 times during the panel, often jokingly, but let’s roll with this. Fun fact: this much-loathed 1978 television special was the first time a Mandalorian, specifically Boba Fett, ever appeared in Star Wars.
While The Holiday Special may not have been the show’s biggest influence, Filoni and Favreau made it clear they want to get "back to the roots of what inspired George [Lucas]," and are pulling inspiration from all aspects of Star Wars, including the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, the sequel trilogy, television shows, and even Legends.
The Cast Included Some Special Star Wars Fans
When Filoni and Favreau realized they needed an abundance of Stormtroopers for the show, they enlisted the help of the 501st Legion, an organization of Star Wars fans dedicated to wearing screen-accurate costumes of Stormtroopers.
"A lot of the costumes you guys make are even better than what is used on screen at some points," Filoni told the audience, adding that the 501st needed very little direction on set. "As much as the armor is so accurate, they look like Stormtroopers, they act like Stormtroopers."
Pedro Pascal Says The Mandalorian has some Clint Eastwood Inspiration
The actor described his character, the as-of-yet nameless Mandalorian, as a mysterious, lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
"Some might say he has questionable moral character," said Pascal, adding that his character has “a lot of Clint Eastwood in him."
The character of Cara Dune was introduced for the first time by Gina Carano as an ex-Rebel Shock Trooper, a bit of a loner, and someone who is having trouble reintegrating herself into society.
In the footage, shown only to those who scored a ticket to the panel, Cara Dune can be seen throwing people around, kicking a** and taking names.
Greef, Played by Carl Weathers
Yes, we now have a character named Greef in Star Wars, played by Carl Weathers, and he's pretty freaking perfect!
Weathers vaguely describes Greef as a guy who is "running a group of bounty hunters," is looking to secure a product for a client, and hires The Mandalorian to get the job done.
The Directors MUST Be Star Wars Fans
According to Filoni and Favreau, if you want to direct an episode of The Mandalorian, you are required to be a tried and true Star Wars fan!
Behind-the-scenes footage showed Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Waititi directing their episodes of The Mandalorian. Dave Filoni himself will finally get in the director's chair for the debut episode, his first live-action Star Wars directing gig.
"I don’t think I would have ever considered doing live-action without [George Lucas’] teachings,” said Filoni.
10 Minutes of Footage!
Around 10 minutes of exclusive footage was shown only to those in the panel, shortly after the livestream ended. The footage included a long scene from The Mandalorian and a teaser trailer.
The scene showed was likely the beginning of the series, with The Mandalorian (Pascal) being hired in a cantina by Greef (Weathers), and given a card with information about a bounty with “deep pockets.”
The Mandalorian then sets out on his venture, strolling through a city that gave off some Tatooine vibes. Along his way, we see a Kowakian monkey-lizard roasting on a spit (the same species as Salacious B. Crumb), a GNK Power droid (aka a gonk droid or a trash can droid), and a TT-8L gatekeeper droid (aka a similar tattletale eyeball to the one that pops out of Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi).
Once arriving to his destination, The Mandalorian sits down with an unnamed character played by Werner Herzog, who lays out the details of the job. There’s some tense moments between The Mandalorian and some tattered-looking Stormtroopers, almost leading up to a four-against-one showdown, to which we hear The Mandalorian reply, "I like those odds." They all lower their weapons, and the two spend some time laying out a plan before the clip ends.
We then get a short teaser, laden with gritty moments of Carano in action as Cara Dune, Giancarlo Esposito piloting a ship, Bill Burr showing up at one moment so apparently he’s in the show, too, and The Mandalorian himself taking off on his ship, The Razor Crest.
The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ on Nov. 12, 2019.