The Star Wars universe continues to expand in The Mandalorian, the very first live-action TV series based on the storied franchise. During the final days of the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, actor and producer Jon Favreau (who many know as Happy from Iron Man) introduced the stars of the new series, along with director Dave Filoni. Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Carl Weathers round out a stellar cast.
The Mandalorian takes place five years after The Return Of The Jedi and follows the titular character, played by Pascal, as he chases bounties across the galaxy. “The Mandalorian is a lone gunfighter in the far reaches of the galaxy and some would say he has questionable moral character. And he’s a badass.”
Mandalorians are a fictional people from the planet Mandalore in the Star Wars science fiction franchise. Until now, they have been known by a single bounty hunter character, Boba Fett, in the live action films and by several others in the Clone Wars animation.
“It was really compelling to me what happens after the celebration of the Empire falling, the revolution is successful and now what happens?” Says Favreau. “Because if you look throughout history, it’s fun at first but it gets very complicated very quickly. And so the idea of that world after Return Of The Jedi, and what would happen and the type of characters would survive until the New Republic took over. You have vestiges of the Empire, you have chaos taking over in the galaxy.”
Mixed martial artist turned actress Gina Carano plays Cara Dune, an ex rebel Shock Trooper. “I’m a bit of a loner and I have some trouble reintegrating myself into society.”
Carl Weathers, who walked out on stage playfully chanting Apollo Creed’s line from Rocky, “I Want You!,” stars as the no-nonse Greef, who is the head of a guild of bounty hunters (think Morgan Freeman in Wanted). “He’s looking for someone to bring him a product for a client that is very valuable. And he hires the Mandalorian.”
Favreau sought to create a series that would welcome new Star Wars fans while satisfying the diehards with its attention to detail.
“For the people who have been fans for 40 years, we’ve got a lot in there for you,” Favreau assures. “But these are new characters and new stories so it’s a great way to invite new people in and allow them to get on the merry-go-round here with all of these new characters, too. Much like we did with Marvel and Iron Man, let’s make it something that people could jump in on who don’t know anything about Star Wars and enjoy.”
As the first Star Wars project shot in California, Favreau and Filoni drew a lot of inspiration from samurai films and westerns, and incorporated a lot of the technology they encountered on films like Iron Man and The Jungle Book. George Lucas made some visits to set to give his input and blessings.
“I am the Padawan to this day but it was a huge thrill for me to have him there because I don’t think I would have ever considered doing live action without his teachings and his guidance. So when he came by that was a real thrill for me.”
Watch the full The Mandalorian panel from The Star Wars Celebration below: