This year’s Star Wars Celebration kicked off its final day in Chicago with a much-hyped first look at the franchise’s very first live-action television series. Created by Jon Favreau, “The Mandalorian” also marks the first planned series to be available exclusively on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+ when it launches in mid-November.
The series features an all-star cast that includes Pedro Pascal in the mysterious title role, along with Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, and Omid Abtahi. “Star Wars” regular Dave Filoni will direct episodes, along with Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Deborah Chow, and Rick Famuyiwa.
The secretive new series takes place between the events of “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens” and follows Pascal, a member of the same group of warrior-people (and often bounty hunters) as Star Wars favorites like Boba Fett, Jango Fett, and Sabine Wren. While “The Mandalorian” didn’t make its official SWC debut until the conventions’ last day, official artwork that appeared around the event piqued fans’ interest, as it showed the new character placed amongst famous Dark Side villains, including Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, indicating that the new series’ star might not be a traditional good guy.
Favreau, Filoni, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, Pascal, Carano, and Weathers were on hand Sunday morning to chat about the upcoming series, which Favreau said is close in tone to the original films and weaves in elements of the kind of Westerns and samurai films that helped inspire creator George Lucas. During the SWC panel for the series, the crowd was treated to a first look at the new series (currently unavailable online), which was greeted with massive applause from the audience in Wintrust Arena.
Extended scenes only shown to the live crowd showed a gritty, post-revolution world in which even Pascal’s still-unnamed bounty hunter is struggling to survive. Offered a series of small jobs from Weathers’ character, the leader of a guild of bounty hunters, The Mandalorian opts to take on a special gig: an off-books face-to-face job soon revealed to be commissioned by Herzog’s character.
Herzog’s role is still unnamed, but as he told IndieWire last month, he’s something of a villain. That’s putting it mildly, because when The Mandalorian goes to meet him, he’s surrounded by dusty Stormtroopers. The Empire may have been defeated, but pockets of their troops and sympathizers clearly remain, and Pascal’s character is about to get mixed up with them.
Given precious little information to work from, The Mandalorian takes the job (and, yes, all signs to point to his mark being someone well known in the series), and sets off on his mission. A sizzle reel shown after the scene also introduced Carano’s character, a former Shock Trooper attempting to get back into society, Esposito as a bad guy clearly still loyal to the Empire, plus some familiar faces, like IG-88 (wielding weapons!).
Check out some additional reactions below.
well holy shit. the panel was almost over and then they kept us to show us a full extended scene featuring WERNER HERZOG + a trailer-esque montage. it looks absolutely incredible. chills.
— lindsey romain @ swcc (@lindseyromain) April 14, 2019
Oh wow THE MANDALORIAN footage looks incredible. We saw IG-88 attacking, we saw Salacious Crumb being barbecued for a meal. And Werner Herzog as some sort of galactic gangster who has his own team Stormtroopers
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) April 14, 2019
MANDALORIAN footage is unreal. Hive of scum and villainy vibes in full effect. Carano kicking ass, Herzog being creepy, Troopers wielding flamethrowers, shoot-outs, creatures, huge environments. I’m 100% in, this thing looks badass. #SWCC
— Birth.Movies.Death. (@bmoviesd) April 14, 2019
The first footage is incredible. The Mandalorian meets with Carl Weathers’ character before moving through a very Tatooine looking marketplace to meet with Werner Herzog to be recruited for a job.
— Michael Mistroff @SWCC (@mmistroff) April 14, 2019
Wow. Just wow. We saw a full scene of The Mandalorian, basically the set up of the show, into a short sizzle that included Giancarlo Esposito flying a TIE Fighter and just…so much crazy shit. Full report ASAP. #StarWarsCelebration
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) April 14, 2019
Favreau just signed off the livestream… and then called fans back to their seats to watch a scene from THE MANDALORIAN in which Mando picks up an underworld bounty from WERNER HERZOG #StarWarsCelebration
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) April 14, 2019
“The Mandalorian” will premiere on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+ when it launches November 12.