The Mandalorian stealthily enters the safe house. Two stormtroopers stand guard. The soldiers have become freelance mercenaries since the Empire has collapsed, their once-pristine armor now grimy with dirt. The bounty hunter creeps up behind them and fires his blaster, gunning them down.
So, yes: The Mandalorian shoots first — and shoots his enemies in the back.
This is the brutal, lawless world of this new Disney+ Star Wars series — which brings a galaxy far, far away to the small screen as a live-action series for the first time. The show is set after the downfall of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi but before the events of The Force Awakens. For now, chaos reigns across the universe, especially in the outer reaches of the galaxy where a Mandalorian bounty hunter stalks his prey for diminishing returns.
“It’s like after the Roman Empire falls, or when you don’t have a centralized shogun in Japan — and, of course, the Old West, when there wasn’t any government in the areas that had not yet been settled,” says showrunner Jon Favreau (The Lion King), who spearheads the series along with longtime Star Wars animated-series producer Dave Filoni. “Those are also cinematic tropes in films that originally inspired George Lucas to make Star Wars.”
Indeed, The Mandalorian’s clearest inspiration is the first act of A New Hope, which played like a Western set in space: exotic creatures, smugglers, soldiers, and bounty hunters leading rough lives in an overlooked outlaw territory. (Conversely, the show is perhaps the furthest from the Star Wars prequels and the aristocratic poshness of their Jedi council meetings on Coruscant.) Expect The Mandalorian to travel from system to system in a very “boots on the ground” tale without any major legacy characters… at least, not in the first season.
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