Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, launches next month, featuring the Mouse House’s flagship eight-episode new series, The Mandalorian. It’s a spinoff of the Star Wars franchise starring Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell, aka the Red Viper in Game of Thrones). And judging by the latest trailer, Disney is leaning hard into Space Western territory with this tale of a lone bounty hunter navigating the chaos in the wake of the Empire’s collapse.
Details have been scant, but per the official synopsis: “After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.” The premise is that after the defeat of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, there was a period of chaos and lawlessness as a new government struggled to emerge from the wreckage.
Pascal told Entertainment Weekly that his character is very much in the vein of Clint Eastwood, with advanced combat skills and “questionable moral character.” Showrunner Jon Favreau confirmed as much, telling EW, “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.” So I guess it’s like Unforgiven or Gladiator in space, which could bode well, since both those films are terrific.
Disney debuted the first trailer in August at its annual D23 Expo, and it gave little away. We caught glimpses of space battles, tense standoffs, and even Han Solo encased in carbonite (which doesn’t quite jibe with the timeline but could be a flashback). Pascal’s Mandalorian loomed menacingly but never uttered a word. The only dialogue came courtesy of Werner Herzog: “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession. Don’t you agree?”
This latest trailer adds just a tiny bit more detail to the footage we’ve already seen. “Is the world more peaceful since the revolution?” Werner Herzog’s voiceover asks as the camera pans over stormtrooper helmets mounted on spikes. “It is a shame that your people suffered.” That gives us a hint that the Mandalorian wasn’t always a lone gunfighter wandering the universe collecting bounties. Cut to the Mandalorian, being ambushed in a cavern and skillfully fighting off his attacker.
The Mandalorian has been hired by the head of a bounty hunter guild named Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) to track an unspecified valuable asset. He has an ally/love interest in Cara Dune (Gina Carano), a former Rebel Shock Trooper-turned-mercenary who used to fight for the Rebel Alliance, and is aided by a droid named IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi). The droid is described as an innocent incapable of lying or comprehending sarcasm, but at least IG-11 looks pretty proficient with weapons in the trailer. Complicating matters is Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), described as “a former governor under the Empire whose life changed after the Rebels destroyed the second Death Star.”
But it’s Herzog’s as-yet-unnamed villain who is front and center in this new trailer. “They said you were coming. They said you were the best in the parsec,” the voiceover intones, as Herzog’s character and Pascal’s bounty hunter face off in what looks like a rogue’s cantina. At last the Mandalorian finally speaks. “Mandalorian, look outside. They are waiting for you,” Herzog says. The bounty hunter goes full Clint Eastwood in his rasping response: “Yeah? Good.” Go ahead, Werner Hertzog. Make his day.
The Mandalorian will be released in conjunction with Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney+, on November 12, 2019.
Listing image by YouTube/Disney Plus