Opinions on the last few Star Wars movies have been mixed to say the least, but everyone seems to have fallen for the new Disney+ show The Mandalorian. There’s a lot to love about the show so far, from its Western movie inspirations to its call-backs to the original trilogy, all the way down to its breakout character Baby Yoda (oh, and the Mandalorian himself of course). The show proves that there’s a lot of life left in the Star Wars franchise, and people aren’t tired of it just yet. In celebration of the series, here are 30 stellar facts about Disney+’s The Mandalorian.
1. Baby Yoda, My Name is Not
Maybe the biggest thing to explode from The Mandalorian is Baby Yoda. The cute little frog-puppet became an instant meme sensation, and it completely took over the internet. Just don’t start thinking this is actually baby Yoda. The Mandalorian takes place after Yoda’s death, and people simply call the creature Baby Yoda because the species’ name is unknown.
2. What’s a Mandalorian, Anyways?
Mandalorians are a race from the planet Mandalore. They always wear a distinct suit of armor, including a helmet with a T-shaped visor like the title character in the show. The most popular Mandalorian is probably Boba Fett, who appeared in the original three films. The Mandalorian people are warriors and often work as bounty hunters.
3. Five Years Later
The Mandalorian is based five years after Return of the Jedi, following the fall of the Galactic Empire.
4. Stacked to the Stars
The show features a pretty stacked cast, including Werner Herzog, Carl Weathers, Taika Waititi, and Giancarlo Esposito. Will the likes of Harrison Ford or maybe even Mark Hamill end up on that list in season two? We'll just have to wait and see...
5. That’ll Make Good Toilet Paper
Plans for a Star Wars live-action series have been in place for a while now, but the project was constantly deemed too expensive before The Mandalorian. In fact, over 50 scripts have been written for the originally planned Star Wars live-action series, and they had plans for 100 episodes!
6. The Seedy Star Wars Underbelly
The original title for the live-action series was Star Wars: Underworld. It would have taken place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. People involved in the project described it as “gritty,” involving a lot of dialogue and familiar faces like Han Solo and C-3PO. Does anyone else still kind of want to see that show?
7. Might as Well Use Something
The plots for both Star Wars: Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story actually began life as episodes of Star Wars: Underground. At least something came of those scripts!
John Favreau, the creator of the series, shared in an interview that he chose the Mandalorian as the star because it “hearkened back to the Westerns and samurai films that had originally influenced Lucas.” Like Clint Eastwood, the Mandalorian is a mysterious, gun-slinging character who doesn’t say much while getting the job done.
9. More to Come
Season two has already been confirmed! Favreau said that scripts for the second season are already done. Does that mean more Baby Yoda?
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10. Sounds Like a Star Wars Name
The titular Mandalorian’s real name is actually Dyn Jarren. Don't take our word for it: Pedro Pascal, who plays the man himself, revealed this in an interview.
11. The Lucas Seal of Approval
While filming the first season, George Lucas made a surprise visit to the set for Favreau’s birthday. Lucas was also involved in helping out with the series.
12. Grand Theft Lightsaber
There was a slight issue off-camera while filming the show. Police began an investigation into “grand theft” after somebody stole items from the set. Though we still don't know exactly what they stole, the case is still under investigation.
13. VFX Wizards
Lucas’s VFX studio Industrial Light & Magic handles the stunning visual effects in the show. ILM is set to work on all the other live-action Star Wars shows as well. Keep up the good work!
14. Just Like a Video Game!
Animators actually use the Unreal Engine to render the digital backgrounds in The Mandalorian. Epic Games developed the engine for video games, and many popular titles have used it, including Unreal Tournament, Gears of War, and Fortnite.
15. Keeping ‘Em Hooked
Netflix introduced the trend of dropping an entire season of a show at a time, but Disney chose to go weekly with The Mandalorian. This is probably so they have time to build a subscriber base, as people interested in the series will have to stay subscribed for more than a month to watch the whole thing. Tricky move, Disney...but smart.
16. Now That’s a Big Budget
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that The Mandalorian cost about $100 million to make! That’s around $13 million per episode. This makes it one of the most expensive shows of all time.
17. Baby Yoda Drip
Baby Yoda is so popular that it forced Disney to push out merchandise featuring the character early. The studio wanted to keep the character a secret before launch, so they decided not to release promotional merchandise featuring the loveable character. However, after an outcry for merchandise, Disney has made shirts and more available on their site.
18. Short but Sweet
The first season of the show consists of eight episodes, with the release of one per week. It’s a short season, but based on the reactions so far, the quality more than makes up for it.
19. The Boba Fett Theory
Fans have already started theorizing about the show, with one popular theory being that the Mandalorian is actually Boba Fett himself! Evidence that points toward this includes the presence of carbonite, the fact that nobody says his name, and his hatred of droids. Favreau has stated that Boba Fett will not appear, however, so this is all just speculation.
Not everyone with that helmet is Boba Fett, OK?
20. Familiar Faces?
It’s unlikely (but not impossible!) that we’ll see any characters from the original trilogy appear in The Mandalorian, but some have wondered if characters from the animated series Star Wars Rebels will show up. The timelines work, and the series heavily featured Mandalorians, so we'll just have to wait and see! All I want to see is Ahsoka Tano. It could happen!
21. The Game of Thrones Connection
You may know Pedro Pascal, who plays the Mandalorian himself, from another extremely popular show. He appeared in seven episodes of Game of Thrones as Oberyn Martell.
22. A Stellar Hit
During the first week it premiered, The Mandalorian made around 40 million “demand expressions,” which represents the total demand for the show from audiences. This beat out the most popular Netflix shows like The Umbrella Academy, The Dark Crystal, and When They See Us. Is anyone surprised?
23. The Future of Film
Stagecraft is a brand-new VFX technology that the filmmakers use to capture the 3D environments in the show. Unlike a green screen, where the actor sees nothing until post-production, Stagecraft is able to simulate 3D environments around actors in real-time, allowing for an extra level of interaction. One Disney executive was apparently thrilled with the technology upon visiting the set, thinking the environment was actually there! Now that’s the future of filmmaking.
24. Surprise Cameo
Favreau doesn’t appear in the series, but he does provide the voice for the character “Heavy Mando Infantry” in the first episode. Tait Fletcher, the stunt performer in the costume, got the credit, but fans quickly recognized the voice as Favreau’s.
25. A Pretty Easy Switch
There are some advantages to having your main character in a mask the whole time. Occasionally, Pascal had scheduling conflicts and couldn't appear on set, so two different stun actors simply threw on the costume and filled in for him, with Pascal doing the voice work later.
26. They've Already Got the Costumes
The 501st Legion is a group of cosplayers who make and wear extremely accurate armor from the Star Wars universe, particularly Stormtrooper armor. In a genius move, producers of The Mandalorian simply called up members of the Legion when they needed some Stormtroopers as extras for the show.
27. Not That Mandalorian
When Pascal walked away from his initial meeting with Jon Favreau about the show, he was under the impression that he'd be playing Boba Fett. I wonder if he was disappointed when he learned the truth?
28. Difference Experiences
The production of Solo: A Star Wars Story was...fraught, to put it lightly. Disney called Ron Howard in to salvage the movie after things went awry, but the entire experience was exhausting for everyone involved. Howard was completely shocked then, when he spoke to his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard about directing an episode of The Mandalorian.
The younger Howard said she had almost complete individual freedom to direct the show how she wanted to. Her dad didn't quite get the same privilege on Solo.
29. Santa's Coming Early
On December 18, 2019, Star Wars fans were treated to an episode two days early. While the show usually comes out on Fridays, that week we got a Wednesday ep so that Disney could include a sneak-preview for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which came out on the 20th.
30. A Very Herzog Reaction
Werner Herzog is one of the most unique people in Hollywood, and so of course, his take on Baby Yoda is a little different than most. When an interviewer asked him about his little costar, he said, “I’ve seen it on the set, and it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful.” When asked to elaborate on why it was heartbreaking, he simply said, "I don't know."