5 reasons to be optimistic about The Mandalorian


Early news about Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian should give fans reasons to be excited about the new show.

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau’s long-awaited live-action Star Wars show, finally came into the lives of fans last week. Well, briefly, at least, as details on the live-action are scarce at this moment. And even despite those lack of details, there’s a ton already about The Mandalorian to be optimistic about.

Jon Favreau’s involvement

Jon Favreau is an accomplished, accomplished person in Hollywood. He’s been the director on high-profile movies like Iron Man and The Jungle Book, and executive director on The Avengers (1 and 2). He just so happens to be the talent that will write and executive produce The Mandalorian as well, a huge get for a show that seems to have big-time intentions.

More from The Mandalorian

Favreau, besides being a great talent, has also been involved in the Star Wars universe already, voicing Pre Vizsla — a Mandalorian — in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the Ardennian pilot Rio Durant in Solo: A Star Wars Story. So fans should know that Favreau’s own history with Star Wars likely means he’ll make the project worthwhile for all involved.

Guest directors

Besides Favreau’s involvement as executive producer, several big-name directors will take their turns at the wheel of The Mandalorian. Dave Filoni, of The Clone Wars and Rebels fame, will helm the pilot. Besides Filoni, Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) will take their turns as well.

Howard is known for her role in the new Jurassic World films, but her father is also Ron Howard, who helmed Solo: A Star Wars Story, so I’m particularly interested in her involvement. Furthermore, Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok has been universally praised, and it’ll be exciting to see what direction he takes The Mandalorian.

Live-action premise

Live-action is new territory for a Star Wars show, but it could prove to have a huge payoff if done right. Shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have amassed huge followings with a more gritty take on storytelling, and the live-action label makes me wonder if The Mandalorian will also opt for a grittier angle. Not that the movies or animated shows don’t tackle the gritty, it just seems that this new show is the perfect opportunity to push Star Wars storytelling to new avenues and explore outside its norms.

Actor Pedro Pascal (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Pedro Pascal lead (?)

The rumor that Pedro Pascal could play the lead in The Mandalorian is tempting. He played Oberyn Martell on HBO’s Game of Thrones and might widely be more known as Javier Peña on Netflix’s Narcos. If the show opts for a gritty angle, I believe Pascal would really be able to succeed as the lead. He’s already shown his performance in two of the more serious shows today.

The stakes at risk

The Mandalorian being a hit would be exactly what Disney wants. The show is already pegged to air on the company’s streaming service, setting it up as the massive draw a la HBO’s Game of Thrones or Netflix’s Stranger Things. Disney doesn’t exactly need hardcore fans to like The Mandalorian, they’re already likely to subscribe, but the fringe fans that might considering signing up for its new service because of the show would be a huge get.

But, back to hardcore fans, this is diverging from the core “texts” (the movies) and going down a new path of stories. Like Rogue One did for the anthology movies, The Mandalorian will set the tempo for standalone shows — which Disney will likely want to make more of if the show proves enough to be a hit.

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Let us know why you’re optimistic about The Mandalorian in the comments.