News

6 Things We Learned About The Mandalorian at Star Wars Celebration

Pedro Pascal's character is the Mandalorian with no name, Carl Weathers joined the cast, Gina Carano's character is a former shock trooper, and more.

by | April 14, 2019 | Comments


Experiencing the first few glimpses of the upcoming Disney+ series The Mandalorian was an overwhelming experience for fans at Star Wars Celebration Chicago on Sunday. But it also proved their faith in series creator Jon Favreau and the contributions of Star Wars Rebels creator Dave Filoni was rewarded. And as both reiterated throughout the presentation, they are both giant fans of Star Wars.

“I was born in 1975, so I’m a product of this,” added star Pedro Pascal, who recalled meeting with Favreau and Filoni before he was cast. Describing a room filled with storyboards and illustrations of the proposed series, he said his immediate reaction was “What do you want me to do? Play that bug or that robot?” only to be overwhelmed when they said they wanted him to play the Mandalorian. Pascal mimed fainting to describe the sensation of being offered the lead role.

But that was just one of the surprises unveiled during the presentation, complete with a Mandalorian sizzle reel exclusive for those inside the Celebration Stage in Chicago. Luckily, we were there and can offer you some of the things we learned about the show.


1. Pascal Is the Mandalorian With No Name

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN.
(Photo by Lucasfilm)

Filoni and Favreau are fans of Star Wars, but they’re also found of the series’ antecedents in Western movies and samurai films. Maintaining a tradition from those genres, Pascal’s Mandalorian has no name. It is unclear if his identity will be revealed later, but Filoni, Favreau, and Pascal referred to him only as “The Mandalorian.”

“He’s a mysterious, lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy,” Pascal explained. “Some would say he has questionable moral character.”

In one of the exclusive clips shown, the Mandalorian takes a meeting with Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), the leader of a bounty hunters guild in that section of space. During the meeting, the Mandalorian tries to take all of the bounties Carga has on offer, which the guild leader finds excessive. But it echoes back to the gunslingers from the Westerns Pascal said Favreau assigned him to watch as part of the preparation for the series.

“He’s a badass,” Pascal added. “[Jon and Dave] have created an incredible, iconic character.”

In an extended clip shown only at the Celebration Stage, fans heard the Mandalorian speak for the first time. In a detail which will thrill long-time fans, his cadence matches the one Boba Fett spoke with back in The Star Wars Holiday Special and the original versions of The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi. Of course, that cadence is inspired from another iconic film persona. “He’s got a lot of Clint Eastwood in him,” Pascal said.


2. Carl Weathers Plays a Bounty Hunter Guild Leader

Greef (Carl Weathers) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN.
(Photo by Lucasfilm)

For an added surprise, Favreau revealed Weathers’ involvement in the series and introduced him to the stage. After a spontaneous outpouring of love from the crowd — who started cheering for the Apollo Creed actor by that character’s name — Weather’s found himself overwhelmed.

“Nothing comes close to this,” he said after the roar died down.

Weather’s Greef Carga is “looking for someone to bring back a product for a client which is very valuable,” Weathers explained. “He finds the Mandalorian, and that guy gets done what needs to be done.”

In the clip, Carga refers the Mandalorian to a “sensitive client” who demands face-to-face contact with the bounty hunter. Despite the tense situation, their interaction seemed friendly enough. Or at least as friendly as one can be when talking to a masked man with no name.


3. Werner Herzog and Giancarlo Esposito Are Imperials

Mandalorian logo (Lucasfilm)
(Photo by Lucasfilm)

The client turns out to be the character played by Werner Herzog. The legendary director, who recently turned to acting in things like The Mandalorian, recently said he plays a “small part” as a villain, but in the clip, it turns out he represents a faction of the deposed Empire.

“It was really compelling to me what happens after the celebration of the Empire falling,” Favreau explained before the clip. “The revolution was successful, but then what happens?”

As it turns out, the answer is at least partially inspired from the Expanded Universe interpretation of the post-Empire era. Factions known as the Imperial Remnant continue to flex their might in sectors not as tied to the Rebellion or the emerging New Republic. In the clip, the Mandalorian finds Herzog’s character guarded by stormtroopers. The gleam may be off their white armor, but they still appear battle ready when another Imperial agent (played by Omid Abtahi) enters the room. Guns are drawn, but Herzog defused the situation.

He also offers the Mandalorian a few details about his quarry; offering him a locator and the last four digits of the bounty’s gene marker. The preference is to bring the bounty in alive, but Herzog tells the Mandalorian he will accept proof of the mark’s death for a reduced fee. The other Imperial is not impressed by this change in their plan.

In the subsequent sizzle reel, Herzog can be heard asking “are things better since the revolution?” Amid scenes of violence and fire (all narrated by Herzog stating his belief in the Empire),  Giancarlo Esposito’s character appears. While also unnamed, his uniform also identifies him as part of the Imperial Remnant. He orders a stormtrooper to ignite his flamethrower and flush out someone from a dwelling. A subsequent shot also reveals Esposito in a TIE fighter.


4. The Show Will Feel Gritty

The Mandalorian first image (Lucasfilm)
(Photo by Lucasfilm)
 While Favreau and Filoni kept name-checking the campy Holiday Special as an inspiration — indeed, the Mandalorian’s rifle is a direct lift from the Special‘s Boba Fett cartoon — Filoni mentioned the show will have a gritty feel to it. This came through in the sizzle reel, which included dusty village streets, old stations covered in snow, and plenty of run-down technology abandoned and weathering.

The overall look evokes the original Star Wars — right down to one shot which may or may not be the original film’s Mos Eisley cantina — which was very much the thing Favreau said he wanted to accomplish with The Mandalorian. But he added that Filoni is making him more of a fan of the Prequel aesthetic as well.


5. Gina Carrano Plays Ex-Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Doone

Cara Dune (Gina Carano) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN.
(Photo by Lucasfilm)

The sizzle reel also offered the first clear look at Gina Carano’s Cara Dune.

“She’s an ex-Rebel shock trooper,” Carano explained. “[She’s] a bit of a loner — which is a stretch — and [she] is having a bit of trouble reintegrating into society.”

In the preview, the Mandalorian spots her in a cantina, much to his displeasure. The two end up fighting in an alley and eventually draw blasters on one another. It is unclear if this is the beginning of a partnership or a rivalry, but her Mando-inspired shoulder guards suggest there may be some sort of bond.

Well, provided the Mandalorian really is what he claims. In his scene, Herzog’s character infers the person under than armor may not be a true Mandalorian.


6. The Mandalorian’s Ship, the Razorcrest, Is a Practical Effect

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN.
(Photo by Lucasfilm)

Glimpsed briefly in the clip shown early in the presentation, Favreau offered a few details about the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razorcrest. Details he said “most people won’t even know, but we knew you’d appreciate it.”

The twin-engine ship will be the title character’s key vehicle, but making it was a labor of love between Favreau, Filoni, and the group at ILM when the executive producer made one request: “Can we shoot a model?”

Stymied in using old-school techniques on movies like Iron Man, he was thrilled when Lucasfilm let it happen and the ILM crew became obsessed with creating the ship as a miniature. Parts were kit-bashed from other model kits, just as they did back in the 1970s, while other elements used cutting edge techniques and 3D printing. Members of the ILM team manufactures long-retired motion-control camera rigs in their garages while higher-ups like John Knoll sat in on planning meetings to bring the Razor Crest to life.

That dedication to detail was one of the key things Favreau wanted to pull off with The Mandalorian. On screen, it means little throwbacks to the film series. In the extended clip, a food vendor can be seen roasting Kowakian monkey-lizard — Salacious Crumb’s species — and in the sizzle reel, a droid who may or may not be legendary bounty hunter IG-88 gets in on the action as he swivels his torso to take on attackers in a 360-degree arc of fire. Additionally, plenty of familiar aliens are realized with creature effect make-up. There’s even a gonk droid hanging out with the Imperials.

“We used a lot of tech from Iron Man, The Jungle Book, and even The Lion King,” Favreau said. “But Star Wars, at its core, has to feel handmade. So there are animatronics and puppetry.”

“All that passion trickled down,” Carano added. “Jon would well up with tears explaining how much a scene meant [to him], and you felt like you were part of something special. Everybody in every department would be there for 17-hour days. And you wanted to be there because it was worth it. It had this magic. I always want to work with is people passionate about what they’re doing.”

That sense of passion was clear from the material Favreau brought to stage. With the film series taking a pause after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian will be the key live-action Star Wars product and it looks like it will be a worthy torchbearer.

The Mandalorian will launch on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Tag Cloud

Comic Book composers Extras Masterpiece unscripted TruTV Black Mirror Dark Horse Comics what to watch crossover Mary Poppins Returns The CW adventure NBC medical drama Oscars Brie Larson Interview Music E3 Superheroe nature 2018 Lionsgate biography teaser CBS All Access Mary Tyler Moore diversity Ellie Kemper BBC Shondaland Starz DirecTV Election Netflix Lifetime Western Video Games Mindy Kaling Comedy thriller supernatural Anna Paquin Pirates Fall TV Comedy Central CMT Esquire PaleyFest Amazon Prime TBS adaptation 24 frames romance justice league ratings golden globes true crime Paramount period drama Kids & Family singing competition YouTube Premium IFC Films Fox News elevated horror Awards mockumentary Drama Universal 2016 TV Land Sci-Fi ABC Family political drama Grammys The Arrangement OWN 2019 VICE YouTube Red ESPN Sneak Peek Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Adult Swim FXX Pet Sematary talk show based on movie cooking Super Bowl Quiz Countdown Spectrum Originals GLAAD crime drama E! Rom-Com television Stephen King DC Universe TCA Animation Reality Competition witnail DC streaming service richard e. Grant HBO SXSW Christmas BET Tumblr Writers Guild of America DGA Warner Bros. Schedule binge 2017 Trailer Musicals CW Seed Box Office transformers Star Wars RT21 cinemax 007 Women's History Month 21st Century Fox Rocky El Rey See It Skip It dramedy historical drama festivals Toys Apple award winner travel police drama Polls and Games boxoffice X-Men cults Crackle Horror spider-man American Society of Cinematographers RT History sitcom miniseries Hulu Disney Country TIFF Syfy San Diego Comic-Con discovery Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Columbia Pictures Trivia Paramount Network Infographic Thanksgiving CNN Epix Calendar Fantasy MSNBC Awards Tour Musical Amazon Acorn TV crime thriller Rock Action war MTV Reality Marathons Tomatazos harry potter doctor who ABC Red Carpet Set visit Best and Worst sports Valentine's Day Comics on TV Spring TV Emmys Spike 2015 DC Comics WGN FX Watching Series technology Mystery Star Trek CBS Mudbound Sundance dc USA Network Marvel TNT Teen blaxploitation dceu Bravo MCU serial killer NYCC Disney Channel Sony Pictures LGBTQ green book History theme song Food Network anthology New York Comic Con zombies Lucasfilm Shudder Podcast TCA 2017 SundanceTV Nat Geo Ghostbusters Walt Disney Pictures Pixar First Look natural history Photos TV psychological thriller hist Superheroes TLC Martial Arts Certified Fresh PBS BBC America SDCC ITV aliens Winter TV AMC Song of Ice and Fire YA Pop USA zombie Nominations casting Sundance Now anime Year in Review FOX streaming GoT mutant comic cats 45 comiccon Logo Cartoon Network APB Premiere Dates Character Guide docudrama psycho Summer VH1 Biopics finale social media TCM zero dark thirty Showtime A&E Mary poppins National Geographic Creative Arts Emmys 20th Century Fox crime spy thriller Nickelodeon dragons science fiction facebook Ovation Captain marvel Freeform Britbox robots sequel cops vampires GIFs Holidays IFC Trophy Talk politics Opinion President Winners jamie lee curtis Cosplay