Disney debuted the first trailer for its highly anticipated Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian, during the D23 convention on Friday. The show will focus on a bounty hunter, played by Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal, operating at the outer edges of the galaxy between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The series will be available as soon as Disney’s forthcoming streaming service launches on Nov. 12.
The trailer teased shots of Pascal taking on Storm Troopers and a hint of someone frozen in carbonite, a la Han Solo. The series was created by Jon Favreau (who helmed Iron Man and Lion King) and boasts a famous cast that includes Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Nick Nolte, Taika Waititi, Gina Carano and Werner Herzog.
Favreau compared the show to old Samurai movies or Westerns. “I pitched Kathleen Kennedy on a show that takes place after the Empire has fallen, and everybody is celebrating,” he said on the D23 stage. “Except there’s no central government, so everything falls into chaos.”
Here are the major takeaways followed by a thorough analysis of the Mandalorian trailer:
The Mandalorian is a bounty hunter
We don’t know much about Pascal’s character except that he is a bounty hunter that hails from Mandalor (the same planet as fan-favorite character Boba Fett, hence why their armor is similar). Much is made of that armor in the trailer: We never see Pascal’s face, but we do see him putting on armor we’ve come to associate with an amoral — if not outright villainous — character in Boba Fett.
Likely, the character will be an antihero or else a more morally ambiguous protagonist (somewhat like Han Solo, or at least the version of Han Solo who shot first).
It will be eight episodes and premiere on Nov. 12
Disney is hoping to attract the huge swath of Star Wars diehards to its streaming service with The Mandalorian. The show will premiere Nov. 12, the very first day that the streaming service launches.
LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy said at D23 that all the Star Wars TV series — including The Mandalorian, a series based on Rogue One hero Cassian Andor and a newly-announced Obi-Wan Kenobi show — will be just as high-quality as the Star Wars films, in terms of effects, scripts and cast and crew. The Mandalorian boasts many high profile directors, including Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow.
It’s a new story, but with possible callbacks to the original films
Favreau emphasized during D23 that the show takes place during a time we have not seen on the big screen and focuses on characters we have not seen in the films. So don’t expect any Luke Skywalker cameos. As such, the show can be a gateway drug for newbies who don’t know much about Star Wars but can get caught up in the Wild-West version of its world.
But the geekiest of Star Wars fans shouldn’t fret: The trailer is full of easter eggs and callbacks to the Star Wars films. The trailer opens with a bunch of Storm Trooper helmets in a pile to indicate that the Empire has fallen. It also flashes to someone frozen in Carbonite, just like Han Solo was at the end of Empire Strikes Back.
We broke down every second of The Mandalorian trailer
Here’s what we gleaned from a close look at the Mandalorian trailer, moment by moment:
0:02 The Empire has definitely fallen. This show is set after Empire when Luke, Leia and Han defeat the Emperor and overthrow his government. These Stormtroopers either died or abandoned their armor on a sandy planet.
0:07 Yep. Those Stormtroopers are definitely dead. These are probably meant as a warning sign to Empire loyalists who try to enter this city’s walls. We see what we can assume is the titular Mandalorian walk by the spiked heads, seemingly indifferent. Again, he’s probably someone who is neither good nor evil and doesn’t care about the force.
0:17 We get a first look at the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razorcrest, flying over a bountiful planet.
0:21 The Mandalorian seems to operate across the galaxy. We can expect plenty of ship action and fights in the air. Here, he docks in a town that looks like it got caught in the crossfire between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. That structure directly in front of the Mandalorian looks to be in ruins.
0:27 Here is Carl Weathers as Greef Carga, a man we know works with the Mandalorian. He’s probably either offering him a job or paying him for one. They exchange something.
0:33 This seems like the type of TV series that fans are going to want to watch on their TVs rather than their laptops or phones: LucasFilm seems to have spent as much on effects to create gorgeous shots like these as they usually do on their films.
0:38 The Mandalorian puts on his armor. The armor is heavily emphasized in the footage and we never see the character’s full face. The message: He has no identity outside the armor.
0:39 Gina Carano plays Cara Dune. We know that she fought with the Rebel Alliance to restore the Republic.
0:40 This is a humanoid creature called an Ugnaught. They’re native to the planet Gentes, so it’s possible that’s where the Mandalorian is in this scene.
0:41 This woman is a Twi’lek. (Bib Fortuna was the first Twi’lek to appear in the Star Wars films as one of Jabba the Hutt’s steward.)
0:45 A scared woman holds a child while presumably in hiding. This scene is somewhat reminiscent of the beginning of Rogue One when a young Jyn Erso goes into hiding on a similar looking planet.
0:46 A shot of Death Troopers, an elite group within the Stormtroopers known for their stealth. Apparently even though the Empire has fallen, they survive.
0:49 Giancarlo Esposito confirmed during D23 that he plays someone who serves the Empire, which is currently in shambles after the fall of Palpatine. It’s unclear whether he answers to a new emperor or whether he has gone rogue with his own cohort of Stormtroopers in the absence of a real government.
0:57 The Mandalorian on a swooper bike. This is the closest we get to seeing the Mandalorian’s actual face.
1:00 There are lots of shots of fighting and chaos that we’re not including because the upshot is: Luke’s victory hasn’t exactly ushered in an age of peace in the galaxy. Ships are shooting other ships. Bad guys are attacking good guys. Children are crying. Here, the Mandalorian seems to have teamed up with a droid, likely the one voiced by Taika Waititi, IG-11.
1:07 IG-11 is great at fighting! This shoot-out looks to be taking place on the wartorn planet where the Mandalorian landed his ship earlier in the trailer.
1:06 The Mandalorian is outnumbered against four Stromtroopers but doesn’t seem worried about it.
1:15 It’s difficult to tell from this screenshot, but the Mandalorian uses a grappling hook to trip this guy he’s fighting. Here, he has just shot the buttons next to this door such that the door shuts on this person and cuts him in half. It’s a move that elicited a visceral “oof” from the crowd at D23 and felt like a very Star Wars action moment. Werner Herzog’s character intones at this point: “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession.” No kidding.
1:18 Han Solo isn’t the only man or creature who has ever been frozen in Carbonite. Here we see an alien suffering a similar fate.
1:19 Werner Herzog’s character continues his monologue from before: “Don’t you agree?” We don’t yet know the character that Herzog is playing, but it’s Werner freakin’ Herzog, so it’ll probably be great.