In the space of just two months the Star Wars franchise debuted both The Mandalorian on Disney Plus and the last chapter in the current movie trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The movies are done (for now) but The Mandalorian continues. Season one of The Mandalorian is over, but we’re looking forward to what’s next in The Mandalorian Season 2.
While they’ve had animated series like The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, The Mandalorian marks Lucasfilm’s first foray into live-action episodic television. The first season just wrapped up and by almost any metric, it was a pretty rousing success. It has detractors, for sure, but by and large, it was met with critical acclaim, tons of folks watched and discussed every episode, and who among us has a social media feed not besieged by Baby Yoda memes?
Because it’s a Star Wars IP, a second season was almost inevitable. Success and a warm reception just made it even more of a sure thing. But what do we know about The Mandalorian season two?
The answer is, right now, we have many more questions than we have concrete answers. That said, come along as we dig into what we do know, explore some of the questions we have, and speculate, wildly or otherwise, about what the future of the series may hold in The Mandalorian Season 2.
The Season 2 Trailer
The first trailer for The Mandalorian season 2 has just arrived, and it’s spectacular. Watch…
The Mandalorian Season 2 Release Date
The best news here is that The Mandalorian season 2 is coming sooner than you might think. During Disney’s quarterly earnings call Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that The Mandalorian season 2 will debut on Disney Plus in October of 2020. October 30, 2020 to be specific. This is the day.
In order to get into production so fast, The Mandalorian season 2 was likely in the works from the beginning. Again, not much of a shock. Barring all but the most stunning debacle, we were likely always in for this.
This is a big production full of elaborate sets and costumes, large action scenes, and more special effects than your usual series. There are a ton of moving parts to arrange in a relatively short time, which is much easier to pull off if things are already in motion.
Upgrading Mando’s Armor
As he progressed along his journey in the first season, the Mandalorian kept upgrading his armor. It looks like that will continue in The Mandalorian season 2 as evidenced by this leaked image showing off what he’ll be adding…
It doesn’t look like things will be going quite as well for Djinn in the new season. His cape is shorter and more tattered, probably damaged in a fight. He also isn’t wearing the jetpack he got at the end of last season. It may mean he loses it. Meanwhile the new pieces of armor look a little lower quality than the shiny Besker additions he made at the end of the previous season. Mando may be in for a rough ride.
Who Will Return for Season 2 of The Mandalorian?
This leads right into the next question, who is coming back for season two of The Mandalorian?
Again, we haven’t heard much in the way of official announcements, though that could change soon. There are, however, some obvious ones.
Given how the final episode of season one, “Redemption,” ends, expect to see more Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon. The former-Imperial-turned-outer-rim-warlord is too good a villain not to use—and too good a villainous actor—and he’s set up so he could easily be the big bad moving forward.
But what about Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga or Gina Carano’s Cara Dune? At the end of “Redemption,” they head out on their own side adventure, leaving Mando and the Child to their own devices, but they’re both back in The Mandalorian season 2. In fact, Weathers indicated he’ll return, tweeting out:
That seems to be it since most everyone else dies. I’d love to see more Ming Na Wen (Fennec Shand, we hardly knew ye), Werner Herzog, or Nick Nolte, but they’re all sadly toast, so we’ll have to see what The Mandalorian season 2 has cooked up in the way of new characters.
The Real People Under The Mandalorian’s Helmet
Most Mandalorian fans don’t realize this, but most of the time the titular Mandalorian is not played by Pedro Pascal. You saw his face when Din took off his helmet and you hear his voice when the Mandalorian talks, but usually he isn’t the person inside that armor.
For most of The Mandalorian season 1 stunt performers Brendan Wayne (Grandson of John Wayne) and Lateef Crowder are the people inside Mando’s armor. Not just during stunts, but in most every scene of the show.
However, it seems that may change in The Mandalorian season 2.
The Bespin Bulletin says Pedro Pascal will be more directly involved in The Mandalorian season 2. They say he’ll be spending more time in Din’s armor. Some are speculating that this is because they’ll find some excuse for the character to stay unmasked (that would be a huge mistake), but I’m hoping it’s just because Pedro recognizes the value of him playing the character even when you can’t see his face. It’s what Karl Urban did on Dredd, and it paid big dividends for that character.
Timothy Olyphant is officially joining the cast of The Mandalorian season 2. Olyphant’s exact role has yet not been officially announced, but the reliable scoopers at /Film have figured it out. They say he’s playing Cobb Vanth, the Sheriff of a small Tatooine settlement called Freetown. What’s more, he wears Boba Fett’s armor.
Not armor that looks like Boba Fett’s, but his actual armor. How he got it is something of a mystery. The fact that he’s wearing it either means the Sarlacc did indeed kill Boba Fett and spit out his armor for Cobb to find later, or it means that Boba Fett escaped and then pawned it to get off Tatooine.
It seems likely that Vanth is the mysterious gunslinger we saw standing over the body of Toro Calican in The Mandalorian season 1 episode “The Gunslinger”. You remember it’s this scene…
Olyphant’s best work to date has been on the old west based series Deadwood as a boom town sheriff, and on the show Justified as a cowboy hat wearing, quick draw, modern-day US Marshall. I can’t imagine a better casting fit for this show. Here’s hoping he sticks around for more than one episode.
Katee Sackhoff has joined the cast of The Mandalorian season 2. Slashfilm says she’ll play Bo-Katan Kryze, a leader of Mandalore. Bo-Katan is also a former member of Mandalorian terrorist group Death Watch. Sackhoff previously voiced the character of Bo-Katan on the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But now she’ll show up, in the flesh for The Mandalorian season 2.
Here’s what Bo-Katan looked like in animated form on Clone Wars…
Sackhoff is best known for her stellar work on the beloved TV series Battlestar Galactica. There she won hearts and fans playing Starbuck. She’s been active pretty much non-stop in television and low-budget movies ever since. This will be one of her biggest post-BSG roles.
Boba Fett Returns
Boba Fett will be in The Mandalorian season 2 according to the trades. Some people believe he’ll be played by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett and the clones in the Star Wars prequels. However that remains uncertain. We do know that Temuera Morrison will be on the show, we just aren’t sure he’ll actually be Boba Fett.
This source suggests that in fact The Mandalorian season 2 is planning to reveal Boba Fett as actually having been a woman all along. For now consider it nothing more than a rumor, but it is true that we don’t really know who will be under Boba Fett’s helmet at this stage.
Moving forward Boba Fett won’t be a series regular, but he will have a small part to play in season 2. Whether he (or she) survived the Sarlacc or not remains to be seen. He could show up only in flashbacks, or he might actually have crawled his way out. Either way, we know someone else is now wearing his armor.
Michael Biehn is joining the cast of The Mandalorian for season 2. The Terminator star is reportedly playing a bounty hunter in the series. An early sketch of what he’ll look like on the show has been leaked, and here it is…
Fans have pointed out that the helmet bears a resemblance to early versions of Darth Vader’s helmet. That’s probably not an accident.
Rosario Dawson has officially joined the cast of The Mandalorian for season 2. She’s been hired to play Ahsoka Tano, a name fans of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series will recognize.
Here’s a fan’s interpretation of what Rosario will look like as Ahsoka Tano…
The latest update on the project that Ahsoka will not actually be a regular part of The Mandalorian season 2 cast. Instead she’s supposed to show up in a recurring role, probably sort of like Gina Carano did in season one. The trades believe that her appearances are all a setup to give Rosario Dawson her own Star Wars series on Disney Plus.
That’s right, this could all be leading to an Ahsoka Tano spinoff series with Rosario Dawson in the lead. The series would air concurrently with The Mandalorian. Given The Mandalorian’s success leading into season 2, it makes sense that Disney would want more Star Wars television programming, and getting a big star like Rosario Dawson to lead it is the perfect move.
During the time period of the Clone Wars, which takes place decades before The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano is Anakin Skywalker’s padawan learner. The fact that Rosario Dawson is playing her all these years later implies that she was one of the few Jedi to survive the great Jedi purge of Darth Vader and the Emperor.
Ahsoka Tano being alive in the time of The Mandalorian begs the question: Where was she while Luke Skywalker was fighting the empire? They could have used a skilled Jedi on their side. Presumably The Mandalorian season 2 will answer that question when she’s played by Rosario Dawson. Given what’s already been told of her backstory elsewhere in ancillary Star Wars materials, time travel will likely be involved.
Reportedly WWE Superstar Sasha Banks will join The Mandalorian cast in season 2. In fact we’ve heard she has already filmed her scenes for the season. That probably means she’ll be a one-off character, like so many of the others we saw come and go in season 1.
Last year MMA star Gina Carano was a big hit on The Mandalorian and she was so good they’re bringing her back for another year. So it makes sense that the show might look for other athletic female talent to use in the second season.
Rumored New Additions
Ray Park has started teasing his possible involvement in The Mandalorian. Park played Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace where he appeared to be killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Park started The Mandalorian season 2 rumor mill churning when he posted this…
Canonically, Darth Maul actually survived being chopped in half in The Phantom Menace, only to later be killed for real this time by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. In order to show up in The Mandalorian season 2 he’d have had to improbably cheat death a third time (ridiculous) or he’d have to appear in some kind of flashback (possible).
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is rumored to be joining the cast of The Mandalorian season 2. The rumor of her involvement comes from the frequently reliable site Making Star Wars. However it’s worth noting that weren’t able to do their usual legwork on confirming whether she’s in it or not, due to the current environment of global shutdowns.
Their assumption that she’s involved is based on seeing her around the set of The Mandalorian season 2. Apparently Avatar 2 was also filming in the same vicinity, so it’s possible she could have been there for that movie, though Mandalorian seems more likely.
Jamie Lee Curtis was most recently seen as one of the stars of the hit movie Knives Out. Coming up, she’s also slated to return to the Halloween franchise with two more sequels to that coming out in 2020 and 2021.
Part of the fun of the Star Wars universe has always been the strange creatures to be discovered in its Galaxy Far Far Away. One new creature which might show up soon is the Eye of Webbish Bog.
The Eye of Webbish Bog was a creature that was supposed to appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. They filmed footage of it, but that footage ended up getting cut. Now it sounds like there’s a chance the creature could end up on the Mandalorian, and from the way its described, it’ll be INCREDIBLE.
Here’s how the Eye of Webbish Bog is described in the official Rise of Skywalker novelization…
“A giant emerged, a hairless creature sheening with wetness, bits of lake detritus clinging to its pasty skin. Its eyes were squeezed shut, but it could still see after a fashion, because draped over its massive bald head and across one shoulder was a second creature with long spidery tentacles. The two were locked in symbiosis. Kylo sensed the giant’s pain, as though it were a slave to the spidery being that clung to it. Yet neither could it survive alone.”
Here’s an artists rendering of what that scene might have looked like…
Talking to Collider about the creature, Rise of Skywalker make-up effects creative supervisor Neal Scanlan explains why it was cut saying, “I think it maybe was too lengthy an explanation for something that [Abrams] was able to explain in the movie much quicker, eventually. J.J.’s movies move very quickly don’t they, and it was all part of Kylo Ren’s journey and I think he just felt that there was too much time being spent on something which he explained much quicker. So that’s all it was, really. Runtime is always my biggest fear on any movie. So much of what we do, so much of what we shoot—and I’m sure this is the same for every department—you invest so much time and love in it and you hope it’ll make the final cut, but it doesn’t always do that because the movie would be four hours long. Which would be great! (laughs).”
Apparently this wasn’t just an idea or a CGI animation. This was a creature they actually built and presumably still have sitting around at Lucasfilm. Scanlon explains, “That was a character that was designed very early on in the day. Jake Lunt [Davies], who’s one of my concept designers, we were all playing around with this idea and talking about it and he did this drawing and J.J. saw it and went, ‘That is amazing’. It was one of those moments where it was like, ‘This has to be in the movie.’ So we actually did build it and we took it to a place called Black Park in the UK, which is close to Pinewood Studios, where we shot it in a lake on location, and that sequence exists. Unfortunately it didn’t make it to the movie story, plot-wise, etc. It was a fully practical character shot in a location, and it is amazing.”
The Mandalorian has already shown a willingness to pick up the ball when other Star Wars productions drop it, and re-using a creature that has already been built but never seen by the audience is a great way for a television production to save money on budget. So it would make sense for the Eye of Webbish Bog to show up in The Mandalorian season 2 if they need an extra creature. Scanlon agrees: “I hope that we can maybe bring that back in some way shape or form on the TV series [The Mandalorian] or that we can revisit that character in some way, because it was a haunting image and a very unusual image. But one which I think was incredibly Star Wars. So yeah, somewhere there’s footage of that.”
What’s The Plot of The Mandalorian Season 2?
While we have a vague idea of where the plot will take us in The Mandalorian season two, and even more theories, specifics are tough to come by.
Our first solic clue comes in the form of season 2’s episode titles. Website The GWW claims these are the titles for all eight season 2 Mandalorian episodes…
- Chapter One: The Search
- Chapter Two: The Confrontation
- Chapter Three: The Bounty
- Chapter Four: The Republic
- Chapter Five: The Loyalist
- Chapter Six: The Sorcerer
- Chapter Seven: The Return
- Chapter Eight: The Empire
In a big sense, now that the Mandalorian, or Din Djarin as we learned is his real name, is responsible for the Child, at least a significant portion of the action will revolve around finding its home and people. Since no one really knows what to make of the little tyke, and since even fans don’t know the name of Yoda’s race—it was a secret George Lucas never revealed—that’s going to take some doing.
We do know now that the Child does HAVE a name. Director Taika Waititi told the NY Times that the Child has a name and he knows it. Since Taika was going to be a key component of the team making The Mandalorian season 2, it’s safe to assume we’ll learn Baby Yoda’s name in season 2.
It may also be that Baby Yoda, aka The Child is somehow related to Yoda, not just another random member of his species. When asked about this possibility Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau all but confirmed it by pleading, “Well, now you’re getting into spoilers. I can’t say.”
The Path To Becoming A Jedi
One rumor going around suggests that the plot of The Mandalorian will ultimately result in Din Djarin (the title character) becoming a Jedi. If true, this would be a huge, huge mistake for the franchise.
If there’s one thing that’s certain it’s that viewers are suffering from Jedi fatigue. One of the thing audiences have loved most about it is that the focus of the series has been a non-Jedi character, more of someone they can actually identify with. Turning the Mandalorian into a Jedi would basically be throwing away everything people like about the show. On the other hand, it’s exactly the kind of mistake that Star Wars has made before.
The Villain Of Season 2
The end of “Redemption” also sets up Moff Gideon as a major antagonist. Though season one was largely episodic—a friend said it reminded him of Kung Fu—there was a narrative that spanned the season. It looks likely that in season two we’ll see Moff Gideon’s obsessive hunt for Baby Yoda.
We will definitely some more of his Darksaber, which has a special significance for Mandalorians. (The black-bladed lightsaber was originally made by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian accepted by the Jedi. Since then, it’s had a long, storied history and passed through many hands.)
Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who plays Moff Gideon confirmed that we’re in for some major lightsaber action while at the Vancouver Fan EXPO. There he said, “The prop guys are wondering about me because I was in a bit of a commotion and a bit of a struggle with someone else, which I’m hoping you will enjoy when you see it. Major, major, epic, epic lightsaber action happening on this show, and I should mention that I’m the only character in this first season who was able to be honored with having that lightsaber. So it feels wonderful.”
Why Gideon wants the Child remains a mystery, but Giancarlo Esposito did offer us this clue….
“I know … Like any great leader or scientist — clue, clue, clue — with someone who is advanced in a certain way, yeah, you could want to be their best friend, or you could want to co-opt what is inside them to figure out how to make all of us a little better at humanity. So it’s that power and control of a Moff leader who is trying to put the universe back together. But, how does he know everything? How does he know everything that’s going on? He’s a very interesting character and I’m so honored to be a part of this production.“– -Giancarlo Esposito on why Moff Gideon wants The Child
He later added a few more details when talking to IGN…
“You have something I want. You may think you have some idea of what you are in possession of, but you do not. … It means more to me than you will ever know.“– -Mandalorian actor Giancarlo Esposito on why Moff Gideon wants The Child
Cloning was mentioned, but the endgame for Gideon is still unclear. An army of Force-strong Baby Yodas would be a powerful weapon for sure.
It’s also unclear if Moff Gideon is working on his own or if he answers to a higher power. He may be a warlord striking out on his own after the fall of the Empire, making his fortune in the wreckage. But perhaps he’s part of one of the factions still clinging to the Imperial ways, trying to regroup and rebuild. Maybe he’s even a Palpatine loyalist, which would make sense given the Emperor’s connection to the Force.
This also begs another question. From the outset, there was talk that The Mandalorian would show the beginnings and rise of the First Order. There wasn’t a ton of that in season one, which focused more on the lawless, chaotic, wild-west-in-space reality that took up after the Rebel alliance emerged victorious. Perhaps there will be more of the First Order moving forward in The Mandalorian Season 2, especially if Moff Gideon is involved in some capacity.
With Star Wars so focused on the Skywalkers, it’s easy to forget that the Force isn’t something at the forefront of most people’s minds. In the timeline, the action in The Mandalorian is still close to the original trilogy. We’re not far removed from the Jedi being a thing of myth and legend, if they’re remembered at all. Even with Luke Skywalker showing up on the scene, most people weren’t there to see it first hand, and given the size of this far, far away galaxy, word may not have spread. Or if it has, it may be treated as rumor, not fact.
When Baby Yoda shows his powers, people don’t know what to make of it. The Jedi get mentioned as “this thing I heard of,” and it drives home this idea. It’ll be interesting to see what, if any role that plays in The Mandalorian Season 2 and beyond.
While the action in The Mandalorian has been removed from the main Skywalker storyline, that could change some in season two. There have been reports of “several established characters” from the Skywalker saga could appear. What that means remains to be seen. That’s super vague, not to mention unsubstantiated, so it could be almost anyone, from characters playing a major role to familiar faces with little more than a walk-on cameo.
Now back to the photo John Favreau shared.
It features a figurine of a Gamorrean. The pig-looking creatures first appeared in Return of the Jedi, but have since appeared elsewhere in the years since. They’re most known as guards or mercenaries, and while Favreau gave no indication of their role in The Mandalorian season 2, their presence makes sense.
They hail from the planet Gamorr, which is in the Outer Rim, where the series takes place. The Gamorreans are generally a war-like people, and if various warlords and criminal factions are on the rise, battling for turf in the wake of the Empire’s fall, it’s no stretch to imagine turning to them for a bit of additional muscle.
Baby Yoda is, of course, not actually Yoda. He’s just a member of the same species. That means it’s still possible for Yoda to be in The Mandalorian and these reports say the Jedi Master will show up in season 2.
The rumor mill insists he’ll show up to serve as Baby Yoda’s mentor, since he’ll need someone to train him in the ways of the Force. The Mandalorian takes place a few years after the events of Return of the Jedi, so we know Master Yoda is actually dead and buried on Dagobah. But we also know he has the ability to appear as a Force Ghost. Something he does decades later in the timeline as part of the Rise of Skywalker movie and something he also did before the time of The Mandalorian in Return of the Jedi.
Looking at this rumor objectively, it bringing in Yoda seems like an obvious mistake, one that would only dilute the Baby Yoda brand. It’s hard to imagine Jon Favreau and his team making a stumble this bad, so take this rumor with a bigger grain of salt than almost any of the other rumors swirling around The Mandalorian season 2 production.
Word is that Lucasfilm is “exploring the prospect” of having Luke Skywalker show up in The Mandalorian season 2. Remember, The Mandalorian takes place a few years after Return of the Jedi. So this would be Luke Skywalker at the peak of his Jedi powers, during the time when he’s trying to rebuild the Jedi order.
Unfortunately, it sounds like if they do it, they won’t have Mark Hamill playing Luke. For one thing, Hamill is at this point simply too old to play Return of the Jedi Luke. Instead they’ll have another actor play Luke, but use digital wizardry to make him look like Hamill. Maybe they’ll bring in Hamill to do a voice performance in that scenario, if he’s willing. But whatever we end up seeing on screen, while it may look like young Mark Hamill, won’t actually be Mark Hamill.
Exactly what role Luke could play in The Mandalorian is unknown, but given that Mando is running around with a Force powered infant, it’s safe to assume the Galaxy’s top Jedi would have to get involved at some point.
According to these rumors Lucasfilm is pushing to have Han Solo show up on The Mandalorian. Word is that if they do talk Jon Favreau and his team into including him, it’ll only be in a one or two episode narrative and it’ll happen in either Mandalorian season 2 or season 3.
How would they fit him in? The Mandalorian takes place a couple of years after Return of the Jedi. So in theory, Han Solo should look like Harrison Ford looked in the eighties. Harrison Ford is obviously a lot older than that. So they could bring back Ford, but they’d have to de-age him.
Except Ford has been pretty vocal about being done with Star Wars. It’s a miracle that they got him to show up for a cameo in Rise of Skywalker. The prospects of getting him to show up for a Star Wars TV show are pretty slim. That plus the cost and difficulty with de-aging him would seem to make that unlikely.
But Disney has been talking a lot about wanting to recast Han Solo anyway. This might be the perfect time for them to do that. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a recast Han Solo show up on The Mandalorian, as a way to introduce the character’s new face before sending him off on other adventures in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Galaxy Connections
The Mandalorian connects to the rest of the Star Wars galaxy in a lot of obvious ways, but some are less obvious. One fan has come up with some surprising information which hints that Baby Yoda and Anakin may be connected.
The dates do line up and it seems unlikely that the writers of The Mandalorian wouldn’t have noticed when they decided Baby Yoda is actually 50 years old.
In Star Wars lore Anakin was spontaneously created by The Force. In theory his creation was to bring “balance” to the Force but all he did was kill a bunch of people and make things terrible. Maybe Baby Yoda was created at the same time by the Force as the real balance to the clearly very dark side Anakin?
If that’s where The Mandalorian is going in season 2, I’m excited.
Making The Mandalorian
When you watched The Mandalorian you likely thought a lot of its incredible shots were the result of work in front of a green screen. You would be wrong.
A new set video released by the show details just exactly how they made The Mandalorian happen, and apparently they actually constructed something which is a lot more like one of Star Trek holodecks than a green screen. It’s incredible. Watch…
Jon Favreau and his team will likely push this new and exciting holodeck-like technology even further in The Mandalorian season 2. I can’t wait to see what they do.
Who’s Coming Back Behind the Scenes?
Director Taika Waititi was expected to return, unfortunately he recently confirmed that he won’t be directing on The Mandalorian season 2. He says, “I’m not directing any of the episodes of The Mandalorian because I was doing another film, a soccer film with Michael Fassbender. After Jojo Rabbit I decided to make a sports film, something I’ve never done, about a sport I knew nothing about and I still don’t.“
Waititi has recently become one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood after a string of commercial and critical hits. In The Mandalorian season 1 not only did Waititi direct one of the best episodes of that season in “Redemption” he also voiced the droid IG-11. IG-11 sacrificed himself to save everyone, which means they don’t need his voice, and now he’s too busy to be involved behind the scenes.
On the creative side of things, we have at least some idea who will return. As you probably expect at this point, little is official, but there have been rumors and reports and scuttlebutt. Jon Favreau will be back in his showrunner role and there have been reports he might direct some in The Mandalorian Season 2.
Season one put together an interesting crew behind the camera and from what we’ve heard, season two should follow suit. Dave Filoni is rumored to be back to direct, which isn’t super surprising given his deep involvement with the Star Wars universe in both Rebels and The Clone Wars. He made his live-action directorial debut, helming two episodes of the first season of The Mandalorian.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is the rumor that Carl Weathers will direct an episode in season two of The Mandalorian. Though he’s most known as an actor, he’s directed a number of TV shows off and on starting with Renegade in the mid-1990s and continuing through an episode of Hawaii Five-O in 2019.
Given that The Mandalorian assembled a unique, diverse, interesting slate of writers and directors for season one—and that it’s Star Wars and who doesn’t want to work on a Star Wars project?—The Mandalorian season two promises to be equally intriguing.
Kathleen Kennedy is the head of Lucasfilm, but she wasn’t really all that involved in the making of The Mandalorian season 1. She’s been busy focused on the film side of things, getting Rise of Skywalker into theaters. Now though, rumors are swirling that she’s inserting herself into the production of The Mandalorian season 2.
One frequent scooper claims that Kennedy wants to use Mandalorian season 2 to fill in all the plot holes created by The Rise of Skywalker. She wants to somehow insert explanations as to what the heck was going on with Palpatine and all that cloning, and what was up with Snoke, and all those other weird new Star Wars things which didn’t make sense.
Perhaps worst of all, rumor has it that she wants The Mandalorian to make Baby Yoda into ACTUAL Yoda. As in he’s not just a child of the same species as Yoda, but he’s actually Yoda re-incarnated by The Force. This is, obviously, a really terrible idea. An idea which creates even more plot holes in The Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker since, if there’s a re-incarnated Yoda running around during that time then where the heck is he when they need him? Any why do we see Yoda’s Force Ghost present if Yoda has been re-incarnated? It just doesn’t make any sense.
All of this is just wild rumor for now, so don’t take it too seriously. And even if true, the rumor-mongers say The Mandalorian’s showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are very much against all of this and are pushing back to keep Kennedy from interfering in the show.
Inserting Classic Star Wars Shots
One of the things Star Wars fans love most about The Mandalorian is the way it comes so close to capturing the look and feel of the original Star Wars trilogy. Part of that is smart production design and part of it is because they’re actually using footage from the original Star Wars trilogy. Specifically, they’re using footage from A New Hope.
It’s not just an aesthetic choice, they’re also just trying to save money in their special effects budget. VFX supervisor Richard Bluff explains: “For example, there’s a scene in episode five when Mando sees two Banthas off in the distance. I was adamant we shouldn’t build a fully animated and rigged furry Bantha for just two shots and suggested we pull out the plates from A New Hope’s dailies. I knew I could come up with a shot design to leverage the Banthas from that.”
Those Banthas aren’t the only shot re-used from classic Star Wars. They’ve been slipped in throughout The Mandalorian and no one seemed to notice. Since it worked so well, they’ll continue to do that in The Mandalorian season 2.
Bluff offers another example of a re-used New Hope shot: “When Mando flies toward Tatooine, we are actually seeing the [Ralph McQuarrie] matte painting seen early in the original film. We reused another painting of Mos Eisley for a fly-in; in that case, I sent a photographer out to the exact spot George [Lucas] shot his original plate, capturing high-res elements so we could up-res as necessary.”
Making Baby Yoda
Given the story developed as it did, Baby Yoda will return and the meme-making community can breathe a collective sigh of relief. What we don’t know is whether he’ll start talking at some point.
In season 1 Baby Yoda made noises, but those were apparently made in part by animals as recently revealed by Star Wars sound editor David Acord. He says, “I was recording animals at this wildlife rescue outside of San Diego. Two of the animals I recorded had this really cute, almost childlike quality to them. One was a bat-eared fox and one is a kinkajou.“
If you’re wondering what a bat-eared fox or a kinkajou looks like, then here you go…
The animals that voiced him are almost as cute as Baby Yoda himself.
Baby Yoda’s animal noises were just aonepart of his vocalizations. Acord continues: “Then Jon Favreau thought that they needed to be more human-sounding or something a little more relatable. We dialed way back on the animal part, and now that’s just there for little grunts and coos and purring. We used some real baby vocals for when [The Child] gets really fussy and that kind of thing. Then I have some of my own vocal in there, too, for more of the articulated vocalizations, pitched way up. So it’s a combination of things.“
Excitement For The Mandalorian’s Return
The Mandalorian’s season 2 is a long way off, but excitement for the series is at a fever pitch. It’s even carried over to the United States military where a tank has been named after The Mandalorian’s most popular character. Behold the Baby Yoda tank…
The Future Of The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian is locked in for season 2 and it wrapped production in March of 2020, but what about after that? How many seasons of this series are we actually getting from Disney Plus?
Word is that Disney has five seasons of The Mandalorian planned. After that, the show will probably end. The good news here is that apparently Jon Favreau and his team already have the full, five-season arc planned out. With the plot planned out in advance, things will likely unfold as they should and draw to a satisfying concluding, rather than leaving us hanging.
Disney is so eager to get more of The Mandalorian that on April 20, 2020 pre-production on season 3 began. At this point, Season 2 is still being finalized and won’t actually air for months, but they aren’t waiting for that to finish before jumping to work on the season that will follow The Mandalorian season 2.
This likely means Disney wants to get Mandalorian seasons out as close together as possible. Going forward you should expect a new season of The Mandalorian at least once every year, probably debuting in October. Though given what a jump they have on Mando season 3, it’s possible they could release them even closer together.
The Mandalorian: The Movie
With the tepid response the newest Star Wars movies recieved, The Mandalorian is the hottest Star Wars property Disney has going. So it makes sense that they might want to expand on it and word is that they’re considering making a Mandalorian movie.
The film would be a prequel following Pedro Pascal’s Mandalorian character. The story would explore his life before the events of The Mandalorian season one. Of course that means we wouldn’t see Baby Yoda in it, since he doesn’t meet The Child until after season one’s first episode.
With all due respect to Mando, it seems like a potential mistake to turn a popular TV show into a movie without its most popular character. And clearly, The Mandalorian’s most popular character is Baby Yoda, not Mando.
The Mandalorian has been such a hit for Disney that the company is already considering making Mandalorian spinoffs. During the same conference call where Bob Iger confirmed The Mandalorian season 2’s release date, he also dropped a spinoff tease.
“The Mandalorian season 2 is coming in October, and then more coming from The Mandalorian thereafter, including the possibility of – infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series.”– -Disney boss Bob Iger
Which characters would the show take “in their own direction”? They haven’t gotten specific yet. Of the notable characters left alive at the end of Season 1 though, you have to imagine they’re considering giving Cara Dune her own show. Gina Carano’s performance as the ex-trooper was one of the real highlights of season one.
Baby Yoda is obviously the most popular character on The Mandalorian. But he’s a baby. Unless he does a lot of growing up in season two, and fast, it’s unlikely he’d get a spinoff.
Any other planned spinoff would probably have to come from the characters to be introduced in The Mandalorian season 2. Don’t be surprised if they plan the second season out with that in mind.