Disney debuted the first trailer for the highly anticipated “Star Wars” original series “The Mandalorian” on Friday during the Disney+ panel at the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Starring “Game of Thrones” alum Pedro Pascal as the titular blaster-slinging warrior, “The Mandalorian” takes place between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order — in other words, between the events of “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.”
Pascal’s Mandalorian, whose look is reminiscent of fan-favorite bounty hunters Jango and Boba Fett from the earlier film trilogies, has made his way to the outer reaches of the galaxy, beyond the reach of the laws of the New Republic.
On hand to introduce the trailer — which the cast had never seen — were writer and executive producer Jon Favreau and series premiere director Dave Filoni, who told the story of how they first met at Skywalker Ranch. “We’ve been hammering away at this,” Favreau said.
When he heard that Disney+ would be home to “Star Wars” content, Favreau recalled, “I came in [and] pitched [Lucasfilm President] Kathleen Kennedy a version of a show that took place — after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ after the revolution, after everybody is done celebrating because the Empire is gone. And then chaos reigns, because there’s no central government in the galaxy, so it degrades into, like the old Samurais and the old Westerns, where the gunfighters are roaming and people are fighting for their own safety and trying to build safe communities. It’s a dangerous world.”
Favreau told Kennedy he wanted the main character to be a Mandalorian, and she connected him with Filoni. “We’ve been inseparable ever since,” Favreau said. (Filoni, who is making his live-action directing debut on the series, called Favreau a mentor in helping him to break into the form.)
Meanwhile, it was revealed that “Thor” director Taika Waititi will play a droid in the series. “For droid representation, it was important to me that they get enough screen time, because they’re often misunderstood,” he said.
The space western also features Gina Carano as Cara Dune, an ex-rebel shock trooper, and Carl Weathers as Greef Carga, the head of a guild of bounty hunters. Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte are part of the cast as well.
“The Mandalorian” is the first live-action “Star Wars” spinoff made for the small screen.
Filoni, known for his work on animated “Star Wars” shows, will be followed in the director’s chair by Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard and Waititi.
In addition to Favreau, “The Mandalorian’s” executive producers include Filoni, Kennedy and Colin Wilson.
“The Mandalorian” will premiere when Disney+ launches Nov. 12. The streaming service also announced that a series focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Ewan McGregor, is in the works.
An untitled Cassian Andor series is slated to debut on Disney+ during the streaming service’s second year. Diego Luna will reprise his “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” character in this spy thriller set in the early years of the Rebellion (before the events of “Rogue One”). Alan Tudyk will also be back as K-2SO. Stephen Schiff (writer and producer of “The Americans”) will serve as showrunner and executive producer.
In addition, a 12-episode Season 7 of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” will debut on Disney+ during the first year. The acclaimed animated series is set between the events of the prequel trilogy films “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.” The show features fan-favorite characters, including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano. The series originally launched on Cartoon Network in 2008, and an unaired sixth season debuted on Netflix in 2014. The episodes of these previous seasons will be available on Disney+ at launch.