As it stands right now, the Star Wars franchise consists of 10–soon to be 11–movies, and a few TV shows like Star Wars Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Every single show and movie has relied on the original Star Wars storyline to carry their weight. But, I think The Mandalorian will be the first break from that tradition. I think it will be a show which exists in the Star Wars universe and will be something that can be enjoyed on its own by viewers who haven’t seen a single Star Wars movie.
It’s going to be such a niche spinoff so distant from “regular” Star Wars. You would need to have seen Star Wars Episode II and then the TV show Star Wars the Clone Wars and then Star Wars Episode VI to truly understand what a Mandalorian is. But that means it’s also too distant from the classic Jedi storyline that it becomes its own thing.
For the invested Star Wars fan that will understand, The Mandalorian will take place five years after The Return of the Jedi in a part of the Galaxy out of the reach of the New Republic. Because of that distance, the show will literally give an outsider’s look at the Star Wars universe, and we will have a chance to bring in classic sci-fi and action fanatics into the realm of Star Wars.
Even this Star Wars fan couldn’t help but watch the trailer and think “who are they?” But that’s okay. I’m honestly glad I didn’t know, and I have confidence that the story will be so good and original that I won’t have to know in order to enjoy it.
This will be a classic bounty hunter story in which already-recognizable characters and references help retell the anti-hero quest. It also looks to be a visually-spectacular series as well. So, as long as the veteran Star Wars fans can keep their nerdy hearts in check–and not come on too strong–there’s little doubt that we could use this TV series to welcome in a new class of interested fans.