When The Mandalorian debuted on the then-new Disney+ streaming platform on November 12, 2019, it almost immediately changed the landscape of the Star Wars universe.
From the moment bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and 50-year-old infant foundling, Grogu — then known only as “Baby Yoda” or “The Child” — Star Wars fans felt that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were hearkening back to a bygone era when George Lucas still had full creative control of his space opera saga.
After the divisive nature of Disney’s sequel trilogy — which was announced soon after The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm, Ltd. from Lucas in 2012 — The Mandalorian was a refreshing change. Instead of ripping Star Wars fans apart, it brought them together.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) were thought by many to rely on a stale storyline. The main characters — Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) — have been said to be too akin to the original trilogy’s core trio of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Thanks to The Mandalorian, we’ve seen the live-action debut of Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ fan-favorites Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Season 2, Episode 3 (“Chapter 11: The Heiress”) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in Season 2, Episode 5 (“Chapter 13: The Jedi”), plus the epic return of legendary Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (CGI Mark Hamill) in Season 2, Episode 8 (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”).
Season 3 is set to debut in February 2023.
Furthermore, thanks in large part to the overwhelming success of The Mandalorian, the team at Lucasfilm has gone all-in with live-action Star Wars series. Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christen recently reprised their prequel trilogy roles in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rogue One spinoff Andor, starring Diego Luna, is set to debut on August 31, 2022.
In addition, the Star Wars franchise has numerous other series, such as The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew, coming down the pipeline alongside feature film projects from Patty Jenkins, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, and Taika Waititi.
Now, in light of all of this upcoming content, a Lucasfilm executive has officially revealed what has to happen in order for the Star Wars galaxy to succeed moving forward:
In a recent interview, the studio’s executive vice president Lynwen Brennan admitted that “the people running the franchise have found this notion [that there are millennia before the Skywalker Saga and millenia after] to present a unique challenge. Limited to the specific 67-year timeframe of events in Star Wars (Phantom Menace through Rise of Skywalker), Brennan admits that exploration is secondary to careful interior gazing.
She said, specifically, that to succeed, Star Wars creators cannot “overwhelm” consumers, many of whom have been passionate fans since George Lucas released Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in 1977:
“I think the wonderful thing about ‘Star Wars’ is it’s a gigantic galaxy with thousands and thousands of years of history, so that’s a big place to explore. Finding a way that we can explore those different parts, but in a way that’s connected and doesn’t feel overwhelming, and we don’t overdo it — because I think ‘Star Wars’ is also special.”
Given that one of the biggest reasons the sequel trilogy was a debacle was it’s apparent reliance on nostalgia, it will be intriguing to see how far Lucasfilm can push the envelope beyond popular, well-known characters before receiving backlash in the other direction from the notoriously fickle fandom.
What do you think about Lucasfilm’s official stance on how to propel Star Wars forward?