'The Mandalorian' Trailer Drops: Disney Star Wars Goes Spaghetti Western

Storm trooper skulls lie in the dust in this frame from The Mandalorian trailer

Just stop whatever you’re doing and watch this.

A complicated profession

Ok now let’s discuss. And insert the obvious caveat: Disney has made fantastic trailers out of weak Star Wars films before. Being a Star Wars fan has been a complicated effort over the past several years.


From the looks of this trailer, The Mandalorian respects canon and expands the Star Wars character universe. The setting, between the original trilogy and the final films, could allow the show to flesh out the chaos after the empire’s collapse in Return of the Jedi, the rise of the First Order, and fill in the galaxy that mainly existed at the edge of what we have been shown since 1977. So it has the potential to be an incredible ride. And hopefully we get at least one planet with more than one ecosystem, and an explanation of the uselessness of storm/clone trooper armor.

The Mandalorian, the first series produced for the new Disney+ streaming channel, looks from the trailer like it will go dark and gritty. Star Wars has lacked grit since the great and underappreciated Republic Commando video game from 2005.

Executive producer and writer Jon Favreau appeared at the D23 Expo this weekend and described The Mandalorian’s intended vibe.

Whether you like the original or the prequels, “we’ve got something for everyone,” he said.

Favreau previously revealed that the series would be set seven years after Return of the Jedi (so 23 years before The Force Awakens). At D23, the writer-director said the time period appealed to him because there’s no government, no law, and the world just degrades. What would it be like to be a bounty hunter during that period of lawlessness?


Pedro Pascal, the actor under the Mandalorian’s anti-hero mask, hinted more directly at the show’s direction back in April, saying he watched the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns and Akira Kurosawa films to prepare for the role.

Kurosawa’s masterpiece, The Hidden Fortress, provided George Lucas the inspiration for the original Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. So…yeah, this is on the right track. Or they’re at least saying the right things.


Reaction to the Mandalorian trailer is breaking the Internet.

So would I. So. Would. I.


Disney has been accused of going SJW ever since taking over the Star Wars universe, with the notable exception of Rogue One. That film packed action, suspense and edge while expanding beyond the usual characters. It brought back a Guns of Navarone feel to SW that was badly needed, and many first-generation fans regard it as the best (and only really good) Star Wars film of the current era. If we get some Rogue in The Mandalorian, this will be a very good thing.  And as a fan of the Spaghetti Westerns, I’m just looking forward to seeing a modern take on the genre.

Some may be annoyed to see Disney promoted here. They’re practically the Death Star personified to some. But if — big IF — Disney can bring some sense back to the Star Wars canon and create programs that first-generation fans and those who have followed can all love, and leave the politics out, then that’s worth encouraging.


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