As a refreshing break from a tale of Jedi and Sith, of the endless battle between light and dark, The Mandalorian looks like a bit of space-Western manna from heaven when it comes to Star Wars storytelling. So you didn’t need to sell me even harder with the idea of Taika Waititi as an assassin droid described as “a child with a gun.”
Entertainment Weekly’s ongoing coverage of The Mandalorian already gave us a sneaky look at some Trandoshans, but now it’s slowly lifting the lid on a few of the friendly faces we’ll meet among the show’s cast. Well, friendlier, in so much as they’re going to be the ragtag scum and villainy we’re meant to be rooting for in the new Disney+ series, rather than the ragtag scum and villainy they’ll be beating up.
Despite also being described as the kind of fighter who’s fine with shooting some ex-Stormtroopers in the back before they could respond—“unlike Boba, he’s operating in a much more unforgiving landscape where survival is difficult enough, let alone flourishing,” showrunner Jon Favreau tells the outlet—we also have this new shot of the titular, unnamed Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and his former Rebel ally Cara Dune (Gina Carano) at rest, casually hanging around with a mysterious woman—glimpsed briefly in the recent trailer sodden and protecting a young child—whose connection to the duo remains to be seen.
Is it the most exciting picture in the world? No, but I kind of like the quiet intimacy of it. Those downtime moments between the action-packed, blaster-filled battles are going to be some of the most interesting moments of The Mandalorian, just to simply see how these characters live and survive in the post-Imperial world. There’s something to be said about the casual imagery of someone so Boba-Fett-adjacent just...being at rest, instead of always depicted as a badass warrior. It injects humanity into an otherwise faceless visage—something Favreau also told EW is something we can expect The Mandalorian to do plenty of with its masked lead:
What’s remarkable is when you see the whole stretch of the first season how engaging the character is. It’s amazing how many Star Wars characters are emotionally engaging that aren’t even anthropomorphic. R2-D2 is my favorite character and he barely has an eye.
On a similar note, when it comes to faceless yet still emotive characters is a delightful little tease of Taika Waititi’s droid assassin, IG-11—a distant cousin, but not quite exactly the same, as Empire Strikes Back’s IG-88, as many had assumed. If characters like Cara and the Mandalorian are going to be our more morally conflicted, serious heroes of the show, it seems IG-11 is going to be a bit more fun, according to Waititi:
[IG-11 is] very innocent and naive and direct and doesn’t know about sarcasm and doesn’t know how to lie. It’s like a child with a gun.
Well. As fun as an assassin droid with the precocious naivete of a child can be for anyone not in the general vicinity of his blaster’s barrel, that is. Still, who can say no to that? You can read more about The Mandalorian over at Entertainment Weekly, ahead of its arrival on Disney+ on November 12.
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