It’s not so much that Disney and Lucasfilm put together a movie based on every kid in the 1980s’ favorite background character, because George Lucas already made a movie about that guy, his dad, and a whole army of lookalikes. It’s hard to find a cooler character than Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back, until Lucas delivered on the fan service and inserted him into the original, special edition of Star Wars. It’s not only that. Or that, like Solo: A Star Wars Story, it’s clearly a full-fledged space Western. Or that fans get to see familiar elements of the franchise again, like carbon freezing, speeder bikes, scout walkers, patrol dewbacks, familiar bounty hunters, and Imperial bunkers hidden in the forest. And it’s not that the lead is played by its rising young actors known for badass characters, Pedro Pascal and co-star Gina Carano. Or that the series features a story by genre favorite Jon Favreau, with a host of episode directors like Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, or noted Star Wars animaster Dave Filoni, or Solo director Ron’s daughter, actor Bryce Dallas Howard.
Well, it’s that, but not only that.
It’s that added gravitas that Star Wars is better at than possibly any other franchise. It’s adding those dynamic, major character actors in supporting roles who make the magic happen sometimes even from the corner of the screen, from the likes of Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Christopher Lee, Terence Stamp, Brian Blessed, Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson, Linda Hunt, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Max von Sydow. Would Star Wars be Star Wars without the characters these actors brought to life? Definitely not.
For the latest trailer for the new streaming series The Mandalorian, that means Carl Weathers–who we saw in April’s “sizzle reel” at the annual Star Wars convention (yet to be posted by Lucasfilm, but check out a watchable version below), with a first look at Giancarlo Esposito, and that toughest of older tough guys in movies, director and Jack Reacher villain Werner Herzog. Not seen in this trailer, but expected to be added to the list, is Nick Nolte, who we can imagine could get us to that similar kind of character as Woody Harrelson or Paul Bettany in Solo.
So check it out–your next look at The Mandalorian:
We have a feeling half of this series will be some heart-pounding, gritty, programmatic fare by composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther, Venom, Creed, Creed II, Central Intelligence).
And here is the fan-footage sizzle reel from the Star Wars convention in April 2019 (why hasn’t Lucasfilm released this yet?):
As the norm these days, unfortunately to watch this series you’ll need to subscribe to another streaming platform, this time that’s the Disney+ streaming service. The Mandalorian begins November 12, 2019.