Fans who watched The Mandalorian panel online during Star Wars Celebration Sunday missed one key thing: never-before-seen footage for the first ever live-action Star Wars TV series. In the room, executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni showed a behind the scenes featurette as well as full scene and trailer. We’ll start with the trailer.
Things start in a Cantina. We know this by the crazy collection of weird aliens and all the noises you know and love. Cut to a table, and on one end is Greef, played by Carl Weathers, and the other, The Mandalorian, played by Pedro Pascal. The Mandalorian does not take his mask off in any of these scenes.
Greef taks out a bunch of pucks, which are bounty markers and look like things you use to play shuffleboard. “Bail jumper, bail jumper, bail jumper” he says as he lays them on the table. Neither man is impressed as the bounties Greef has. “I’ll take them all,” the Mando says. Greef says that’s all he has, implying he doesn’t want to give them all to him. “What’s the highest bounty you have?”the Mando asks. “5000 credits,” Greef replies. “That doesn’t even cover fuel these days,” says the Mando. Well, Greef says, there is this one job. It doesn’t have a puck. It’s more a face-to-face, direct commission kind of thing. “Underworld?” The Mandalorian asks. He’s interested. Greef hands him a card and the Mandalorian walks out.
He’s on the streets of some kind of city. It’s the same street, in the same outfit, he’s in in the first press shot of the show. His walk is slow, like an actor wearing too much costume, but probably because this guy also isn’t in a rush to get where he’s going. Along the way, he walks by a stand that’s grilling kowakian monkey lizard, with another one in a cage ready to be eaten. He arrives at a door, knocks, and out pops a TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid, just like at Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. The droid scans the card Greef gave the Mando and lets him in.
A gonk droid greets him at the door, and the Mandalorian follows it slowly as it gonks away. It’s a dark hallway with those long Star Wars lights in a few places here and there. The hallway leads to a door. When it opens, it’s filled with Stormtroopers. They look dirty and and rundown. At a table in the center of the room is their leader, or a man who appears to be their leader, at least: a man played by Werner Herzog. Herzog’s character says Greef told him he was the best bounty hunter in this parsec, and very expensive. As they’re talking, a door opens, and in walks another man, played by American Gods’ Omid Abtahi. Out of instinct and surprise, the Mando pulls his gun on the man, who he’s told is a scientist and not a threat. Even so, the Mando keeps his guns up, because all the Stormtroopers have also pulled on him and say he won’t put his guns down until they do. “We have you four to one,” says one of the troopers. “I like those odds,” replies the Mando. Finally, everyone puts down their weapons, the scientist relaxes, and the Mandalorian sits down.
Herzog’s character puts an orange cloth on the table and reveals a piece of beskar, the metal alloy the Mandalorians typically craft their infamous armor out of—strong enough to absorb a blaster bolt, perhaps strong enough to take a glancing blow from a lightsaber. Everyone is very impressed. “Go ahead, it’s real” says Herzog’s character. He adds that’s just a down-payment and there’s much more if the Mandalorian brings the mark in alive. However, Herzog’s character adds, he understands bounty hunting can be hard, and would accept proof of termination for a lower overall fee. “That’s not what we agreed upon,” says the scientist. “I’m just bring pragmatic,” says Herzog’s character.
The Mandalorian accepts the deal and asks what information he has. He doesn’t have a puck on this being, but has a tracking FOB and four digits of an eight digit ID number. Which, considering it’s 50 years old, is apparently still impressive. It was unclear why, but Herzog’s character can also provide the mark’s last reported position which, he suggests, in tandem with the other information, should be more than enough for a man of the Mandalorian’s talents to complete the task.
“It’s good for beskar to be back in the hands of a Mandalorian,” says Herzog’s character. “It’s nice to restore things after a period of disarray.” The Mandalorian exits, and the Lucasfilm logo appears.
Now the footage goes properly into trailer time. We see the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razorcrest, flying across the sky. In a cantina (there are a lot of cantina’s in this show, apparently!), the Mandalorian sees Cara Dune, played by Gina Carano, described at today’s Celebration panel as an “Ex-Rebel shocktrooper”. “What’s her business here?” he asks, before the two fight in hand-to-hand combat outside—falling on the ground and both pulling guns on each other simultaneously.
Over all of the next footage, a monologue plays. It’s delivered by Werner Herzog’s character. This isn’t 100% exactly, but it’s close:
The Empire improves every system it touches. Judging by any metric: safety, prosperity, compare Imperial rule to what’s going on now. Is the world more peaceful since the revolution? Look outside. I see nothing but death and chaos.
While Herzog monologues, a character played by Giancarlo Esposito walks up. He’s a bad guy, you can tell. He’s with a bunch of different Stormtroopers. “Burn them out,” he says, as a trooper with a flamethrower goes to town burning something with dozens of other troopers laying on the ground dead. Inside another cantina (like I said, lots of cantinas) there are a slew of different aliens: Twi’leks, Jawas, a Devaronian, etc. Outside, an IG-assassin droid, presumably the one played by director Taika Waititi, is in the street spinning and killing a bunch of troopers. A new character played by comedian Bill Burr, holding two blasters, with a shaved head, fires in a green-lit space ship. Another character flys a TIE fighter, and then we see slow-motion footage of the Mandalorian hitting a Stormtrooper in the mask, and the mask crashing under the pressure. Finally, the Mandalorian raises his staff-like gun—an homage to the blaster rifle wielded by Boba Fett in his animated debut during the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Earlier in the Celebration panel, behind the scenes footage was screened to attendees, which gave even more context to all this footage. Over a black screen and the sound of constant beeping, the image fades up on a pair of feet walking on a desolate, dark snow planet. Think Hoth at night, with less accumulation. As the camera pans up, we see it’s The Mandalorian holding a tracking device. Things pull back and he’s walking into what basically looks like the outpost in John Carpenter’s The Thing. The doors to the place swing open, and we see him in silhouette (the shot released as a promo picture you can find at the very top of this post). This is some kind of bar—again, with the cantinas!—filled with new aliens.
As this is a behind the scenes trailer, there are a lot of talking heads explaining the world as we see all kinds of concept art, and other snippets from filming. One piece is what appears to be a Mandalorian—perhaps the Mandalorian—riding a Dewback. Another is the Mandalorian talking with other Mandalorians. All kinds of art and shots followed: shots of a cantina, a busted TIE Fighter, an overhead view of the aforementioned snow area looks like it houses a huge asterix-shaped city, dug into a mountain range. There was art of Jawas, and one of their sandcrawlers. Speeder bikes, new aliens running with guns on like a swampy, but bright, planet. The Mandalorian firing a stand-up cannon emplacement, then Greef standing with three other bounty hunters looking at something approaching them. All of that was also edited with footage of the impressive list of directors and them talking about how excited they are for the show, and posing for photos.
And, guess what? We were impressed too. The footage not just looked great, it looked cinematic and very, very Star Wars. November 12 can’t come soon enough.
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