When Disney+ finally launches on Tuesday, Nov. 12, it will be with one of the most highly anticipated projects of the fall on its roster: The Star Wars drama The Mandalorian. The show, which will be released weekly, is the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, and Disney is treating it like the giant pot of gold it is, refusing to send screeners to critics in advance in order to give audiences "the opportunity to enjoy the show to the fullest and allow them to discover any surprises and plot twists," the streamer said in a press release.
Set a few years after the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (after the fall of the Empire but before the rise of the First Order), the show follows Pedro Pascal's eponymous gunfighter on the Outer Rim. Creator Jon Favreau and executive producer and director Dave Filoni drew a lot of inspiration from Westerns while crafting the look and feel of the show, but they never lost sight of what fans ultimately care about: the larger Star Wars universe and how the new show fits within it.
"We have Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who know these worlds incredibly well, who are so well-versed in everything," Carl Weathers, who plays Greef, the head of a bounty hunter guild that hires Pascal's character for a job, told TV Guide earlier this month. "They really want to keep consistent with the Star Wars lore and the Star Wars world and Star Wars mythology."
Favreau and Filoni, who also worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and co-created Star Wars Rebels, were never too far from the action, even when they weren't directing. "[They] are there. It's not like they walked away," explained Weathers. "They didn't just say, 'OK, here, you guys go off and do what you want to do.'"
The commitment to the show and to the larger universe was shared by the other men and women who stepped behind the camera to direct, including Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit), who also voices droid IG-11 in the show, as well as Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.
"The people that they hired, I just felt confident with each different director that I worked with," said Gina Carano, who plays ex-Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune. "Each one of them took care of the story, took care of the characters, and wanted to stay so true to the Star Wars universe."
"We have a team that, honestly, I think is like the platinum standard. It's not the gold standard," said Weathers.
Bottom line: You're in safe hands, Star Wars fans.
The Mandalorian premieres Tuesday, Nov. 12 on Disney+, with new episodes debuting Fridays starting Nov. 15. Find out more about the streaming service here.