Star Wars fans have reason to celebrate with the casting announcement of the franchise’s first live-action series. Star Wars: The Mandalorian is set to premiere on Disney+, the company’s new streaming app set for late 2019. With the Star Wars films returning to summer release dates, maybe we’ll get a merry Star Wars Christmas after all.
The announcement reveals a predominantly Latinx cast. Daniel Jose Older made the Mandalorians a Latinx community with his book Star Wars: Last Shot. I’m excited to see that continuity continued into the visual universe. Major names include Giancarlo Esposito, Pedro Pascal, and Werner Herzog.
The Mandalorians are a human race who live on the planet of Mandalore. Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who captures Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy, is their most well-known citizen. Mandalore is often seen as a place of violence. Its people are notorious assassins. But, in recent series The Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, the society was revealed to be more diverse. In Rebels, Sabine Wren helps lead a rebellion against the violent Protectors and seeks to lead a new era of Mandalore. Star Wars: The Mandalorian will begin after Return of the Jedi and the death of Darth Vadar.
Esposito, of course, brings one of the best villains in television history to screen when he portrayed Gus on Breaking Bad. Long dark monologues and shark’s eyes had anyone in his sphere trembling with fear. While Esposito could be a tremendous villain in the Star Wars canon, he would also make an incredible mentor. The Star Wars universe is known for its dashing, devil-may-care, giant-hearted guidance. Esposito has the range and comedic timing to pull off mentor.
Speaking of comedic timing, the dark prince of cinema himself will be embarking on the Star Wars journey. I couldn’t be more excited. Herzog is best known for being an incredible documentary filmmaker with an impressive set of pipes. His thick German accent and baritone voice make him seem like an opera villain come to life. But, his turns in Metalocalypse and Parks and Recs have proven that Herzog can easily tackle comedic roles. Again, just in hopes of subverting expectations, it would be nice to see Herzog doing a comedic turn in Star Wars. There is no word yet on who any of the actors will be portraying.
A viable candidate for sexiest man alive, and sensational as Oberon “The Viper” Martel on Game of Thrones, Pedro Pascal will also be in the series. Pascal will play the lead character in Star Wars: The Mandalorian. I’m hoping for an emotionally splintered old man kind of feel. He wants to get away from the violence, but it won’t leave him alone. Pascal has played a dirty detective and a suave royal, so they could easily combine both personalities into a new character for Star Wars. Whoever he plays, it’ll be amazing.
Rick Famuyiwa, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Deborah Chow, have all signed on to direct. Additional cast includes Gina Carano and Nick Nolte. The entire series will be executive produced by Jon Favreau.
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