Thanks to Disney+, we're looking at a galaxy far, far away through a whole new lens.
The streaming service debuted Tuesday, with one of its high-profile releases being The Mandalorian, the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise. After recent releases like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story received polarizing responses from fans, the series has received mostly positive replies from the notoriously hard-to-please base.
But, like every form of Star Wars media before and after it, the series brought numerous questions, queries that we, fortunately, won't have to wait too long to figure out...
(SPOILERS FOR THE MANDALORIAN'S FIRST EPISODE FOLLOW)
Who Is The Mandalorian?
Star Wars die-hards are probably already sick of letting casual fans know that the titular character is not Boba Fett. Though the character, portrayed by Pedro Pascal, wears armor similar to the character and shares a duplicate profession with Fett, it doesn't appear they're related, at least for now.
This being the first episode, it's understandable, and frankly refreshing, that the bulk of The Mandalorian's backstory wasn't immediately revealed. A flashback and several details gleaned throughout the episode seem to hint at a tragic end for the character's homeworld Mandalore, whose downfall has been depicted on prior animated series Clone Wars and Rebels. The Mandalorian's internal flashback seems to hint that he escaped a violent uprising.
Notably, The Mandalorian seems to have a bit of a grudge against the Galactic Empire, refusing to accept payment in the form of Imperial credits from his Bounty Hunter Guild contact Greef Carga (Carl Weathers). Hopefully this is explored upon as we get to know this new world further.
What's Werner Herzog doing here?
The lauded German filmmaker seems like the last guy who would appear in Star Wars material, but his brief prescience is booming and impactful. Known only as "The Client", Herzog soft, yet grim, voice narrates the early proceedings as a mysterious man who hires The Mandalorian for a job.
Whoever Herzog's character is supposed to be, it's clear he has connections to the gone-but-not-forgotten Empire. He maintains a legion of stormtroopers for security and wears jewelry bearing the Empire's insignia. It's a long, long, long, shot to even consider this, but is it possible that Herzog could play a role in the return of supposedly dead Emperor Palpatine? Time will only tell.
Did they just kill off IG-11?
Several actors and their respective characters promised to us in prior trailers sat out of the first episode (Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, and Ming-Na Wen among them). But fans were indeed treated to the arrival of IG-11, an assassin droid character voiced by Taika Waititi (best known as the director of Thor: Ragnorok).
Series creator Jon Favreau posted an Instagram photo of IG-11 last year, causing many fans to believe that cherished Expanded Universe character IG-88 (who made a brief cameo alongside Boba in The Empire Strikes Back) was coming to live-action. It was later revealed to be a few numbers down, but IG-11 did not disappoint in his first action, helping The Mandalorian takes down some enemies as they jointly decided to make a move for "The Asset" Herzog's character mentioned earlier.
But when the target is revealed to be an infant, The Mandalorian shoots and takes down the remorseless droid, who was on orders to assassinate it. Surely, this can't be the last we've seen of IG-11? After all, his brand of IG droids have all been shown to have plenty of backup plans (the IG-88 we saw in Empire was one of four such droids), and droids of lesser stature (I.e. R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8) have taken far worse tolls. We highly doubt IG-11 has become one with The Force.
What a twist at the end! But what's the deal?
The "Asset" that The Mandalorian and IG-11 come across is revealed to be an infant alien (despite its given age of 50 years old, but it's noted species can age differently), one that is of the same species as famed Jedi Master Yoda (whose kind has not been given a name in any form of Star Wars media).
Does this "youngster" (Yoda was, after all, over 900 years old when he died) have any connection to the legendary green guy? It's probably unlikely, but what makes it so valuable to someone like Herzog? Of note, Herzog's scientist assistant Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) is quite off-put when Herzog tells The Mandalorian he can bring the Asset back dead in exchange for a lower reward. It's possible that this character may maintain a connection to Yoda, one this Imperial remnant is looking to exploit, or, perhaps even clone.