Unless you work at Lucasfilm or you have spies who are friend with people who work for Disney, you, just like me, will watch The Mandalorian on November 12 when it hits Disney+. Unlike some other TV shows in the geek universe, journalists who report on faraway galaxies and final frontiers will not get early access to the full premiere The Mandalorian. Which leads to one conclusion: Disney and Lucasfilm don’t want to risk any spoilers for the new series leaking out ahead of time. This makes any reasonable Star Wars fan ask a simple question: If this show is really just about a Bounty Hunter doing space crime stuff in the rowdy years after Return of the Jedi; why all the secrecy? Could The Mandalorian be hiding huge Rise of Skywalker connections and possible spoilers?
Speculation head. Obviously, the writer has seen neither The Mandalorian or The Rise of Skywalker.
Preserving the secrets of a debut episode on a brand-new streaming service is not exactly a new strategy. Back in 2017, CBS held-back on giving the press access to the two-part debut of Star Trek: Discovery, which, as many correctly guessed, meant they were trying to preserve some pretty big spoilers. (If you’ve slept on the show, I’ll spare you, but suffice to say, a major cast member died in the debut episode and the series pivoted into an unexpected direction.)
The point is, this was a smart move for CBS and Star Trek, and so, it could work for The Mandalorian too. Because what makes this situation very different is that The Mandalorian might be hiding aspects about its own production from the public, but those story points might lead into Lucasfilm’s biggest 2019 project, The Rise of Skywalker.
So, what kind of secrets could the show be hiding? And how would those work with the timeline?
5 years after the Battle of Endor is a very interesting time period for old Legends canon
In the ‘90s, two of the most famous pieces of Legends canon —The Thrawn Trilogy and Dark Empire — happened five years and six after Return of the Jedi, respectively. Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn books introduced Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn to the fold, while Tom Veitch’s Dark Empire brought Emperor Palpatine back to life.
Now, Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau has already not ruled out Mara Jade, and we already know Rise of Skywalker deals with the return of Palpatine. If The Mandalorian is somehow retconning certain aspects of Legends, then it’s not crazy to think the seeds for Palpatine’s resurrection might not be made clear in The Mandalorian.
In other words, this is the perfect time period to explain how certain weird, and secret Imperial things happened. In the Rise of Skywalker trailers, we see a bunch of old-school Imperial Star Destroyers that have seemingly be hidden. The Mandalorian, in theory, could show us those ships being hidden in the first place.
The trailers and promotion forThe Mandalorian haven’t revealed much
Though there have been two trailers for the new series, we actually don’t really even know what the show is about. Somewhat hilariously, even the official tweets from Lucasfilm are vague. One recent tweet even promises that the new Star Wars show will have “new characters” and “new stories.” Well, no shit! Why is this promotion so vague?
While it’s possible that The Mandalorian is just keeping its sabacc cards close to its armor, it’s also possible that this tweet is kind of a lie. What if there are some old characters are being featured? What if the titular Mandalorian crosses paths with some famous folks from the Rebel Alliance?
One Rise of Skywalker rumor actually works better in The Mandalorian
Recently, a big rumor was going around that The Rise of Skywalker might feature a scene in which a de-aged Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would feature as Luke and Leia, training with lightsabers on the Forest Moon of Endor. Now, at least one shot in the first Mandalorian trailer made it look like he’s going to hit-up Endor, so maybe the connection to this rumored scene is happening in the TV series, and not the impending movie.
Think about it. If you’re going to drop a de-aged Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in a new Star Wars product, you might want to test it out on the small screen, right? Lucasfilm said they wouldn’t use a digital Carrie Fisher for Episode IX; but they never said anything about a TV series.
Young Han and Lando could easily appear in The Mandalorian — through contractual obligations
One thing little tidbit that has been swept under the rug from the halcyon days of 2018 is the fact that seemingly, both Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover were on the hook for more stand-alone movies after the debut of Solo. But, because that movie didn’t do so hot at the box office, that means we won’t see either actor as young Han and Lando again? Right? Well, maybe not. Recently, its come to light that the new Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series was, in fact, originally going to be a movie, just like everyone thought back in 2017. So, could the notion of more Han and Lando movies have been shunted over to a TV series, too? Canonically, Ehrenreich and Glover are Han Solo and Lando Calrissian meaning both could appear as post-Return of the Jedi versions of those characters in The Mandalorian
Or, because it seems like The Mandalorian will contain some flashbacks, it’s also possible that either (or both) Ehrenreich and Glover could show-up in some kind of backstory. Either way, with Lando set to make his comeback in Rise of Skywalker, it feels possible that his younger self could saunter into the events of The Mandalorian, three decades prior.
The Mandalorian hits the new Disney+ streaming service on November 12, 2019.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out in theaters everywhere on December 20, 2019.