It feels like only yesterday that The Mandalorian premiered, breathing new life into the Star Wars franchise.
Just as the Skywalker saga was winding down, this tale of an adopted Mandalorian bounty hunter gave fans a new story to follow — and a new adorable Yoda to coo over. But now, the world of The Mandalorian has grown well beyond just Din Djarin.
As it approaches its third season, The Mandalorian is already an epic story that encompasses beloved characters like Luke Skywalker, Bo-Katan Kryze, and Boba Fett. Multiple spinoffs are in the offing. So, what is Disney’s endgame for The Mandalorian? It’s simple: a rebrand.
The Mandalorian could end after its upcoming fourth season, but such a move wouldn’t signal a typical cancellation. Instead, according to leaker Jordan Maison, the series could return under a different name, probably a title that would better allow it to embrace the broadening scope of the live-action Star Wars television universe.
Considering how The Mandalorian began as an episodic bounty-of-the-week show and morphed into the kind of interplanetary political sci-fi thriller that feels like second nature to Star Wars, this evolution makes sense. The Mandalorian is bigger than just its central bounty hunter, expressing equal interest in everyone he encounters, from clanmate Grogu to nemesis Moff Gideon.
What would this new show feel like? Right now, that’s anyone’s guess. But as more Mandalorian spinoffs, like The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka, move through development, it feels clear that many characters who’ve been introduced as supporting players in The Mandalorian have stories of their own that are exceedingly worth telling.
Whether it’s a young adult series following Grogu in Jedi training, a small-town dramedy following Greef Karga, or a Game of Thrones-style galactic soap opera, The Mandalorian’s options are endless. This rumor, if true, confirms what many had long suspected about Star Wars’ shift to live-action TV.
Star Wars isn’t in this medium to tell the story of one man making his way through the universe. Instead, the arc of Star Wars bends towards the sprawling stories that made it an iconic franchise to begin with.
Though it may be years down the line, The Mandalorian seems more likely to evolve than to end outright. For a long-running franchise like Star Wars, that’s the only option.
Just as the prequel trilogy leads into The Clone Wars, and just as The Clone Wars leads into The Bad Batch, we’re not likely to leave “a long time ago” for a long time to come.
The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+.