SFX

BABY YODA GOT BACK

EVER SINCE THE Phantom Menace landed in 1999, prophecies about a chosen one destined to bring balance to the Force have been the Star Wars galaxy’s equivalent of watercooler chat. But little did we know that said chosen one would be a TV show about a lone gunslinger and his implausibly cute puppet sidekick.

When The Mandalorian made its Disney+ debut in November 2019, all was not well in that galaxy far, far away. While the studio/corporate megalith had made a promising start to its custodianship of George Lucas’s empire with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story were somewhat divisive – a trend continued by The Rise Of Skywalker. Star Wars’ first-ever live-action TV series was the best thing the franchise had delivered since the original trilogy. The fanbase was at peace for the first time in decades…

Getting back to the franchise’s “space Western” roots, The Mandalorian owed as much to Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name as space opera. Set five years after the Emperor’s (apparent) demise in Return Of The Jedi, it saw the eponymous bounty hunter (real name: Din Djarin) making his way through various wretched hives of scum and villainy and forming an unlikely bond with a Force-sensitive kid (known simply as “the Child”), who looks a lot like Yoda.

The show also plundered ’ Expanded Universe, and animated shows and , diving way further into the universe’s lore than) was on board as writer, director and arbiter of what’s – and what isn’t. Indeed, Filoni has described a key part of his role as “bringing balance to the Force”.

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