Jon Favreau’s Wrong, Star Wars Needs A Mandalorian Movie

The Mandalorian season 3 is headed to Disney+ on March 1st, but some fans wonder why it continues to be relegated to a Disney+ TV show when it could be so much more. Star Wars may have taken a gap from the big screen, but the last few years have seen Lucasfilm transform it into a success transmedia franchise. The Mandalorian is essentially Disney+’s flagship TV show, with the first episode releasing on the day Disney launched the streaming service.

Still, Star Wars is a film franchise first and foremost, and there have naturally been calls for Lucasfilm to pivot – with a Mandalorian movie, perhaps at the end of the story they are telling. Showrunner Jon Favreau recently dismissed such a Mandalorian movie; in his mind, the small scale of The Mandalorian is where it shines the brightest. This doesn’t rule out the possibility of The Mandalorian movie completely, but it makes it extremely unlikely. Of course, Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin and Grogu could still make a cameo in the next Star Wars feature film if it takes place within the Skywalker Saga timeline. Nevertheless, there is still an opportunity being missed by Favreau and Disney, since Star Wars already has the perfect plot for The Mandalorian movie.

The Mandalorian Is Disney’s Biggest Success In Years

The Mandalorian is, undeniably, Star Wars’ biggest smash hit since Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney’s other Star Wars movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker were extremely divisive among fans, and many Star Wars’ series like Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett have been met with mixed results. But The Mandalorian has united every Star Wars era in a way no other Star Wars media has. So despite Favreau’s hesitation, letting the series step away from Disney+ onto the big screen is the next best step in its evolution.

The audience for the show continues to grow, so it makes sense why The Mandalorian season 3 is upping the ante by taking the story to Mandalore. What originally started as a heartwarming tale about a random bounty hunter adopting his quarry has turned into a quest for honor and redemption, with the leadership of Mandalore at stake. But the series may have bitten off more than it can chew, since it is difficult to pull off that level of scale with small episodic chunks. On the other hand, a movie or even a trilogy would give The Mandalorian enough runtime to develop more complex plot lines.

The Mandalorian Era’s Arc Is Building Towards A Climax

Din Djarin’s new role in The Mandalorian season 3 is that of a leader, which is pushing the show towards a climactic clash. But if Din is gearing up to become a strong leader, then he needs an equally strong antagonist to match him. It has yet to be confirmed, but it’s been hinted that Grand Admiral Thrawn is making his live-action debut in The Mandalorian season 3, after having been name-dropped in season 2. A ruthless Imperial leader, Thrawn – who has already been featured heavily in Star Wars Rebels – would be perfectly poised to tie together all the various factions that have been featured throughout The Mandalorian.

If handled correctly, The Mandalorian movie (or movies) could be a rough recreation of Timothy Zahn’s beloved « Thrawn trilogy, » the Expanded Universe novels that have now been branded non-canon. Grand Admiral Thrawn is a cunning villain who made his debut in Zahn’s books back in 1991. Due to popular demand, Disney helped reintegrate him into new canon through the animated Rebels show, where he was voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. Like Zahn’s book, Thrawn was far away when the Empire fell in Return of the Jedi. If he makes his return to Star Wars in The Mandalorian, he could attempt to resurrect the Empire and further his own agenda in the galaxy.

A Mandalorian Movie Could Bring Back Original Trilogy Characters

If The Mandalorian movie attempted to follow the Thrawn trilogy’s blueprint, then it could easily bring back most or all of the main characters from the original trilogy. The Mandalorian season 2 already introduced a de-aged Luke Skywalker. If Thrawn threatens to remake the Empire, more original trilogy heroes like Han, Leia, and Lando could also make an appearance – though it’s up for debate whether they would be re-cast or de-aged, and there are other questions given the tragic death of Carrie Fisher. Still, it is possible The Mandalorian movie could give audiences the one thing the sequels never did: Star Wars’ original trio reuniting on the big screen once more.

There are over three decades of lore between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens that have barely been explored on-screen. Shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett have gone a long way in revealing what happened post-Empire, but relatively little of Han, Leia, and Luke’s story has been filled in. During The Mandalorian, Ben Solo would be about four or five years old and would still be living happily with his parents. But Thrawn’s threat of a New Empire could be reason enough for Han and Leia to fight to protect their son.

A Mandalorian Movie Could Relaunch Star Wars On The Big Screen

The next Star Wars trilogy should not focus on more Skywalker lore. So while characters in the original trilogy can cameo and fight alongside Din and Grogu, The Mandalorian movie should focus on Mandalorians. As Disney looks to distance itself from established characters, The Mandaloiran movie could serve as the perfect stepping stone to bring Star Wars back to people in the theater. As a TV show, The Mandalorian already bridges several Star Wars eras by incorporating aspects of them all, and it would be a smart call to base the project on one of the most beloved Legends stories.

The Rise of Skywalker was the last Star Wars film in theaters, and that was over three years ago. It’s high time for Star Wars to return to the big screen, and what better way to do it than with Din and Grogu. The Mandalorian is headed for a civil war in season 3 which could easily spill over into just such a movie. With a New Empire brewing, Din can unite the Mandalorian clans with the Darksaber and fight alongside the New Republic against Thrawn. And with a movie, the story can play out without the need for weekly recaps or filler episodes.

There are reports Disney is « ramping up » projects to bring Star Wars back to the big screen. Favreau’s unfavorable comments mean a Mandalorian movie is still unlikely, but this will surely be something for Disney to consider. The TV show is excellent, and yet it could grow into something so much more if given the opportunity. Regardless of whether it follows the Thrawn books or if it carves out a new story, Din and Grogu’s importance to Star Wars can’t be understated. It is time for The Mandalorian to step outside its comfort zone and try something new.

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