Here we go again: Mara Jade, The Mandalorian, and some thoughts on canon

Entertainment Weekly is dropping the name “Mara Jade” again, this time in reference to The Mandalorian and Jon Favreau keeps things mostly diplomatic:

“I don’t want to talk about anything that might be fun for people to discover,” Favreau says. “We do have conversations. Part of what’s fun to see if we could merge the worlds of the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequels, The Clones [sic] Wars, and what’s been considered canon up to this point and what’s been considered part of Legends. I think this show offers an opportunity to bring in all those elements so no matter what your flavor of Star Wars ice cream you like there will be something to enjoy. But you’re asking the right questions.”

They also mention Thrawn, who of course has already been brought back, and while canon, currently resides in a plot limbo of Dave Filoni’s making. So him returning in The Mandalorian is somewhat possible – though, I suspect, unlikely. But never say never, particularly with Filoni involved in the show.

But Mara Jade, on the other hand… My own take on her coming to canon is only a little different than the last time something Mara-adjacent was unearthed – also involving Mandos, and at the hand of Dave Filoni, when her “Emperor’s Hand” title showed up on Rebels being used by… Some dude. (Sorry, Clone Wars fans. I can’t.) As I said then, she’s not a simple port, like Thrawn was.

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Twilight, Westworld actress Julia Jones confirmed for The Mandalorian

As the parade of articles we’ve been getting over the past few days indicates, The Mandalorian is the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s Fall TV preview.

Weirdly enough, the biggest news out of the cover story wasn’t even broken by EW themselves – it’s Deadline who ID’d the actress playing the character we see in the lead photo – Julia Jones, who may be most familiar to the general audience as Leah Clearwater from the Twilight films. (Hopefully her Star Wars character gets a better deal. She also had a brief role in Westworld S2. ) She can also be seen, briefly, in the D23 trailer. Maybe there’s another article coming with a detail or two on her character? Maybe?

And speaking of characters from the trailer, how about that Twi-lek who we only know is played by Natalia Tena because she tweeted about it? And Ming-Na Wen?!? We did get another photo of Gina Carano’s Cara Dune

Anyway, the cover story is low on new info for the die-hards, but we do get an indication of the personality of Taika Waititi’s IG-11:

The Kiwi, who also helmed the season 1 finale, labored on finding the perfect voice for the role before landing on a tone that he says is somewhere between Siri and HAL 9000. “[IG-11 is] very innocent and naive and direct and doesn’t know about sarcasm and doesn’t know how to lie,” Waititi says. “It’s like a child with a gun.”

And of course, another big question – will Pedro Pascal ever take off that mask?

Assisted by Pascal’s laconic line delivery and terse physicality, along with expressive choices in camera work and editing, [Jon] Favreau manages to infuse the character with a surprising amount of personality. “What’s remarkable is when you see the whole stretch of the first season how engaging the character is,” Favreau says. “It’s amazing how many Star Wars characters are emotionally engaging that aren’t even anthropomorphic. R2-D2 is my favorite character and he barely has an eye.”

Unanswered.

Kenobi series confirmed, Mandalorian trailer finally drops!

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor is an official go for Disney+, and we finally have a proper trailer for The Mandalorian!

The Obi-Wan series is “close,” with the scripts written, and it will begin filming next year, as will the Cassian series. Obi-Wan is set eight years after Revenge of the Sith.

And we also got a date for The Clone Wars: February 2020.

There’s also a trailer for Disney+ as a whole, which leans heavily on the old heartstrings:

Ming-Na Wen joins The Mandalorian

Ming-Na Wen is in The Mandalorian, we learned today at D23 Expo. Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed her involvement as the Mulan and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star was inducted as a Disney Legend. (Jon Favreau and James Earl Jones were also honored.)

https://twitter.com/SYFYWIRE/status/1164983913170767873

Her exact role is still a secret, but maybe we’ll hear more at the Disney+ panel?

Disney+ gears up as D23 approaches

Ahead of Disney’s D23 Expo this weekend, streaming service Disney+ has launched on Twitter (with an epic thread) and Instagram, plus annouced some interational roll-out dates. Canada and the Netherlands will launch on the same day as the U.S., with Australia and New Zealand following on Nov. 19.

The Disney+ panel at D23 is Friday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific. We’re hoping that a trailer for The Mandalorian, which will launch with the service, is finally released, plus details on The Clone Wars revival, the Cassian Andor show and (perhaps most of all) the rumored Obi-Wan announcement.

Jon Favreau already writing The Mandalorian S2

Sounds like The Mandalorian is getting a second season – Jon Favreau tells Jimmy Kimmel that he’s already begun writing it.

A second season of the show is hardly a surprise – after The Rise of Skywalker, the franchise won’t have any new movies until 2022, so the Disney+ series will likely be the franchise’s most high-profile new content for a time.

Meanwhile, a report says that one of the first season’s directors, Rick Famuyiwa, is in talks to direct episodes of Disney+’s second Star Wars series, which focuses on Rogue One’s Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk). They say he’s also attached to direct episodes of The Mandalorian‘s second season as well.

S1 of The Mandalorian will debut with Disney+ in November; The Cassian series is expected to begin shooting in the fall.