The Star Wars just revealed a major set of updates about what the future of the Mandoverse looks like. In addition to Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 4 being in the works, it’s been revealed that Jon Favreau will direct The Mandalorian & Grogu movie. In addition, it was confirmed that Star Wars: Ahsoka Season 2 is in the works, while Dave Filoni’s big crossover event film is still apparently the culminating event in this era of Star Wars storytelling.
Following all of that information dropping in a big wave, Star Wars fans have a lot of new questions that need to be answered. One of the biggest talking points that will likely take shape within the fandom is how a Mandalorian movie compares to and connects with the TV series.
In other words?
Will The Mandalorian Movie Be The Disney+ Crossover Event Fans Want?
The Mandalorian opened the door to a whole new frontier of Star Wars content when it premiered in the fall of 2019. It spawned an entire line of Star Wars live-action TV series – with several of them (The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett) all connected in one big sandbox.
And yet, even though The Mandalorian Season 1 and 2 were big hits – both with longtime Star Wars fans and mainstream fans – the rest of the Mandoverse has been much more divisive. The Book of Boba Fett was a letdown for a lot of Mandalorian fans – not to mention confusing, with its major late-game detours back into Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu’s stories. The Mandalorian Season 3 was overwhelmingly viewed as a major dropoff from Season 2 (at least until the finale), and Ahsoka got mixed reactions for its wide range of bad and good elements.
That’s all to say: Star Wars Disney+ series have allowed the franchise to expand considerably – a deeper exploration of character(s) and various eras of the saga, with more room to expand upon lore concepts and/or fix mishandled ideas from the films. And yet, many fans have been critical of the quality (or lack thereof) in the craftmanship of these Star Wars Disney+ series. The most common critiques have been the over-reliance on “The Volume,” i.e., the LED immersive soundstage that Lucasfilm uses to film series like The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka.
Fans have criticized that production process for feeling too hollow and artificial – and that assessment was pretty much proven when Tony Gilroy’s Andor came out, offering fans a reminder of just what Star Wars could look like when it’s made with practical sets, real groups of actors and extras filling the shots, and overall directorial talent at the helm.
It’s a fair thing for fans to ask that we get something more from The Mandalorian and Grogu movie than a longer episode of The Mandalorian Disney+ series. This is a chance for Favreau and co. to show that the characters and stories fans have come to love on the small screen can service the grandeur of true cinematic presentation.
Along with the improved look and scope needed to distinguish a Mandalorian movie from the Disney+ series, the other big thing fans will be looking for is major crossover event moments we don’t see on TV. A post-Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker’s appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale and Book of Boba Fett set a pretty high bar for who a Mandalorian movie can bring into the story: Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando – all the major surviving heroes of the Original Trilogy are arguably in play, and the Mando movie not making use of that would, again, make it feel like an oversized TV episode.
If The Mandalorian movie gets it right, however, Star Wars could take a bold leap forward in creating real permeability between TV and movie content, leaving behind all the usual rules that bind characters, actors, and stories to one side or the other.
Both The Mandalorian movie and Season 4 are in development at Lucasfilm.