Why No Mandalorian Screener? Who Is That Masked Man?
Theories about the Disney+ show, The Mandalorian, abound. However, nobody is saying if they’ve seen any of the series beyond the snippet shown to some journalists this fall.
One writer posits there’s a reason behind that lack of foreknowledge.
Who Is That Masked Man?
Disney+ debuts in just three days, along with its signature show, The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau’s big budget, non-Jedi live action series that stars Pedro Pascal as a mysterious Mandalorian, and boasts quite a supporting cast to boot.
But strangely, there have been zero early previews for the show. No early reviews. This is generally not how the debut of most shows works, as critics are sent out screeners and given an embargo date to report their thoughts. For instance, for the last season of The Walking Dead I was sent the first three episodes about a month early, and told I could write a review a week before release to let people know if it was good or not (it was!).
The reason you are not seeing any early reviews of The Mandalorian is that there have not been any screeners for the show sent to critics. There have reportedly been screenings for fans and fansites, but actual screeners for major outlets do not exist, at least not for the initial episode here. A few weeks ago there was a screening for some media members, but it was just an “extended preview” of about 30 minutes, not a full episode. Impressions seemed largely positive.
But nothing more. And Paul has a theory about why. And if you want to remain completely unspoiled — just in case Tassi is right — you might want to click away.
Still here? Good.
Possible Spoilers Ahead
Disney claims that this is because they don’t want at least one major, early-on spoiler getting out ahead of time. This has ruffled the feathers of critics, and many are claiming that it could be a bad sign for the show’s quality if screeners aren’t being sent out, as Disney doesn’t launch with bad buzz, but I’m not sure if I buy that. While most critics are trustworthy you will definitely often seen screener information leaking online, so I don’t think what Disney is saying is untrue, as much as I’d like a screener myself.
Without having any inside knowledge, I have had a long-running theory that the big “spoiler” revealed early on is that The Mandalorian is actually going to be a show about Boba Fett. Pascal is playing Fett inside new armor. The previews obscure this fact, but it’s definitely weird the character is not named, and I believe this is a “Fett crawled out of the Sarlacc pit” situation that echoes developments from the old expanded universe, and that may, in fact, be revealed in the pilot. This is a theory I’ve held for a long time, and now even more so with all this talk about an early plot turn that Disney doesn’t want revealed. I simply don’t know what else it would be if this is supposed to be a story pretty much entirely disconnected from the rest of Star Wars.
Okay. At first, I was like, “Nah.”
But now my head is spinning.
Boba Fett? Really?
There is evidence that at least Boba Fett’s armor survived the Sarlacc from Return of the Jedi (in canon in the Aftermath books). We know that another man on Tattooine garnered a set of Mandalorian and used it to become a kind of lone ranger roving the desert world’s badlands.
But Wait, There’s More
And here’s another set of thoughts from Tassi on the matter (from August):
I don’t think it is completely outside the realm of possibility that this could secretly be a series about Boba Fett, though I hope that isn’t the case, as it’s absolutely time to let that poor character rest. Some potential evidence:
- Much of this story takes place on Tatooine, and a bunch of (now obliterated) expanded universe lore revolves around Boba Fett crawling out of the Tatooine Sarlacc pit, surviving his supposed death.
- It’s been confirmed this story does take place in the years following Return of the Jedi, which would make that timeline line up.
- We don’t see his face, or know his name. Pedro Pascal could theoretically be a re-cast Temuera Morrison or a grown-up Daniel Logan from the prequels.
And yet I badly hope that this isn’t the plan, and that Disney is being straight when they say this is a new story separate from the Fetts, as I think it would actually be more lame than cool to reveal that Pascal was Boba all long in the season finale, or however that would go down.
Poo doo? Wizard?
Do I think it would be lame? No. Do I think a lot of others would think it lame? Yes.
But I am willing to trust Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni; granting them the leeway to forge ahead into a galaxy far, far away. After all, with the Skywalker Saga ending, we could all use confirmation that THE SAGA will still remain viable. After all, if I could pull together a story better than Favs or The Wolf, I’d be writing them, not just watching (and reporting) them.