Star Wars timeline: Where exactly does ‘The Mandalorian’ fit?
Many hopped on the Disney + bandwagon when it launched, most notably so they could watch its new signature Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. Featuring Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal as our stoic, bounty hunter lead, The Mandalorian was an instant hit that drives us deeper into the Star Wars universe.
The Mandalorian has brought us good news of late – the series has dodged the COVID-19 delays, having wrapped up filming in February. They’re delightfully right on track for the release of season 2 in October 2020 or perhaps even earlier.
With this excitement in mind, it’s best to brush up on our Star Wars lore while we’re waiting. The mighty collection of Star Wars content out there has frequently jumped around on the Star Wars timeline. So where exactly have we landed in The Mandalorian?
When does The Mandalorian take place?
The short answer – after the culmination of the original trilogy in Return of the Jedi and before the new trilogy, The Force Awakens. This little window is a gap of thirty years – so what is going on during this time period in The Mandalorian?
To be more precise, The Mandalorian takes place around 9 ABY (after the Battle of Yavin, the attack on the first Death Star) which is five years after Return of the Jedi. The events in The Force Awakens happen in 34 ABY. Therefore, The Mandalorian is in the time period in which the New Republic (newly formed by the Rebel Alliance) struggles to tie the galaxy together.
This means that the First Order, the second wave of the Empire’s reign posing as the antagonizing force in the newest trilogy, has yet to rise from the ashes. So far in The Mandalorian we’ve been able to see remnants of the Empire establish an impressive presence in the Outer Rim worlds, where The Mandalorian takes place.
It seems as though the New Republic doesn’t have much power to stop them either. The Mandalorian himself says that reporting Empire forces to the New Republic would be “a joke.” This time period is chaotic, many crime organizations like the Ranc gang also running rampant and sometimes teaming up with budding allies in the Empire.
While the First Order’s presence isn’t established in The Mandalorian yet, we may see it start to unfold in the oncoming seasons. While the Empire’s role starts as just another bounty (which targets the highly sought after Baby Yoda), we end up seeing the foreboding strength of Imperial Officer Moff Gideon & his platoon of stormtroopers in the finale.
What is Baby Yoda’s role during this time?
Everyone was shocked & thrilled as we were introduced to the internet’s new favorite child, whom we call Baby Yoda. Many were elated to see more lore unfold about Yoda’s species in the galaxy. There’s so little known about Yoda’s species – no name has even been revealed. But why does Baby Yoda’s appearance matter so much now?
Not much is known about Baby Yoda (except of course that he is absolutely adorable.) How did Baby Yoda get so far from home? Where is this home? Where he came from is a complete mystery but we do know that there are more of his kind. Beyond Master Yoda, we were briefly introduced to female Jedi Yaddle who was also strong in the ways of the Force.
With Luke being the only established Jedi during this time period (soon to open up an academy doomed to fail) those who are force sensitive have fallen into the shadows. Baby Yoda has proven to be exceedingly strong with the Force (you know saving the Mandalorian from a space rhino and such.)
Baby Yoda is likely The Mandalorian’s way of introducing the Force during this time – showing how much of a threat it is to the Empire. We’ll just have to see how much of a threat it can be and where Baby Yoda’s journey will take us.
How does The Mandalorian fit into Star Wars lore?
This time period was vastly explored in the Legends (which is now officially the old canon) but is rather unclear with the Star Wars latest developments. Most of the context for this time period can be gathered from other parts of the Expanded Universe, namely from books, comics, & video games.
We know about the Battle of Jakku which was the final conflict of the Galactic Civil War. This battle signified the end of the Empire’s battles against the New Republic. But it was after this “final” battle that pushed the survivors from the Empire out into the Unknown Regions where they were able to build more war machines and eventually establish the First Order.
The Mandalorian’s first client gave us a look at an Imperial enclave – still proudly bearing the Empire’s sigil. The remaining Imperial warlords continue to seize places in the Outer Rim but overall The Mandalorian starts during a time of general peace. We know this is meta-knowledge, but that whole idea of “peace” – it’s going to change very quickly. Odds are we’ll see peace crumble even more in The Mandalorian season 2.