Disney’s streaming service, named Disney Plus, is set to go live November 12, 2019. The streaming service will be the online hub to watch all of Disney’s family-friendly and much of its mass-audience entertainment. There will be content from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and National Geographic. Disney has already started to pull their existing content away from Netflix to make it only available through Disney Plus. An added bonus is 30 seasons of The Simpsons thanks to the recent Fox takeover.
Not only will you get to watch all the already released movies and shows, but they are developing brand new series that will be exclusive to Disney Plus. The series that is grabbing a lot of attention from Star Wars fans is “The Mandalorian“. The series is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. It will follow a lone Mandalorian beyond the reaches of the New Republic. It is written and executive produced by Jon Favreau. Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog have all been cast to star in the series. The first season will be eight episodes.
Mandalorian warriors are recognized by their iconic armor. They are often characterized as a multi-species warrior people who often work as mercenaries and bounty hunters. Mandalore is an independent planet located in the Outer Rim in the sector and system of the same name. The Mandalorian people are characterized as wary of and reluctant to aid the Empire. Mandalore is an important planet due to it’s large deposits of beskar, a lightsaber resistant metal.
The term Mandalorian is not uttered once in the movies. Mandalorians are used extensively in other Star Wars books and series. They are so popular that a sanctioned costume club, The Mandalorian Mercs, was formed. The Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club set the standards of Mandalorian costuming based on canon movie references (Boba and Jango Fett) as well as canonical comic-book references, book references, television shows, and computer games. I figure this is a good time to delve into the history of one of the most popular Mandalorians, Boba Fett.
Boba Fett is universally called a Mandalorian bounty hunter. Interesting fact, he is not of Mandalorian lineage. Boba’s father, Jango, was born to a family of farmers on the world of Concord Dawn located in the Mandalore sector. His parents were killed by the Death Watch during a civil war. Due to Jango’s displays of bravery, he was taken in and raised by the Mandalorians. Jango would rise up the ranks and eventually became Mand’alor, leader of the Mandalorians. Thanks to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones we know Jango was selected as the source material for the cloners on Kamino to reproduce what would would become the first Stormtroopers. Part of Jango’s payment for this was he received an unaltered clone to raise as his son. That clone was Boba Fett.
Boba Fett’s first real appearance was September 24, 1978 in the San Anselmo Country Fair parade. If you’re wondering why Star Wars characters were marching in a parade 20 miles north of San Francisco, well… 52 Park Way just happened to be the epicenter of Lucasfilm at the time. When he marched in that parade he was still an unknown character to the general public. An assistant film editor for the Star Wars films named Duwayne Dunham was picked to wear the Boba Fett outfit because he was the right size.
The first appearance of Boba Fett in moving pictures was in the animated section of Star Wars Holiday Special. The story-line is set after the events of the original film. Chewbacca and Han Solo are trying to get back to the Wookiee home world of Kashyyk to celebrate “Life Day”. The Empire is searching for members of the Rebel Alliance making it difficult for Han and Chewie to make it back. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C3-PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader) all reprised their roles for this special. It also starred Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Harvey Korman, and the band Jefferson Starship. (Little trivia for ya Bea Arthur’s character, Ackmena, is one of the first LGBTQ Star Wars characters recognized as canon). The Holiday Special is widely recognized for it’s extremely negative reception. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. The animated short featuring the appearance of Boba Fett is the only part of this video that is not atrocious. Boba Fett went on to appear in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983). Even though he only had a handful of lines in those movies, he achieved cult status.
Hopefully this little bit of backstory will help you appreciate The Mandalorian more when it debuts in a few months. It’s hard to tell a story about Mandalorians without at least mentioning Jango and Boba. They are the two names that pop into your mind when someone mentions Mandalorians or Star Wars bounty hunters. They are by no means the only prominent Mandalrians. If you read any of the Expanded Universe books or watch the Star Wars cartoons, most notably Clone Wars and Rebels, you will discover so many more interesting Mandalorians. Disney Plus will be adding to that list with their new series. Cross your fingers that we see a Boba Fett cameo or reference!
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