We’re less than two weeks away from the premiere of The Mandalorian, which is a huge moment in Star Wars history for several reasons. It’s the first ever live-action TV series set in a galaxy far, far away, for one. That alone presents plenty of reason for fans to tune in. That said, those looking forward to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may want to check it out as well, because we have reason to believe the premiere episode could contain a secret pertaining to Episode IX.

For the record, this is mostly speculative. I have not seen, nor will I see, The Mandalorian or The Rise of Skywalker until they’re released. That said, some recent information that has come to light suggests Lucasfilm may have something up its sleeve. In a recent report by the New York Times, it was revealed that The Mandalorian season premiere contains a “dramatic Star Wars universe spoiler.” No further information was provided, so in my initial writeup about that topic, I didn’t speculate much. Now, however, I think it’s worth taking a look at what this could be and why it might relate to the next big screen adventure in the franchise.

First, let’s look at the why. If Lucasfilm and executive producer Jon Favreau decided to put a spoiler in the first episode that relates to the larger Star Wars universe, wouldn’t it make sense to tee up a ball that will pay off in The Rise of Skywalker? From a pure franchise synergy standpoint, that seems to check out. If we operate under the assumption that was the thinking, then we can get into what this could be. Though, admittedly, we’re mostly taking shots in the dark since both projects are incredibly secretive at the moment.

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The Mandalorian takes place in the years after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. It’s a time ripe for storytelling possibilities, as it truly hasn’t been explored on screen before. It also will be dealing largely with bounty hunters and that side of the universe, so there won’t be a lot of direct Jedi action. At least not as far as we know. That said, this time period could contain some secrets that hold keys to plot threads that will be pulled in director J.J. Abrams’ conclusion to the Skywalker saga. Maybe Pedro Pascal’s titular character will get sent chasing a bounty that leads him to uncover some Jedi or Sith secrets? Maybe he’ll encounter some surprise legacy characters? The door is wide open.

There are some characters from the old Star Wars canon such as Mara Jade who could easily be running around at this time. So, if Lucasfilm wanted to bring someone like that into the fold, now could be the time. And, undoubtedly, if Mara Jade, a Jedi character who was Luke Skywalker’s wife in the old canon, were brought into the fold, she’d have some ties to the events of The Rise of Skywalker. That’s just one possibility, but it’s easy to see how quite a few secrets could be hiding in the show. Whatever it ends up being, we’re in for a surprise in The Mandalorian, which debuts on November 12 to coincide with the launch of Disney+. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will follow, hitting theaters on December 20.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb


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