Reports: Live-action Star Wars TV Show to be about Mandalore post-Empire; will have huge budget

We haven’t gotten official word yet as to what the Star Wars live action TV show will be about, but if the latest report is true then it sounds quite exciting.

Today, Making Star Wars’ Jason Ward wrote about rumors he has heard that the show, helmed by Jon Favreau, will be about Mandalore after the fall of the Empire:

Sources believe Jon Favreau’s Star Wars live action series, which is set around three years after Return of the Jedi is about the planet Mandalore. It sounds like when the Empire falls, Mandalore falls into a state of turmoil and the series is about restoring Mandalore to its former self and how Mandalore sways will have huge galactic ramifications.

At the Solo red carpet Favreau himself confirmed that the show will be set around three years following the Battle of Endor, so we know that much.  And as Jason Ward writes, the show following events on Mandalore makes plenty of sense.

Consider first of all that Favreau actually voiced Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars, who was the leader of Death Watch and who briefly was Mand’alor as he wielded the Darksaber until his death in a duel against Maul.  And secondly, Dave Filoni recently announced that they will be finishing The Clone Wars, and the trailer showed us a glimpse hinting at the Siege of Mandalore.  It would make a lot of sense for Lucasfilm to want to show that incredibly important event in the history of Mandalore, especially if it would line up really nicely with a show set on the planet years later.

I really hope that this actually turns out to be true, because this would be a really fun series to watch and there’s a ton of storytelling potential there.  Even though the show would likely be focused on all-new characters, there’s nonetheless plenty of room to bring many notable figures back.  One would assume that it’d be very hard to tell the story of Mandalore post-Empire without Bo-Katan Kryze, and it’s possible that even Sabine Wren (or even Ahsoka Tano too) could wind up getting involved as well.  And even Boba Fett, the imposter Mandalorian, could show up should the show want to go that direction.  But more than that, plot-wise it’d be incredibly interesting to follow.  I presume that there would be plenty of tension and conflict among the Mandalorians as to how to rebuild, perhaps even referencing the followers of Satine’s peace-keeping philosophy versus the more militant Mandalorians.  Plus, there are different clans, and I’d imagine that there’s quite a bit of distrust and dislike between those clans who saw themselves as staying true to Mandalore versus those clans who aligned themselves with the Empire.

Cost and production methods

We also heard some other significant tidbits about the show today.  The New York Times’ Brooks Barnes mentioned almost as a throwaway line in an article about Disney’s streaming service that Favreau’s TV show “is expected to cost roughly $100 million for 10 episodes.”  Favreau told Barnes that “‘Star Wars’ is a big world, and Disney’s new streaming service affords a wonderful opportunity to tell stories that stretch out over multiple chapters.”  $100 million for ten episodes is a massive budget for a television show.  For comparison’s sake, that’s essentially Game of Thrones territory: the sixth season of the show reportedly cost around $10 million an episode, while the final season will reportedly cost around $15 million an episode.  Another expensive show, Star Trek: Discovery, was reported to have cost around $8 to $8.5 million an episode.

That is a terrific indication that Disney and Lucasfilm are quite committed to this show, and that they’re resolved to make it as high of quality as possible.  That makes a lot of sense for them, since the show will undoubtedly be one of the major draws for the Disney streaming service.  And it’s good news for Star Wars fans, as it means that we’ll be getting a show done right and done well.

Making Star Wars’ report also included a tidbit about the production method, however, and it sounds like it will help save money as well:

Another consistent rumor I have heard is that the effects will be seen in monitor, thanks to technology provided by ILMxLAB, so they can save money by knowing if they got what they needed right away. I don’t believe a shot has been used in a Star Wars film using the newer tech, only pre-visual work. Perhaps the idea is to make it TV ready and then when we’re used to the look as fans and it improves exponentially they can make Star Wars films better for even cheaper than they cost today? Perhaps that is the long term goal? However, that is not to say they’ll be cheap by any means. NYT recently stated the episodes will cost “one hundred million for ten episodes.”

Their article included a link to this video that shows ILMxLAB’s methods of doing this that might help you visualize the possibilities that this opens up for Favreau and Lucasfilm.  And Jason Wars is right in that perhaps, if this goes well, it could change the way the films are made too.

So there’s a lot of exciting reports out today about this show, and it has me even more excited for it.  I LOVE the idea of it focusing on Mandalore post-Empire and think that it opens up a ton of storytelling potential, and I’m encouraged by the budget and very much intrigued by the filming method.

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