When Does The Mandalorian Take Place

The Disney+ live-action series The Mandalorian explores a galaxy that Star Wars fans have rarely seen onscreen before: the dark and seedy unscrupulous circles. Jon Favreau’s upcoming show has a lot of that to offer in contrast to the idealistic heroism of the main Star Wars films. 

The Rebellion has won the war and formed the New Republic, but the Empire isn’t put the rest. Far from the reaches of the New Republic, a Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in his armor wanders the wastelands looking to make credits in a fraught galaxy.

Here’s a guide that may help the viewing experience of The Mandalorian.

So where are we in The Mandalorian?

The Mandalorian is set about five years after Return of the Jedi when the second Death Star is destroyed over Endor, and twenty-five years before the First Order strikes in The Force Awakens. If you want to get close to the galactic timeline, we’re around the year 9 ABY. 

How is that Rebellion doing?

In The Mandalorian, we see that Cara Dune (Gina Carano) is a former-rebel shock trooper who appears to have trouble reintegrating in a relatively post-war “peace.”

For those who picked up Chuck Wendig’s canonical Aftermath Trilogy books, you’ll know that that the galaxy underwent a fraught transition as the Rebellion converted into the New Republic. What ensued after the destruction of the second Death Star over Endor, the Emperor’s death, and galactic festivities in the epilogue of Revenge of the Jedi was not peace, but more war. 

At the start of the post-Endor Aftermath, Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles scouted the Outer Rim for remaining Empire influences only to be captured by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, and he eventually escaped her grasp. Mon Mothma was elected as the first Chancellor of the New Republic and focused on disassembling the military, though she clashed with Leia Organa on diverting resources to liberating the Wookiee-populated Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s homeworld. A peace talk with Grand Admiral Sloane goes awry when Chandrila, the new capital of the New Republic, is attacked.

The Republic won their decisive victory at the Battle of Jakku—the remnants of which Rey scavenges in The Force Awakens. A Galactic Concordance peace treaty was signed by Chancellor Mon Mothma and the Empire Grand Vizier Mas Amedda. But that didn’t mean everyone accepted the peace treaty.

What became of the Empire 

As the existence of the First Order proves, ideology never dies out after a war. The galaxy isn’t completely freed from the Empire’s ideals. In The Mandalorian, Imperial officer Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is leading stormtrooper forces to maintain the spirit of the Empire. In an IGN interview, Esposito described the relationship between bounty hunters and Empire officers as “tenuous.“

And Gideon was far from the only Imperial carrying the flag for the fallen Empire after the Emperor’s death. After the Second Death Star destruction, Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax established the Shadow Council, a secret advisory council to supervise the remaining fractures of the Empire. Though he saw significant pushback from Grand Admiral Sloane for his tactics.

Rax was the secret-keeper and enforcer of Emperor Palpatine’s Contingency. Should he die prematurely, Palpatine planted a Contingency of military resources and Imperial loyalists to ensure the resurrection of his Empire. Not only that, the Contingency also involved destroying Empire-controlled territory, such as Naboo and Jakku. So, why would the Emperor order the destruction of Imperial land he conquered and colonized in the wake of his death? To punish the weak parts of the Empire for failing to protect him as well as eliminate his Republic enemies. Before the signing of the Galactic Concordance, the New Republic struggled to mitigate and defeat Palpatine’s Operation Cinder. Grand Admiral Sloane would eventually take Rax down.

After the Battle of Jakku, Grand Admiral Sloane and General Brendol Hux, the father of General Hux of the Sequel Trilogy, hid out in the Unknown Region of space, forging their more refined vision of the Empire that will grow into The First Order.

How is Mandalore doing? 

As Werner Herzog’s character, The Client, says to the Mandalorian in a trailer, “It’s a shame your people suffered.” He is referring to the Mandalorian’s homeworld of Mandalore, which has quite a messy past of war and politics as seen in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated series. 

The Clone Wars series covers a significant part of Mandalore history before the Empire came to power. During the Clone Wars, Duchess Satine ruled Mandalore and sought to maintain neutrality and pacifism while the Republic fought the Separatists. However, the Mandalorian group Death Watch, led by Pre Vizsla, fought against her pacifist rule. Eventually, a resurrected Darth Maul allied with Death Watch and usurped the Duchess and Pre Vizsla as well. 

The upcoming final season of Clone Wars on Disney+ will likely follow creator Dave Filoni’s confirmed “Seige of Mandalore” plot points and depict the Mando and Jedi’s alliance to undo Maul’s reign on Mandalore for good. But in the wake of Order 66 execution, the Republic will morph into the Empire that will oppress Mandalore.

In the succeeding Rebels series, a young Mando Sabine Wren has a difficult homecoming to Mandalore, struggling to undo the Empire’s hold on her Clan. Chancellor Palpatine has installed Gar Saxon as the provisional leader of Mandalore. Sabine’s homecoming leads to Gar Saxon’s death and a civil war on Mandalore. Lady Bo-Katan, a former Death Watch acolyte who reckoned with her past allegiance, involves herself in the civil war and accepts the legendary Darksaber from Sabine and leads Mandalorian forces to liberate Mandalore.

But time will tell whether The Mandalorian will answer questions about Mandalore’s fate and recovery post-Empire and just how the title character feels about his homeworld – and how much he adheres to the Mandalorian code of honor.

The Mandalorian will premiere on Disney+ tomorrow.

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