Up until the second season began leaning much harder into the live-action and animated canon for inspiration, a little too hard in the eyes of some fans, The Mandalorian did an excellent job of being set in a very familiar universe without having to rely too heavily on nostalgia to craft an original story centered on an ensemble of new faces.
The approach worked wonders as well, turning the Star Wars spinoff into the most popular show on television, but Jon Favreau doubled down on the memberberries for the sophomore run. Across eight episodes alone we saw Boba Fett, Bo-Katan, Ahsoka Tano, Bib Fortuna and even Luke Skywalker, who sent the internet into meltdown with his surprise cameo in the season 2 finale’s third act.
It’ll take a delicate balancing act to prevent nostalgia from taking precedent, a trap that the Disney era of Star Wars has fallen into on plenty of occasions over the last few years, and we’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Ahsoka Tano would be appearing in the series long before Rosario Dawson’s casting was announced – that Lucasfilm want even more big screen characters to appear in the expanded Mandalorian universe.
Of course, the title hero in Lando fits that remit, but there’s plenty of scope for established names to turn up in The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka, given their respective ties to almost all of the major players to have ever been seen in a galaxy far, far away. Rangers of the New Republic, meanwhile, remains shrouded in mystery for now, but considering that it occupies the same space as the rest, The Mandalorian and its spinoffs are certainly poised to cement themselves as the bridge between the movies and TV shows moving forward.