When The Mandalorian was first released onto Disney Plus, it told a relatively self-contained story that tied itself into the wider Star Wars universe without relying too heavily on previous events or nostalgia, something that had blighted the Sequel Trilogy, and to a lesser extent Anthology entries Rogue One and Solo.
However, the second season of Jon Favreau’s smash hit series expanded the scope of the mythology massively, and there are now three spinoffs in the works. The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic will feature plenty of recurring characters, cameos and connective tissues to position Din Djarin and his cohorts as the anchors of the entire Disney Plus lineup, while recent rumors have claimed that Grand Admiral Thrawn could be established as the big bad in an epic crossover that would see Star Wars draw inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thrawn’s introductory novel Heir to the Empire has been mooted as a potential jumping off point a few times now, and a new fan poster imagines Robert Downey Jr. as the villain and Sebastian Stan as Luke Skywalker, which you can check out below.
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While there’s no confirmation that this is the direction the franchise is heading in on the small screen, never mind the involvement of the two MCU stars in the project, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Disney and Lucasfilm would look to their biggest property to try and influence the recent rehabilitation of Star Wars in the eyes of the fanbase after The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker split them right down the middle, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to have the three Mando-adjacent shows lay the foundations for Heir to the Empire.