The Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian is one of the most anticipated offerings on the new Disney+, and we've got lots of questions. For instance: when does The Mandalorian take place? This live-action series in the Star Wars universe actually fits pretty neatly into the existing storyline, exploring a chunk of the fictional timeline that, so far, has been left pretty mysterious.
Officially, the series takes place five years after Return of the Jedi, in which the evil Empire was defeated and the New Republic formed. This places it in a period of massive transition and upheaval for the galaxy. Although the revised ending of Return of the Jedi famously shows celebrations across the galaxy, The Mandalorian explores how the actual fallout is a lot more complicated.
"It's like after the Roman Empire falls, or when you don't have a centralized shogun in Japan — and, of course, the Old West, when there wasn't any government in the areas that had not yet been settled," showrunner Jon Favreau told Entertainment Weekly. That's where the titular bounty hunter comes in, as he navigates regions that are far beyond the centralized reach of the New Republic, where things are a lot less settled.
The series will also explore the origins of the First Order during that era, Favreau revealed to EW. "What could happen in the 30 years between celebrating the defeat of the Empire and then the First Order?" Favreau suggested. "You come in on Episode VII, [the First Order are] not just starting out. They're pretty far along. So somehow, things weren't necessarily managed as well as they could have been if [the galaxy] ended up in hot water again like that." Going off of the established timeline, The Mandalorian is set about 25 years before the events of The Force Awakens, meaning that the show has an entire quarter century to show how the galaxy fell into darkness again — and perhaps answer a few burning Star Wars questions along the way.