The Mandalorian’s shared universe got off to a rocky start with The Book of Boba Fett, but a comment from Jon Favrea suggests Lucasfilm has learned.
The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau indicates the Disney+ shared universe has learned from the mistakes of The Book of Boba Fett. Launching alongside the release of Disney+, The Mandalorian established itself as the streaming service’s flagship TV show. It has become a launchpad for various spinoffs set during the same time period, including The Book of Boba Fett. That spinoff was positioned as essential viewing, given it explained why Grogu returned to his found-father Din Djarin (played by Pedro Pascal). Lower viewership numbers meant an important part of their story has been missed by many viewers, and marketing for The Mandalorian season 3 has been forced to focus on explaining Grogu’s return.
Fortunately, it looks as though Lucasfilm has learned from this first attempt to expand The Mandalorian‘s corner of the Star Wars galaxy. Speaking ahead of The Mandalorian season 3’s release, showrunner Jon Favreau hinted to GamesRadar that a more cautious approach is now being taken.
“We try to not make it completely interwoven to the point that, hopefully, these stories and adventures could stand alone. But inevitably, you have these crossover with characters. And the time that takes place in one, the events that take place in one, will affect the other. So they’re not completely standalone, they do have a continuity to them, and we definitely do discuss and talk about how we flip these cards over and what’s available to us as storytellers from season to season.”
This is a very different approach to the one taken with The Book of Boba Fett, which some viewers took to calling “The Mandalorian season 2.5.“
Lucasfilm’s New Approach To The Mandalorian’s Shared Universe Is Much Wiser
The great danger with any shared universe, of course, is that viewers might not watch everything – meaning they miss part of the story. This is a particularly noteworthy problem when one of the shows involved in the shared universe is as big as The Mandalorian, which has become a cultural phenomenon in its own right – but another spinoff hasn’t. Marketing for The Mandalorian season 3 has clearly assumed many viewers have missed Grogu’s return in The Book of Boba Fett, with trailers and teaser clips focused upon this. An official Mandalorian recap emphasized Grogu’s return, and it’s likely something similar will air before season 3, episode 1. It’s a somewhat messy situation Lucasfilm could have done without.
Lucasfilm seem to be pivoting to a better approach, where characters will cross over from one Disney+ TV show to another, but where nothing is required viewing. There is likely to be an exception; Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy has hinted everything is building up to an event TV series, one that will draw all the various plot threads together. It’s a similar model to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where The Avengers served as the climax of the MCU’s Phase 1, although a better parallel can probably be found in the legacy Marvel Netflix TV shows, which culminated in The Defenders.
This should make The Mandalorian‘s Star Wars timeline a little more easy to digest for casual viewers, allowing these various Disney+ TV shows to flourish. It’s pleasing to see Lucasfilm adjust from the model seen in The Book of Boba Fett, proving the decision-makers are willing to change their plans when they see what does and does not work. No doubt The Mandalorian season 3 will serve as a launchpad for yet more as-yet-unrevealed concepts, some of which may well be announced at Star Wars Celebration.