Could two fan favorites from the Star Wars Expanded Universe show up in a live-action production for the first time?
Here’s the good news: The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau isn’t ruling it out.
EW asked the writer-producer-director about whether his upcoming Disney+ series could ever include characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn or Mara Jade, names familiar to fans of author Timothy Zahn’s bestselling Star Wars novels (as well as other works such as the Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith game and the Rebels animated series).
Disney rebranded the Expanded Universe as “Legends” in 2014 and made its content no longer officially canon. But Favreau says he’s interested in tapping at least some of the sprawling Legends creative for The Mandalorian. So I asked if arguably the two most popular Legends characters — Thrawn (a blue-skinned Imperial commander who’s a brilliant tactician) and Mara Jade (a sarcastic smuggler and fighter who eventually marries Luke Skywalker) — could show up on his new show and if his team has had any conversations with Zahn about this.
“I don’t want to talk about anything that might be fun for people to discover,” Favreau says. “We do have conversations. Part of what’s fun to see if we could merge the worlds of the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequels, The Clones Wars, and what’s been considered canon up to this point and what’s been considered part of Legends. I think this show offers an opportunity to bring in all those elements so no matter what your flavor of Star Wars ice cream you like there will be something to enjoy. But you’re asking the right questions.”
One potential entry point for a Legends or other familiar character is the introduction of actress Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), who has been cast in The Mandalorian in a part that’s being kept top secret. So is she playing a name we’ve previously heard or somebody new?
Favreau would only say, “We take full advantage of her acting and her action ability.”
EW has been covering The Mandalorian extensively over the last week after launching our cover story (read it here) on the first live-action Star Wars series. The series debuts Nov. 12.
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