The Mandalorian, also known as Star Wars: The Mandalorian, is an American space Western web television series created by Jon Favreau and released on Disney+. It is the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise. Set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and 25 years prior to the events of, it follows the title character, a Mandalorian bounty hunter named Din Djarin, and his exploits beyond the reaches of the New Republic.
Favreau also serves as head writer, showrunner, as well as executive producer alongside Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson. The Mandalorian premiered with the launch of Disney+ on November 12, 2019, with its eight-episode first season. The series has received positive reviews from critics, earning praise for its acting, directing, writing, musical score, and visual effects, although it received some criticism for its pacing. It was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. The series received 12 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards nominations, including acting nods for Giancarlo Esposito and Taika Waititi, and composer Ludwig Göransson.
A second season is scheduled to premiere in October 2020. In April 2020, pre-production on a potential third season had begun.
Cast and characters
- Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin / The Mandalorian, a lone gunfighter and bounty hunter who is sometimes referred to as "Mando". He is a "foundling" who was rescued at a young age by Mandalorians during the Clone Wars. Pascal has described his character as Clint Eastwood-esque with advanced combat skills and of "questionable moral character".
- "The Child" , a member of the same unnamed species as the powerful Jedi master Yoda with similar Force abilities. The Child is a toddler at age 50. A bounty is offered for his return by "The Client". He is found and protected by the Mandalorian while being targeted by other bounty hunters.
- Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, an ex-magistrate and leader of a bounty hunter guild who hires the Mandalorian to track a valuable asset.
- Werner Herzog as "The Client", an unnamed man with Stormtrooper bodyguards who arranges for the Mandalorian to track a valuable asset.
- Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing, a scientist working for "the Client".
- Nick Nolte as the voice of Kuiil, an Ugnaught moisture farmer who bought his freedom after being enslaved by the Empire. Misty Rosas provided the performance of Kuiil.
- Taika Waititi as the voice of IG-11, a bounty-hunting droid who processes conversations in a precise and literal manner. After attempting to kill "the Child" as its bounty, and being stopped by Djarin, IG-11 is re-programmed by Kuiil to protect the toddler.
- Gina Carano as Cara Dune, a former rebel shock trooper-turned-mercenary from the now destroyed planet of Alderaan who fought in the Galactic Civil War for the Rebel Alliance/New Republic.
- Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto, a cantankerous docking bay attendant and ship mechanic on Tatooine.
- Jake Cannavale as Toro Calican, a fledgling bounty hunter looking to join the bounty hunters’ guild by capturing Fennec Shand. He hires the Mandalorian to help.
- Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand, an assassin who crosses paths with the Mandalorian.
- Mark Boone Junior as Ranzar "Ran" Malk, an aging mercenary and leader of a motley crew looking to free a prisoner on a New Republic ship. Malk is a former associate of the Mandalorian from before he joined the guild.
- Bill Burr as Mayfeld, a former Imperial sharpshooter and the point man on Malk's crew.
- Natalia Tena as Xi'an, a Twi'lek member of Malk's crew and knife master, who claims to be Djarin's former love interest.
- Clancy Brown as Burg, a large Devaronian member of Malk's crew who serves as the muscle of the team.
- Richard Ayoade as the voice of Q9-0, also known as "Zero", a droid member of Malk's crew.
- Ismael Cruz Córdova as Qin, a Twi'lek and Xi'an's brother. He has a combative past with the Mandalorian.
- Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon, a former officer of the Imperial Security Bureau, the Galactic Empire's secret police, whose life changed after the Rebel Alliance destroyed the second Death Star.
- Emily Swallow as The Armorer, a Mandalorian woman who forges armor and equipment from Beskar steel, and enforces tradition among the surviving Mandalorians.
- Julia Jones as Omera, a widowed farmer on Sorgan who provides lodging for the Mandalorian during his stay on the planet.
- Isla Farris as Winta, Omera's daughter who bonds with the Child during his stay on the planet.
- Asif Ali as Caben, a farmer on Sorgan who, with his friend Stoke, asks the Mandalorian to protect his village against the attacks of Klatooinian raiders.
- Eugene Cordero as Stoke, a farmer on Sorgan.
- Rio Hackford as Riot Mar, a bounty hunter who engages the Mandalorian in a dogfight.
- Matt Lanter as Davan, a New Republic soldier. Lanter had previously voiced Anakin Skywalker in and Star Wars Rebels.
- Dave Filoni as Trapper Wolf, a New Republic X-wing pilot.
- Rick Famuyiwa as Jib Dodger, a New Republic X-wing pilot.
- Deborah Chow as Sash Ketter, a New Republic X-wing pilot.
- Michael Biehn as a bounty hunter.
- Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, the former Jedi Padawan of Anakin Skywalker turned spymaster for the Rebel Alliance.
- Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, a notorious bounty hunter utilizing Mandalorian equipment who seemingly died in Return of the Jedi. Morrison previously voiced the character in various Star Wars media.
- Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, the former ruler of Mandalore and leader of a Mandalorian group called the Nite Owls. Sackhoff reprises the role from the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels.
- Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, a former slave who acquired Boba Fett's Mandalorian armor. The character was previously featured in the trilogy of novels.
Season 1 (2019)
Season 2Famuyiwa, Favreau, and Howard returned to direct in the season, along with Filoni who also wrote an episode. New directors in the season include Peyton Reed, Robert Rodriguez, and Carl Weathers. The season will premiere in October 2020.
BackgroundA live-action Star Wars TV series entered production in early 2009, with over 50 scripts written by 2012, but they were deemed too expensive to produce due to their complex content. Its title was to have been . In January 2013, following the October 30, 2012 sale of Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company, ABC television network president Paul Lee spoke to the current status of the series commenting that "We'd love to do something with Lucasfilm, we're not sure what yet. We haven't even sat down with them. We're going to look at , we're going to look at all of them, and see what's right. We weren't able to discuss this with them until closed and it just closed. It's definitely going to be part of the conversation." In June 2014, more details regarding the series were revealed, including that Boba Fett would have appeared.
DevelopmentIn 2019, Jon Favreau revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he had first pitched the idea for what became The Mandalorian to Kennedy during the summer of 2017, while directing the photorealistic remake of The Lion King for Walt Disney Pictures. Kennedy put Favreau in touch with Filoni, and when the two men met, Filoni began to draw doodles on napkins of what would become The Child. After each day of work on The Lion King's virtual reality set in Playa Vista, Favreau would then stay late and work a few more hours developing his secret television project for Lucasfilm.
On November 9, 2017, Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger, while on a quarterly earnings call with investors, announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing a new live-action Star Wars television series for Disney's then-unnamed upcoming streaming service. On February 6, 2018, it was reported that Iger had revealed during another financial report conference call with investors that multiple Star Wars live-action series were actually in development by Disney saying, "We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct-to-consumer app. We've mentioned that and we are close to being able to reveal at least one of the entities that is developing that for us. Because the deal isn't completely closed, we can't be specific about that. I think you'll find the level of talent... on the television front will be rather significant as well."
On March 8, 2018, Lucasfilm announced that Favreau was the writer and executive producer of the forthcoming series. In May 2018, Favreau stated that half of the scripts for the first season had been completed. On October 3, Favreau announced that the series had been titled The Mandalorian and revealed the show's central premise. The following day, it was revealed that additional executive producers would include Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson with Karen Gilchrist acting as a co-executive producer. Filoni was also expected to direct the series' first episode with additional directors including Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow. The first season cost $100 million to make.
On July 12, 2019, during a press conference for The Lion King remake, Favreau revealed that he had written scripts for the second season and that pre-production was underway. Favreau plans to direct an episode of the second season, and stated that he was too busy with the production of The Lion King to direct any of the series' first season. By the end of April 2020, Favreau had been working on season three "for a while", along with additional pre-production work also underway.
CastingBy November 2018, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Nick Nolte had been cast in starring roles. After meeting with Favreau, Pascal initially thought he would be playing Boba Fett, but he plays a separate Mandalorian named Din Djarin. On December 12, 2018, LucasFilm announced that Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog had joined the main cast. On March 21, 2019, Taika Waititi was revealed to be recording a voice for the series, speculated to be bounty hunter droid IG-88, but which turned out to be a new character named IG-11. Footage shown at Star Wars Celebration in April 2019 revealed that Bill Burr and Mark Boone Junior were in the series, with Burr portraying an outlaw. At the D23 Expo in August, it was revealed Ming-Na Wen would appear in the series. Julia Jones's casting was announced in September.
In March 2020, Rosario Dawson was reported to be appearing as Ahsoka Tano in the second season, which would be the character's first live-action on-screen appearance. Having previously appeared in the Star Wars animated media The Clone Wars |film and , Ahsoka's voice was briefly heard in the live-action film '; she was voiced by Ashley Eckstein in these appearances. Shortly after, Michael Biehn joined the cast as a bounty hunter. In early May, it was revealed that Temuera Morrison would reprise the role of Boba Fett. Morrison previously portrayed Boba's father Jango Fett in ' and has also voiced Boba Fett in various Star Wars media. Boba Fett was previously teased as returning in the season one episode "The Gunslinger". Shortly after, Katee Sackhoff was revealed to be reprising her role as Bo-Katan Kryze, having previously voiced the character in The Clone Wars and Rebels'', and Timothy Olyphant was revealed to also appear in the season, as Cobb Vanth.
FilmingPrincipal photography for the first season began during the first week of October 2018 in Southern California, under the working title Huckleberry. On October 19, George Lucas visited the set of the series as a birthday surprise for Favreau; it was later revealed that Lucas had some level of involvement in creating the show. On October 25, it was reported that police were investigating the grand theft of several unspecified items from The Mandalorian set at the Manhattan Beach Studios campus in Manhattan Beach, California. Filming for the first season wrapped on February 27, 2019.
According to Favreau, the first season was filmed on a large soundstage with a 360-degree video wall at Manhattan Beach Studios, supplemented by limited location shooting around Southern California. It was later revealed that the video wall was actually built to form a 270-degree "volume", with optional panels that could be dropped in when needed for 360-degree coverage. The series sent camera crews to shoot distant locations like Iceland and Chile, the resulting digital assets were integrated into virtual sets built with the Unreal game engine from Epic Games, and those sets were displayed on the video wall. In Favreau's words: "So, there is real photography being incorporated, but the actors aren't brought on location. The location is brought to the actors."
What made the series' virtual sets appear so immersive was the ability of the Unreal engine to accurately simulate parallax in real time based on where the camera was currently pointed. To do that, small motion capture cameras were mounted on top of the video wall to watch infrared markers on the main camera. Once the Unreal engine knew the exact location and angle of the camera, it could update parallax within a small patch of the video wall currently visible to the camera.
Dave Filoni, who is mostly renowned for his work on other Star Wars projects, and Bryce Dallas Howard were given individual freedom on directing their episodes, which was surprising to Howard's father Ron Howard, who directed . When Pascal would become unavailable for filming, the Mandalorian would occasionally be portrayed physically by stunt actors Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder with Wayne having worked closely with Pascal to develop the character.
Filming for the second season started in mid-October 2019, and concluded on March 8, 2020. Sam Hargrave was hired as the second unit director for the second season. He said Favreau was "looking for someone... who has experience with action" and that "they wanted to build on" what was done in season one, while bringing in "a new perspective and it to another level" for season two.
Visual effectsVisual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, a subsidiary of Lucasfilm, opened a new division in November 2018 targeted for streaming and episodic television called ILM TV. Based in London with support from the company's locations in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Singapore, it is expected that the new division will work extensively on live-action Star Wars television series, starting with The Mandalorian.
Unreal Engine 4, a game engine developed by Epic Games, is used to create the digital backgrounds. It makes the rendering of the visual effects faster than would normally be possible for a live-action series, and Favreau said the technology can be applied to a variety of challenges. So rather than using sketches on a whiteboard to map out scenes, the storyboarding was done on the game engine. However, only about 50% of the shots were actually rendered through Unreal and captured in-camera. The other 50% were created through ILM's traditional visual effects pipeline and rendered with V-Ray. Image Engine also created visual effects for the series, particularly in "Chapter 3: The Sin" and "Chapter 6: The Prisoner".
MusicOn December 19, 2018, it was announced that Ludwig Göransson would compose the musical score for the series. Each chapter has its own soundtrack album, released the same day. For the score, Göransson played many of the key instruments himself, and then added a 70-piece orchestra. He wrote four hours of music for the eight episodes. Göransson will also be writing the music for the second season of the show.
Parenting and fatherhoodOne of the primary themes of The Mandalorian is parenting and fatherhood, particularly through the father–son relationship dynamic between The Mandalorian and The Child. Ryan Britt of Fatherly wrote that this is unusual in Star Wars stories, and that past examples of parenting in the franchise have tended to be poor ones, from the murderous Darth Vader to the neglectful Galen Erso, father of Jyn Erso in Rogue One. Britt wrote: "For years the Star Wars franchise avoided depicting a parent-child dynamic. With Mando and Baby Yoda, that's finally changing." The dynamic between Kuiil and IG-11 also reflect the childrearing theme in The Mandalorian. The two have a relationship similar to that of a father and son, as demonstrated in the scene in which Kuiil teaches IG-11 how to operate and function after the droid is reprogrammed.
Vulture writer Kathryn VanArendonk argued that parenting has been the subject of past Star Wars stories, but almost always during later stages of parenthood, rather than an infant in early stages such as the Child. As examples, she cited Obi-Wan Kenobi serving as a mentor to the adolescent Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia lamenting over her grown son Kylo Ren, or the absence of Rey's parents. Britt argued strong parental examples in Star Wars are important because the franchise is so often associated with the childhoods of its fans. The Mandalorian particularly highlights the challenges of being a single parent, and a working parent, as the Mandalorian struggles to continue his day job as a bounty hunter and mercenary while serving as the sole caretaker of the Child. Richard Newby of The Hollywood Reporter described the show as "the adventures of a single dad looking for a job". Several reviewers have compared the dynamic between the Child and the Mandalorian to Lone Wolf and Cub, a manga about a samurai warrior and his young son. Favreau acknowledged Lone Wolf and Cub as an influence in an episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian's parental role in the series makes him a softer and more relatable character; he changes in a positive way because of raising the Child, becoming less selfish and self-absorbed. He risked his life and drastically changed his career as a bounty hunter to accept his responsibility as the Child's caretaker and guardian, marking a significant parental sacrifice. When the Mandalorian seeks work to earn money, he is now doing so to provide not only for himself, but for the Child as well. We see several examples of the Mandalorian parenting the Child throughout the series, such as when he stops the Child from pressing random buttons in the cockpit of the Mandalorian's spaceship, ultimately by holding him in his lap. In another example, the Mandalorian establishes a car seat for the Child in the cockpit of his ship, so he can be seated safely and comfortably during their travels.
The relationship between the Mandalorian and the Child is an example of unexpected fatherhood. The Mandalorian feels a connection and parental bond with the Child because of his own childhood, when he was orphaned upon the death of his parents and was adopted by the Mandalorian culture as a "foundling". Nevertheless, fatherhood was not a role the Mandalorian was initially seeking, and he makes repeated initial attempts to avoid this responsibility. He first does so in "Chapter 3: The Sin", when he first leave the Child with the Client. He does so again in "Chapter 4" Sanctuary", when he plans to leave the Child with Omera, a protective mother on the planet Sorgan, who is willing to take the Child into her own family. The Mandalorian does not fully commit to the role of fatherhood until the first-season finale, "Chapter 8: Redemption", when the Child himself is also adopted into the Mandalorian culture as a "foundling" and the Mandalorian is formally declared to be his father figure.
Several writers suggested the fact that the Mandalorian's face is concealed has a tabula rasa effect and his anonymity allows viewers to see and imagine themselves as parents. Britt said this "allow us to dream about what arsenal we might deploy to protect our children". However, Singer said the show's setting in space make the challenges of child-rearing seem more exciting and exotic than they might otherwise be. Anthony Breznican of Vanity Fair has noted that none of the day-to-day difficulties of parenthood are portrayed in the series: "There is no shrill squawking from Baby Yoda, no tantrum, no spit-up, no uncontrollable shrieking that burrows into a parent's psyche like a dentist's drill shredding a soft, pink nerve." Likewise, Vulture writer Kathryn VanArendonk said the show ignores or does not address many parenting details that make fatherhood difficult, such as what the Child eats, when he goes him to sleep, and whether he wears diapers. She wrote: "The Mandalorian is uninterested in diapers, and so Mando gets to be a very particular image of fatherhood: the guy who doesn't have to sweat the small stuff." VanAnderonk described this as a wish fulfillment fantasy for parents or prospective parents: "a vision of parenting stripped so thoroughly of all detail and specificity that all that's left are archetypes: the parent, the child".
The Child encounters a handful of other protector figures throughout the first season, including Omera, IG-11, and Peli Motto. Some observers have criticized the series for the fact that the Mandalorian repeatedly leaves the Child alone or in the hands of relative strangers, as well as for making decisions that place the Child in danger. One example is in "Chapter 6: The Prisoner", when he allows a team of dangerous mercenaries to use his ship while the Child is on board, nearly resulting in the Child's death. An interaction the Mandalorian has with Peli Motto in "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger" is one of the most overt discussions about the challenges of caring for the Child. When the Mandalorian accidentally wakes the child, who had been sleeping in Peli's arms, she chides him: "Do you have any idea how long it took me to get it to sleep?" She also condemns the Mandalorian for leaving the child alone on the ship, saying: "you have an awful lot to learn about raising a young one". ScreenCrush writer Matt Singer argued the Mandalorian's parenting errors makes the show that much more appealing because making mistakes is a large part of being a parent. Eileen Chase of Today echoed this: "He is not an ideal parent, just like the rest of us who have to balance parenting and work."
Good and evil; nature versus nurtureThe nature of good and evil and the question of nature versus nurture is raised repeatedly throughout The Mandalorian, perhaps most overtly through by Kuiil's reprogramming of IG-11 from a bounty hunter to a nurse droid and protector. Even after IG-11 is reprogrammed, the Mandalorian does not believe he has truly changed, because he believes droids have an essential nature and that IG-11's nature remains murderous and untrustworthy. But in reprogramming IG-11, Kuiil nurtures him and helps him to change; Kuiil feels that in the process of learning how to function again, IG-11 gained a new personality. Kuiil insists to the Mandalorian: "Droids are not good or bad — they are neutral reflections of those who program them." Keith Phipps of Vulture wrote of IG-11 and the nature versus nurture theme: "He's not bad. He's just programmed that way, and with care and change he can do a lot of good in the world."
The Kuiil and IG-11 scenes also demonstrate that the way in which the "child" character is raised makes a significant difference in whether the child becomes an asset or a threat to those around him. The droid was a dangerous assassin before Kuiil reprogrammed him, but thanks to the Ugnaught's parenting, he becomes a protector and helper instead. Some writers have likewise suggested the Child is not inherently good or evil, but that instead, like all children, he is impressionable and does not fully understand the events occurring around him. He is learning about the world around him and needs guidance as he develops his abilities. It will largely fall to the Mandalorian to provide this guidance, as when the Mandalorian stops him from strangling Cara Dune.
However, multiple writers have questioned whether the violent acts the Child has repeatedly witnessed throughout The Mandalorian are having a negative impact on his development, and that he is learning to become violent himself as a result. Phipps wrote of this: "That look of wonder in the Child's eyes as IG-11 kills and kills again is hilarious, but also a little chilling." One particular scene in "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" led many reviewers and fans to question whether the Child may be demonstrating evil tendencies. During a scene on the Mandalorian's spaceship, the Child observes as the Mandalorian and Cara Dune engage in a friendly arm wrestling match. During the contest, the Child uses the Force to choke Cara, nearly strangling her before the Mandalorian intervened. Throughout the Star Wars franchise, that ability has been most commonly associated with the Dark Side of the Force, particularly Darth Vader.
Sarah Bea Milner of Screen Rant wrote: "The moment is genuinely shocking — and more than a little disturbing." Some reviewers noted, however, that the Child likely mistakenly believed the Mandalorian was in danger and intervened to help. Additionally, in the same episode, the Child uses Force healing to save Greef Karga, a power typically associated with the Light Side. Nevertheless, some writers have suggested viewers had been underestimating the Child's capacity for evil because he is so adorable. Fans speculated the Child could be presenting a false personality or using the Force to manipulate people into caring about him to help ensure his survival. However, Caitlin Gallagher of Bustle suggested rather than building toward making the Child evil, the show could be suggesting the Mandalorian needs to find a way to raise the Child in a less violent environment.
MarketingOn October 4, 2018, the first promotional image from the series was released, featuring a Mandalorian with a rifle. About a week later, Favreau released a photo through his official Instagram account featuring a rifle with a two-pronged barrel, an apparent callback to Boba Fett's weapon in The Star Wars Holiday Special. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and the main cast hosted a panel for The Mandalorian at Star Wars Celebration Chicago on April 14, 2019, where the first footage premiered to fans in attendance. The first official poster and trailer were released at the D23 Expo on August 23, 2019. A second and final trailer was released on October 28, 2019. On November 11, a sneak peek was released during Monday Night Football.
ReleaseThe Mandalorian premiered on the streaming service Disney+ on November 12, 2019 in the United States. It is available in 4K HDR, though analysis found its luminance to be well below typical HDR standards. Disney+ releases The Mandalorian episodes on a weekly basis, with the first two episodes released only a few days apart on November 12 and 15, 2019 respectively. The seventh episode was released on December 18, 2019 instead of December 20, in order to attach a sneak preview of , which came out on the latter date. When Disney+ became available in several European countries in late March 2020, episodes of The Mandalorian were available weekly, opposed to having all season one episodes available at the start, the first two episodes were available at launch on March 24, 2020, followed by the third on March 27, after which each episode were released weekly.
The second season is set to premiere in October 2020. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, the second season will not be delayed despite stay-at-home mandates aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Critical responseThe review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating for the first season with an average rating of 8.01/10, based on 33 reviews; the average episode score is 91%. The site's critical consensus reads: "Action-packed and expertly-crafted—if at times a bit too withholding—The Mandalorian is a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe that benefits greatly from the cuteness of its cargo." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 70 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Zaki Hasan of the San Francisco Chronicle said the show "in essence allows the franchise to take a mulligan with Boba Fett. Take the look, take that ineffable 'cool,' and transfer it over to an entirely new character who offers an untouched canvas, while giving the audience something that feels familiar." He added, "Three episodes in, that's really all The Mandalorian is: a feeling. A good feeling, mind you, but rather than any specific storytelling quality, it's that feeling you're talking about. The visual effects, the sound effects, the overall look of the thing is all bang-on. This is a polished production that shows off every cent of its feature film budget on every frame of its run time." Writing for The Ringer, Micah Peters said, "The Mandalorian may already be difficult to care about as something more than an installment that exists solely to set up the next installment. But there are still many enjoyable things about it, and also it's a Disney show with spaceships and giant sea slugs, so it doesn't need to be Citizen Kane. It might, however, be the next great TV Western."
Audience viewershipWithin four days of its release, The Mandalorian had stronger U.S. demand compared to four of 2019's biggest streaming originals: Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, When They See Us, , and Amazon Prime Video's Good Omens. However, it registered less than 40% of the demand of Netflix's supernatural hit Stranger Things and was behind other established shows such as DC Universe's Titans, nor was it in the top 10 for the most in-demand shows across all TV networks and digital services for the week of November 10–16. TV Time, a popular app allowing users to track shows and movies they are watching, stated though that the number of people interested in The Mandalorian had doubled for the following week, and noted that it had the largest gain of any TV show.
Much of the social media reaction has been to the show's breakout character, a 50-year-old "infant" of Yoda's species, who was kept secret until the series' pilot episode aired. The Mandalorian initially takes "The Child" for a bounty, but ends up becoming its de facto guardian in order to protect it. It has been shown to have the powers of the Force, and has been affably nicknamed "Baby Yoda". The unexpected popularity of "Baby Yoda" led to an explosion of unofficial merchandise for the Christmas and holiday season, which quickly sold out.