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Star Wars is coming to the small screen in a brand new way thanks to Disney+ and The Mandalorian. The first live-action Star Wars TV show announced, The Mandalorian will take place after the events of the original trilogy but before the beginning of the sequel trilogy, and it seems that the show will primarily focus on original rather than existing characters. That said, assassin droid IG-88 of Empire Strikes Back fame will appear, and executive producer Jon Favreau shared a look at the droid on the upcoming series:
What better way for Jon Favreau to wish his Instagram followers a Merry Christmas than with a shot of a murderous assassin droid? As longtime Star Wars fans will undoubtedly remember, IG-88 made his debut in the galaxy far, far away back in 1980 as one of the bounty hunters tasked with tracking down the Millenium Falcon and its crew. In the years since, IG-88 has been incorporated into Star Wars projects set earlier in the timeline than Empire Strikes Back, including Forces of Destiny.
The first look at IG-88 on The Mandalorian indicates that the latest appearance of the droid in Star Wars canon could be far more intimidating than all of his past appearances. A movie that premiered in 1980 could only go so far to make a droid scary, and animation doesn't always do characters justice in creating a fear factor. The live-action should combined with 21st-century technology could turn IG-88 into a formidable foe for the lone gunfighter star of the series.
The Empire Strikes Back bounty hunter that most Star Wars fans may have been hoping for in The Mandalorian was likely Boba Fett over IG-88 or any others from Vader's motley crew, but there's no saying that Boba still can't appear, and IG-88 has a lot of room for expansion. Unfortunately, the image shared by Jon Favreau has a green screen in the background, so the setting will presumably be created via special effects and we can't guess anything about IG-88's location from the pic.
The very good news from the pic is that another character has been 100% confirmed to appear in the show. The cast of confirmed actors has grown more and more over the past months, but only star Pedro Pascal has had his role confirmed. That stolen footage hasn't yielded tons of spoilers hitting the web.
Pascal will star as the titular Mandalorian, who is a solo -- no, not that Solo -- gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy in the years before the rise of the First Order. As for the rest of the cast... well, we can only speculate, although rumor has it that venerable actor Nick Nolte will be portraying a member of an alien species that first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back.
This species also subsequently appeared earlier in the Star Wars timeline with projects like Star Wars Rebels, but they first debuted on the big screen in 1980. We can only wait and see once The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+. The streaming service itself won't premiere until Fall 2019, so we have a bit of a wait ahead of us. Another movie won't premiere before then, nor will the Rogue One prequel series or the Clone Wars revival.