What to Know Before Watching The Mandalorian

Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, chances are, Baby Yoda memes have been taking over your social media news feeds. People of all ages have been taking The Mandalorian by storm. If you find yourself curious as to what everyone is talking about, here is a quick guide to help you have a basic understanding before starting to binge.

1. Who are the Mandalorians?

The Mandalorians come from the planet Mandalore. Per the Star Wars website, their culture was built around war and raising their people for battle. Eventually, they did more freelancing as bounty hunters such as Boba Fett in A New Hope through Return of the Jedi. They don’t choose sides when it comes to Jedi, Republic, Empire or First Order, it’s usually whoever can offer them the better deal. They are most known for their expensive and unique helmet and their gear. They explain fairly early on in the show that Mandalorians can never be seen by a living creature without their helmet on. A full history on them is not necessary, but if you’re interested in learning more, you can read more about them at the Star Wars website.

The Mandalorian, as seen in The Mandalorian series. Image Credit: Disney+

2. Where does this fall in the Star Wars timeline?

The short answer is it comes a few years after Return of the Jedi. It’s about the same time as the original trilogy from the 70s and 80s.  

3. Baby Yoda

The Child. Image Credit: Disney+

Baby Yoda is actually not Yoda’s baby. We don’t know who he or she is. The name given by the creators is “The Child.” The fans named it Baby Yoda as we weren’t given a name for him or her. Not much is known about the adorable creature, but his mystery is what keeps the story line interesting.

4. Jargon

Some of the most basic terms you’ll hear in the show that you may not understand if you have never seen any of the movies:

  • The Force: a skill only the Jedi and Sith possess. It can choke people from a distance, read minds, throw objects, and connect them with those who also posses the power.
  • The Empire: The Sith Rule over the galaxy. i.e.: The bad guys such as Darth Vader and Palpatine had control of the galaxy. This show takes place after that had been destroyed, thanks to Luke Skywalker and the rebels. It shows life after The Empire was destroyed and how the galaxy is trying to piece itself back together.
Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi (1983). Image credit: Disney+

5. Nostalgia

There are many characters who appear in the show who had a role in the movies. Stormtroopers, Jawas, and R2 units are just a few of the characters. Jon Favreau (director and producer of the Iron Man movies) wrote and produced The Mandalorian in a way to both please the long-time fans and introduce new fans to the Star Wars universe. He brings the humor and some of the characters of the movies and introduces it to a new story.

Image Credit: Disney+

If you haven’t been a long-time fan, some of the references to the movies may go over your head, but it doesn’t take away from the story. It just enhances the experience for those who followed the Skywalker story. If you’re interested in filling the gap, watching the three original movies or the animated series, The Clone Wars could help.

Overall, you don’t need to read the Star Wars Encyclopedia, or Wookiepedia, to enjoy the show. You may miss out on some Easter eggs, but the story line of a father figure caring for an innocent child isn’t difficult to follow. If you’re only interested in Baby Yoda or just what the hype is all about, you should be able to binge with minimal questions. Hopefully this show sparks an interest in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is a new and interesting way to enter the fandom.

The complete first season is available on Disney+. A new season is set to drop in the fall.

Elizabeth Boulanger
A writer with a degree in Professional Writing from Penn State living in the Northeast. I spend a lot of my time binging all things nerdy. When I'm not watching, reading, or writing about time and space, I can be found cosplaying at a nearby comic con. I can't recall a time when Star Wars didn't play a part in my life. No matter what stage of life I'm in, there's always a new Star Wars premiere to look forward to.