Even when The Mandalorian was simply a show about a Clint Eastwood-styled bounty hunter and the little green baby he’d taken under his Beskar-clad wing, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s Star Wars series was opening up a relatively-unknown part of the saga’s timeline. And the more it’s gone on, audiences have seen more of the post-Return Of The Jedi galaxy, revealing what happened in the decades between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy. The Mandalorian Season 3, in particular, has taken time to explore the state of the galaxy after the Empire’s defeat – how the New Republic is struggling to build something new and effective, and how former Imperials are being reintegrated into society, all while unveiling pockets of nefarious Empire activity on the Outer Rim.
At Star Wars Celebration, Kathleen Kennedy’s Lucasfilm presentation made it clear that ‘The New Republic’ is now a Star Wars era in its own right – and between The Mandalorian, The Book Of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, Skeleton Crew, and Dave Filoni’s upcoming film, there are plenty of stories to explore in that time period. For Filoni, it’s rich ground that he can cultivate, opening up the galaxy for new audiences. “I always relate to my own Star Wars experience and think, ‘How can I give kids now [that] feeling?’” he explains to Empire at Celebration. The answer, in part, involves taking elements from the no-longer-canon Legends novels and making them work in official Star Wars continuity. “Something that I understood as a kid was the conflict established in A New Hope – the Rebels versus the Empire. I thought something in the Expanded Universe that was very easy to understand was, in the New Republic and the Remnant Empire, that the tables have turned a little bit.”
As we’ve seen in The Mandalorian, this point in time finds the New Republic facing major challenges in sifting through the rubble of the Empire, and implementing its own systems. And the scrappy efforts of the Imperials – and the sinister Shadow Council – will eventually herald the rise of the First Order. “It's actually the Empire that's acting more like the Rebels, because their resources are on the downside. But the New Republic is struggling because, while they're all trying to work together, they have different ideas about how to be effective,” says Filoni. “That was an interesting story. And I think it creates a big piece of history where you can tell all kinds of stories.”
Characters like Din Djarin, Grogu, and Ahsoka – soon to face the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn in her own series this August – have provided ideal avenues into this era of the galaxy. “If you took and placed Mando in the original trilogy time-period, you would understand what's going on, because you understood the politics of the day,” says Filoni. “Now, we've had to establish – starting in Mandalorian, and the idea with Werner Herzog that there were Remnant Imperials still operating – that there's a Remnant Empire, and a New Republic. We really only got around to [exploring] the New Republic with [the] X-Wings in the first two seasons, and we finally went to Coruscant in this latest season. So everything builds a little bit, as we're fleshing out this part of the galaxy.” With Thrawn on the way, and Snoke to follow, the New Republic era has plenty of dark days ahead.