Aussies can legally watch the The Mandalorian on Disney+, but if you're a more casual Star Wars fan, it's a bit confusing to keep up with all the players and planets. Here's a quick beginner's guide to bring you up to speed with the lore surrounding the exciting new series. The Mandalore-ian, you could say...
Who are the Mandalorians?
A Mandalorian is a specific race of people in the Star Wars universe, native to the planet of Mandalore. They are characterised by their distinct armour, including a helmet that appears very Storm Trooper-y. In the show, the title character jokes guns are his religion, which makes sense given Mandalorians tend to work as bounty hunters and mercenaries.
Despite Boba Fett from 1980's Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back looking exactly like a Mandalorian, he's not really. As we find out many years later in one of the prequel titles, Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Boba was actually a human clone of Jango Fett, an actual Mandalorian, though the movies never use the word. In fact, the first time the Mandalorians are referenced in official canon was in a 1983 comic, Star Wars #68 "The Search Begins" and again in season two of 2008's The Clone Wars.
What planets are included in the series?
While only two episodes have been released so far, the majority of it has been set on a single planet: Arvala-7. This is the desert-y like planet that seems suspiciously similar to Tatooine. It's filled with Jawas (more on those later), Ugnaught farmers and two-legged creatures called blurgs. Its appearance marks the first in Star Wars canon.
I wasn't able to figure out what the first icy planet that the first episode begins with is named but it doesn't seem likely they'll back head back there any time soon given it's filled with murderous ice monsters.
Apart from those, however, we'll have to wait and see where else the show goes.
When is it set in relation to the movie series?
The Mandalorian is set five years after the fall of the Empire but before the rise of the First Order. This means it's wedged somewhere between 1983's Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and 2015's Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Who are the Jawas?
The Jawas have been pestering the Star Wars universe since the first Star Wars movie, Episode IV – A New Hope, back in 1977. They're a group of humanoids in cloaks who speak Jawanese and are experts at salvaging, as shown in the first movie when they try to sell R2-D2 and C-3PO's parts. They seem to only appear in desert-like planets like Tatooine and now, Arvala-7.
The Mandalorian's second episode shows they're still as irritating as ever but are mostly harmless.
What is beskar armour?
When the contract is given to the Mandalorian to head to Arvala-7 to capture or kill the bounty, he's offered a bar of beskar. Beskar iron, according to Star Wars' Fandom, is highly-prized due to being basically indestructible. It also happens to be extremely rare so it's very valuable. Most Mandalorians, like Jango Fett, instead use such as durasteel or duraplast and as shown in the series, add the beskar where possible.
Upon being given the bar, the Mandalorian gives it to a blacksmith to craft it into a pauldron — an armour plate for the shoulder.
Are all the creatures featured from the movies?
The creatures we've seen so far include jawas, Ugnaughts, blurrgs and 'ravinaks'. The first two we've already discussed but it's the latter two that are interesting to research. Blurrgs have never appeared in the movie series but they did pop up in The Clone Wars as well as an Star Wars Rebels episode called "Hera's Heroes", according to Star Wars' Fandom page.
Ravinaks, as shown in the opening scene when the Mandalorian is attempting to leave the icy planet, have never before featured in Star Wars canon. This walrus-cross-Godzilla is a The Mandalorian exclusive.
Who is Baby Yoda?
By the end of episode one, you realise the bounty target is actually an adorable 50-year-old Yoda baby. Is it the Yoda? Well, no but it could have some relation to him but the theories are endless.
The show is obviously intentionally keeping the mystery around baby Yoda a hot secret but as we've already seen the cute little bastard use The Force, you know it's going to be a big story arc in the series.
Late last year, Jon Favreau set about breaking the minds of Star Wars fans by Instagramming a simple photo from the set of The Mandalorian that seemingly hinted at the return of a minor, but beloved Empire Strikes Back villain. But alas, it turns out that isn’t actually going to be the case.