If you’ve spent any time browsing social media in the past few years, you’ve probably come across plenty of Mandalorian content.
During its initial release in 2019, it was making headlines and trending almost everywhere. It was difficult to scroll through Instagram without seeing at least a few “Baby Yoda” memes.
The Mandalorian captivated the hearts of die-hard Star Wars fans who were ecstatic to have brand new content, but it also brought in new fans that started watching Star Wars for the first time.
This begs the question, do you have to watch Star Wars before watching The Mandalorian? Is it too confusing without the backstory of the original movies?
After all, the original trilogy alone takes almost 7 hours to watch. That’s a lot of commitment for first-time fans.
To give a quick answer, watching at least the first three Star Wars movies is recommended in order to understand The Mandalorian. While it’s not absolutely necessary, the context of the original trilogy is pretty important to fully grasp some of the characters and overall plot.
Are you still not convinced? Keep reading to learn more about The Mandalorian, the original Star Wars trilogy, and all the characters that are important to the series.
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Does The Mandalorian Take Place in the Same Star Wars Universe as the Original Trilogy?
Yes, The Mandalorian is part of the same universe as the original Star Wars movies and even contains several of the same characters.
The Mandalorian takes place in 9 ABY, which is five years after The Return of the Jedi takes place. All of the planets and characters in the series occur in the same canon as all other Star Wars movies.
Although none of The Mandalorian’s main characters are part of the other movies, it has a decent amount of crossover with the rest of the franchise. For example, it frequently references concepts from previous movies like the Force, the Empire, Jedi, and more.
It also features several characters that are in other Star Wars movies and shows like Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, and Ahsoka Tano.
Despite The Mandalorian being its own series, it’s very closely knit with other Star Wars content. It’s not quite a sequel to any other Star Wars movie or show, but it is based on their events.
What is the Plot of The Mandalorian?
Spoiler alert! The Mandalorian follows the adventures of Din Djarin, a foundling of the Mandalorian race played by Pedro Pascal, and his little friend Grogu.
At the beginning of the series, before Grogu was given a name, fans called him “Baby Yoda” because of his extreme resemblance to the former green Jedi master. Both in appearance and skill, Grogu tends to imitate Yoda.
His connection with the Force is very powerful, and it could be an ingrained part of his alien race. Grogu has frequently taken down enemies who are far bigger than him using nothing but his inherent Force-sensitivity.
The series follows Din Djarin and Grogu as they navigate the complex infrastructure of the galaxy, deal with the ethical nature of being a bounty hunter, and learn more about Grogu’s mysterious powers. In doing so, they cross paths with familiar faces and new enemies.
Most of the initial plot revolves around the Mandalorian race, the almost religious nature of their disciplined group, and the current state of the Empire.
Even though the Empire was defeated 5 years prior in The Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian shows that its loyalists haven’t completely disappeared.
Later in the series, a large part of the plot is finding out who and what Grogu is. Because he can’t communicate verbally with Din Djarin, it makes his origin story a mystery.
In season 2, Ahsoka Tano makes her live-action debut and helps to communicate with Grogu. She discovers that he is Force-sensitive and that she can talk with him telepathically.
In doing so, she discovers Grogu’s name, potential powers, and deep connection with Din Djarin who he views as a father figure.
Later on, Grogu would train with Luke Skywalker to try to become a Jedi, but his feelings for Din Djarin would prove to be a distraction. In The Book of Boba Fett crossover episode in season 1, Grogu ends up choosing to travel with Din instead of completing his Jedi training.
Much of the newer episodes revolve around the plot to revive the Empire and reveal Moff Gideon to be the main antagonist.
Though the plot of The Mandalorian is still unfolding, it’s easy to see that it’s very tightly connected with the other movies and Star Wars series.
There are some crucial plot points that were revealed in other series (like The Book of Boba Fett) and some major exposition that comes from the original Star Wars trilogy.
It would be hard to fully grasp concepts like Grogu’s Force sensitivity and Luke Skywalker’s power if a viewer had never witnessed the Force before.
Likewise, it would be difficult to understand Grogu’s resemblance to Yoda, his training with Luke Skywalker, the very concept of the Jedi, the Empire, bounty hunters, the Darksaber, and the entire layout of the galaxy if the viewers had never seen Star Wars to begin with.
The Mandalorian series is a new concept, but it has its roots in the original Star Wars movies. The series breezes over a lot of ideas since it’s expected that fans will already know them, and it doesn’t provide a ton of exposition since it’s all covered in the previous Star Wars content.
If you’ve never seen Star Wars before, it’s probably best to at least watch the original Star Wars trilogy of movies before watching The Mandalorian. It’s not completely necessary, but it will make it much less confusing if you view it that way.
In addition to making it less confusing, it will probably make it more enjoyable to watch it that way. Realizing the references to the other Star Wars movies is part of what makes The Mandalorian so fun to watch even though it’s not a direct sequel.
Another option is to watch The Mandalorian as a first-time viewer and then go back and watch all the other Star Wars movies afterward. However, it’s probably best to just start with the original trilogy.
No matter how you watch it, The Mandalorian is a unique look at the Star Wars universe that proves to be interesting for children and adults alike.
Whether you enjoy action, adventure, blaster fight scenes, lightsabers, political sub-plots, or emotional relationship arcs, The Mandalorian has something for everyone.
Mitchell Layton is a freelance writer and touring musician living in Philadelphia. When he’s not playing guitar or writing for clients, he enjoys rewatching cult classics like Star Wars, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and more. Mitchell has been published by sites like HM Magazine, Glassworks Literary Magazine, GameRevolution, Pif Magazine, and others.