The Mandalorian is amazing and it has so many layers. While on one hand, it’s a Lone Wolf and space-western about a bounty hunter and his Baby Yoda friend, it’s also a series that is created on top of the complicated history of Mandalore and its fighters. Needless to say, it helps to have some familiar tone with the bigger Star Wars saga outside the realm of the movies.
If you do not know much about The Mandalorian, fear not. We’ve already told you when The Mandalorian takes place relative to the main Star Wars movies. Now we break down how the series’ growing mythology meets on many parts of the Star Wars timeline, extending from the titular character’s shocking origin story to the fall of the planet Mandalore to the Return of the Jedi standing quo in the now.
The Birth of Baby Yoda
To be honest we don’t know much about Baby Yoda yet. We don’t even have a name for the character, but director Dave Filoni has given his consent to “Baby Yoda.” We do know, however, that “The Child” is about 50 years old when he’s rescued by Mando. That only reveals a detail about Yoda’s enigmatic race. Apparently, they live so long because they age very slowly.
With most of The Mandalorian taking place 5 years after Return of the Jedi, this would put Baby Yoda’s birth almost a decade before the events of The Phantom Menace. Baby Yoda is about the very age as Anakin Skywalker and was born in a time when the Jedi were still the appointed guardians of the Republic. Given that we’ve only ever seen two other members of this species earlier- Yoda and Jedi Master Yaddle – many fans have thought those two are Baby Yoda’s parents. The timeline also verifies it, and it would surely explain why this little guy is so powerful in the ways of the Force.
The Mandalorian’s Childhood
The first season gives small glimpses of Mando’s grim origin story. At different points of the season, Mando reflects back to his childhood, when he and his parents were taken in the crossfire of a Clone Wars battle. These pieces show Mando and his family escaping from a group of Super Battle Droids, with Din Djarin’s parents hiding him in a bunker before apparently being killed by an explosion that is caused by the droids. The Clone Wars revealed during the years 22-19 BBY (before the Battle of Yavin). Given the character’s age in these flashbacks, it would seem he’s a bit more youthful than Baby Yoda and about the same age as fellow armored bounty hunter Boba Fett, who must be in his late thirties at this time in the Star Wars timeline.
The tv show has unveiled The Mandalorian is a Foundling, a term the Mandalorians use for foreigner orphans who are brought into Mandalorian culture. As we see in the Season 1 ending, in the aftermath of this devastating Clone Wars battle, the orphaned Din Djarin is saved and adopted by a group of Mandalorians bearing the Shriek-Hawk symbol of Clan Vizsla. He’s not a Mandalorian by birth, but he has learned into their way of life and studied to follow their traditions.
The Purge of Mandalore
Based on the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, we know Mandalore doesn’t fare well during and after the Clone Wars. Started by Duchess Satine Kryze, Mandalore struggled to maintain neutrality during the Clone Wars, but that administration was overthrown by an underworld alliance known as the Shadow Collective (led by none other than Darth Maul). In a disastrous battle known as the Siege of Mandalore (which forms the base of the last story arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Mandalore is violently “liberated” by the Republic and Maul is forced underground. Soon thereafter in 19 BBY, the Republic changes into the Galactic Empire, and Mandalore finds itself fading under Imperial rule.
Many Mandalorian characters have pointed to a “purge” on Mandalore. We can conclude from this that the Empire made a point of cleaning out all potential resistance on Mandalore, killing many warriors and forcing the survivors to submit to Imperial rule or go into hiding and maintain their cultural traditions far from Mandalore. The main character and his fellow Mandalorians seen in the series seem to have taken the latter course, running to the lawless Outer Rim of the galaxy to avoid being apprehended and killed. In the two decades between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Mando sharpens his skills and starts the long, arduous process of producing his ceremonial Beskar armor and getting a sigil.
Season 2, Episode 3 reveals another crucial detail about the fall of Mandalore and how its people have responded. Clan Vizsla and its Foundlings convert radical fundamentalists, further running into ancient Mandalorian ways that include the specific rule preventing Mandalorians from showing their faces. That’s why Din Djarin never takes off his helmet but several other Mandalorian characters do. He doesn’t realize his “way” isn’t the only way.
After the Empire
The Mandalorian happened in 9 ABY, five years after the Empire’s disastrous defeat at the Battle of Endor. Based on the last season of Star Wars Rebels, we also know that different Mandalorian exile, Sabine Wren, gathered her people and helped free Mandalore from Imperial rule quickly before the results of A New Hope. Apparently, this means Mandalore has been free for 9 years by the present-day time period of the TV series.
But if we’ve got to know anything from the show so far, it’s that Mandalore is still fighting to recover its freedom. Season 1 ends with a picture of the resilient Moff Gideon arising from his ruined TIE Fighter with the Darksaber in hand. The Darksaber is an old Mandalorian relic giving its owner the right to rule Mandalore. When the blade was last seen in Star Wars Rebels, Sabine had changed it over to Bo-Katan Kryze, sister of the late Duchess Satine. At some point as the events of the original trilogy or soon thereafter, Bo-Katan lost the Darksaber to Gideon, and she’s made it her mission to get her property and her throne.
Season 2, Episode 3 also shows that Din Djarin thinks Mandalore to be “cursed,” meaning the Empire may have given up control of the planet after the Battle of Endor but destroyed it. However, Bo-Katan suggests that her new friend may not have all the details. Now we have to wait for that tv show to finally chooses to show the state of Mandalore after the collapse of the Empire.