In the years since 2019's The Rise of Skywalker left theaters, The Mandalorian has largely been the focus of the Star Wars franchise with its ongoing seasons and an ever-expanding "MandoVerse" of connected spin-offs on Disney+.
However, recent Lucasfilm developments, coupled with an underwhelming viewership for The Mandalorian's third season, sparked speculation about the studio's intentions for the show's upcoming fourth season.
Why Star Wars Fans Think The Mandalorian Season 4 Is a Movie
The theory that The Mandalorian Season 4 will be turned into the next Star Wars movie has its roots in Star Wars Celebration 2023 when Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced Star Wars was finally returning to theaters.
Among the trio of films Kennedy announced was a Mandalorian crossover movie, helmed by The Mandalorian and Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni and confirming that the MandoVerse is no longer limited to streaming.
This bombshell news was followed by The Mandalorian Season 3 finale, which left audiences disappointed, confused, and even concerned about the show's future.
During the Hollywood strikes, speculation of Season 4 being reconsidered as a big-screen feature jumped to lightspeed thanks to rumors and unverified reports claiming just that.
Returning Disney CEO Bob Iger's intentions to decrease streaming output and focus on event films only lent credence to the claims, especially since a switch in mediums could also make financial sense.
Not only has speculation continued to circulate, but it was seemingly reinforced when Lucasfilm named Dave Filoni its Chief Creative Officer, tasking him with the future of Star Wars television and movies and giving him further control.
Still, it's important to note that Filoni's MandoVerse movie is his only movie in development. Meanwhile, Season 4 of The Mandalorian, which was supposed to begin filming in October before the strikes, is expected to begin production in early 2024.
Is a Movie 'The Way' for The Mandalorian?
Since The Mandalorian Season 3 struggled, and in light of Disney's string of box office flops, reimagining the show's fourth season as a film could accomplish several things.
Plus, a film would give Dave Filoni a dry run ahead of his MandoVerse culmination event, all while giving Star Wars audiences a film sooner rather than Daisy Ridley's Star Wars movie which isn't expected until 2026.
So, given all that has transpired with Star Wars throughout 2023, the speculation is understandable. However, there are a few problems and concerns with the theory.
Apart from the lack of confirmation from Lucasfilm, there has yet to be any evidence supporting the claim.
Not only is Season 4 slated to begin filming in the coming months, but before Season 3 premiered, Jon Favreau claimed "[he's] written [Season 4] already," and at a time when he surely would've known about Filoni's upcoming jump to theatrical.
There's also the fact that The Mandalorian is known for a serialized format. Changing the formula ahead of its culmination event film would be a huge gamble and likely one neither Disney nor Lucasfilm would be in favor of.
Fans should expect to learn about the fate of The Mandalorian Season 4 as its filming date approaches.
The first three seasons of The Mandalorian are streaming now on Disney+.