The Mandalorian has undeniably been an enormous hit in ways that neither Lucasfilm nor Disney could have expected.
With the second season of the series having reached its triumphant conclusion, the desire for more content based on the characters in this world is at an all-time high. Fortunately for Star Wars, Lucasfilm has us covered.
The Book of Boba Fett, set up by the post credits scene of "Chapter 16," should already be in the midst of filming and will hit screens this December, with The Mandalorian Season 3 to follow shortly thereafter.
Also set in this portion of the timeline are Ahsoka, which will undoubtedly pick up on the character's cameo in The Mandalorian as she searches for Thrawn, and Rangers of the New Republic, following an as-yet unannounced cast that may be led by Gina Carano's Cara Dune. In just the next few years, the story set up by The Mandalorian will be fully off and running. But while we eagerly await the return of many our favorite heroes, a new rumor suggests that some of them could be coming to our world first...
Jim Hill of The Disney Dish podcast has shared that Disney plans to add The Mandalorian, Grogu, Ahsoka Tano, and Boba Fett as roaming characters to both Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge locations:
"We should anticipate seeing meet-and-greet opportunities with Mando and the Child, likewise Boba Fett will start making appearances, also Ahsoka Tano..."
Citing the continued controversy of the Sequel Trilogy, Hill noted that including popular characters from The Mandalorian may be an effort to drive more people to the parks:
"Disney has done this; if they have a hit show, they will fold it into the parks and help drive attendance."
Because the Galaxy's Edge experience is considered canon, this move brings some interesting implications that Hill speculated on:
"Kylo Ren does exist in (The Mandalorian's) universe - he may be four years old - but he does exist. And the thinking right now is, yes, last year guests were excited thereabouts to have Kylo Ren and Rey walking around in Galaxy's Edge, but in a situation like this where if they were to do something like, say, have Kylo Ren's shuttle disappear and suddenly the Razor Crest is sitting there parked, that would go from 'oh that's interesting' to 'holy cow, where's the line, how do I get my picture taken with the Child'?"
WHAT THIS MEANS
Should this rumor prove to be true, it seems as if major changes are coming to Galaxy's Edge far sooner than expected.
The Galaxy's Edge theme park experience has been intended to be a canon event that happens within the timeframe between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and the characters from The Mandalorian, as we know them, obviously can't exist within that same space.
There are a couple moves that Disney could be making here. The first is that Galaxy's Edge is moving away from the Sequel Trilogy era, which has been highly controversial to put things mildly, and going all-in to capitalize on the much wider appeal of The Mandalorian. Should that be the case, the First Order stormtroopers could be replaced with Imperial Remnant forces, the Resistance X-Wing can easily be swapped with one belonging to the New Republic and, as Hill suggested, the Razor Crest might take the place of the First Order shuttle.
As neat as this possibility is, it's also hard to imagine Disney moving on from the just-recently-established part of the story that Batuu holds in the canon, and it would take a lot of work to overhaul everything so quickly.
Getting rid of the Sequel Trilogy elements of the park would be an admission to disgruntled fans that mistakes were made, but the move may upset others who enjoyed the films in the process. Instead of a complete re-do, it's possible that there will just be a softening of the canon and the characters appearing from The Mandalorian will just be there to attract more visitors and not play any role in the events of the experience.
With the direction the franchise seems to be taking, an overhaul may be the smarter the move. Disney undoubtedly wants to maximize profits, and the lost revenue from theme park ticket sales can be made up in part by new excitement from Star Wars fans to flood Galaxy's Edge a Mando spin when safe to do so. It's been said that the land was designed to be flexible for changes, and while a makeover of this magnitude certainly wasn't expected, it makes a lot of sense.
If a dramatic change does transpire, it wouldn't have to be a full-blown re-do.
The main structures of Batuu are good to stay, including all the shops and cantinas. Any excuse can be made for the Millennium Falcon to be hanging around there at this point in the timeline, so keeping the beloved ship in its spot wouldn't be an issue. And the impressive Rise of the Resistance ride could be re-tooled to take place on Moff Gideon's cruiser, perhaps with a brief encounter from the villain himself as guests are pursued by dark troopers and saved by the legendary Luke Skywalker.
There are plenty of kids who love Rey and Kylo Ren. Given the mass popularity of The Mandalorian, it's a safe bet that there are even more who love Din Djarin and Grogu. Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett have been fan-favorites for quite some time, making them both figures who would have large seas of people tailing them throughout the park. The thought of the Razor Crest being a place to meet Mando and Baby Yoda is overwhelmingly exciting and would surely milk every dollar out of Star Wars fans' already laboring wallets.
Whatever becomes of this situation, adding the icons from The Mandalorian can only be a positive for Galaxy's Edge. Profits for the land had been disappointing when the park first opened, and COVID-19 has caused a disruption in nearly all facets of Disney's businesses, with their parks taking one of the biggest hits.
Turning Galaxy's Edge into Mando Land could be a brilliant way to bring in swaths of fans, but like all things, there are many aspects that need to be accounted for before such a monumental shift can be made.