Why The Mandalorian Episodes Are So Short, Revealed by Star

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Mandalorian Star Wars Bo-Katan Grogu

Many fans often wonder why The Mandalorian features such short episodes, and Bo-Katan Kryze star Katee Sackhoff recently revealed why.

The Mandalorian is one of the most popular shows in the Disney+ library, and viewers recently saw the conclusion to Season 3 earlier in the year.

However, despite its importance to the Star Wars universe, many pointed out over the course of the first three seasons that most episodes are entirely too short.

Why The Mandalorian Episodes Have Short Runtimes

Bo Katan, Mandalorian

On the second episode of Katee Sackhoff's new podcast, Blah Blah Blah, Sackhoff was joined by Bryce Dallas Howard to talk about The Mandalorian.

Howard stated in the conversation how "it's so fun" for her to work on projects that have such a cultural impact and how those projects "require so many people" to make them possible:

"It’s so fun to get to be a part of stories like ['Spider-Man'], because it’s very meaningful to people, right? But also because it requires so many people to achieve it, right? And the kind of… animatronics, the mix of visual effects, practical effects, cinema, performance, and so many different kinds of people need to come together in order for it to work. Because like… engineers, and artists, and it’s really, really, really amazing when it does all work."

Sackhoff then chimed in and talked specifically about The Mandalorian, revealing that "there are so many moving parts" which is why the episodes' runtimes are shorter:

"And it works. That’s why I tell people that 'Mando' is like… They’re always so confused why it takes so long for us to shoot and why the episodes are, in their minds, so short. And I’m like, ‘There are so many moving parts to this that you have no idea.’"

For context, Season 1 of The Mandalorian has an average episode runtime of 39 minutes, Season 2's episodes average out at 40 minutes, and Season 3 sits at 42.5 minutes per episode.

Following the release of each batch of episodes, one of the more major complaints from fans is those runtimes, with many believing that they should be closer to an hour in length.

Sakchoff then stated that its actually surprising that the cast and crew complete filming "as fast as [they] do:"

"We’re lucky that we finish as fast as we do. We’re rushed all the time and and the fact that we finish is crazy."

Does The Mandalorian's Runtime Hurt Its Momentum?

As previously mentioned, fans usually claim that episodes of The Mandalorian aren't long enough, not giving the show a chance to breathe.

However, when taking into consideration what goes on in the episodes, a case can be made that longer episodes would actually hurt the show more than help it.

From the time an episode's cold open begins until the end credits roll, the cast and crew are telling a story, and all of these smaller stories come together to create a larger one within each season.

If the writers and directors were to continue shooting and draw out the scripts just for the sake of hitting the one-hour mark, each episode would contain what many claim to be "filler," which would ultimately take fans out of the experience.

Sure, some episodes probably could afford to last a few minutes longer for the sake of storytelling and making everything come together more smoothly, but for the most part, the crew tells the stories that they want to tell in a runtime that fits them.

The first three seasons of The Mandalorian are available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.