Ever since George Lucas decided prequels were a neat idea the chronology of Star Wars has been fairly confusing, with the muddled timeline becoming even trickier to handle with the inclusion of spin-off movies and TV shows set in different periods of Star Wars history.
It’s understandable then that some have been left confused about exactly where The Mandalorian sits within the ever-changing Star Wars timeline – so let us make everything clear.
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When is The Mandalorian set?
Is The Mandalorian a prequel? Well, it’s a little complicated.
To put it in the simplest terms, The Mandalorian is set after the original Star Wars trilogy (aka A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) but before the recent sequel trilogy (aka The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker).
In The Mandalorian’s world the Empire has been defeated, and the new Republic set up by the Rebel Alliance is taking charge – but some Imperial remnants are still at large and causing trouble for the series’ titular bounty-hunting hero. Check out our The Mandalorian season one recap for more detail about exactly what happened.
Basically, the Mandalorian functions as a sequel to the story of Luke, Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader, and as a prequel to the more modern movies. This could mean that future storylines can fill in the gaps between both trilogies, explaining how the Empire became the First Order among other lingering mysteries.
Plus, given that this time in the galaxy is relatively unexplored, there’s a lot of wiggle room for us to meet new characters and see some shocking twists – like a certain Baby Yoda.
But if you want something more specific, well, we can give you more specific. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
The Mandalorian and the Star Wars timeline
Within the canon of Star Wars, dates are a little different than our own. Generally speaking fans count years forwards and backwards from the original 1977 Star Wars film, specifically the Death Star assault at the film’s conclusion, aka the Battle of Yavin.
In other words, every Star Wars movie, book, spin-off game or TV show is either set a number of years before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) or after the Battle of Yavin (ABY).
So with that in mind, here’s how the Mandalorian fits in with the main movies and TV series. While some of these years are estimates, most are derived or deduced from official sources like the Star Wars Visual Dictionary series.
(For a full Star Wars movies order, check out our piece on the subject).
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – 32 BBY
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – 22 BBY
- The Clone Wars movie and TV show – 22-19 BBY
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – 19 BBY
- Solo: A Star Wars Story – around 10-13 BBY (estimated – Solo has never officially been confirmed within the Star Wars timeline)
- Star Wars Rebels – 5 BBY-1BBY
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 0 BBY (in other words, this film takes place the same year as the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope).
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – 0 BBY/0 ABY (as the Battle of Yavin occurs during the film, this is a little confused)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – 3 ABY
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – 4 ABY
- The Mandalorian season one – 9 ABY
- Star Wars Resistance – 34 ABY
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – 34 ABY
- Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – 34 ABY (clearly, a lot happened that year. It was the 2020 of the Star Wars universe)
- Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker – 35 ABY
In simple terms, then, The Mandalorian is set about five years or so after the events of Return of the Jedi, the fall of the Empire and the rise of the new Republic.
Currently, it’s also set about 25 years before The Force Awakens, within a largely untouched piece of the Star Wars timeline that still allows a lot of wiggle room for Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and The Child to have an awful lot of adventures before they start running into Finn, Poe, Rey et al.
Intriguingly, at the time of the Mandalorian plenty of other existing Star Wars characters are still knocking about – for example Adam Driver’s Ben Solo would be about four years old around the time of season one, while his parents Princess Leia and Han Solo would be in the midst of New Republic politics – leaving the door open for some intriguing crossovers in future seasons.
Is The Mandalorian before or after Boba Fett?
The Mandalorian is set after the onscreen appearances of original Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett, who appears in Episodes V and VI of the original trilogy and appears to meet his maker in the latter film.
Specifically, The Mandalorian is set about five years after the last time we see Boba Fett – though rumour has it that he could be making a comeback in the new series…
The Mandalorian releases new episodes on Disney+ from Friday 30th October. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.