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The First Episode Of The Mandalorian Features A Huge Star Wars Spoiler

The upcoming Disney+ series The Mandalorian takes place during an unexplored time period in the Star Wars universe — five years after Return of the Jedi — and will serve as a bridge between that film and The Force Awakens. Since the in-universe gap that separates those two films is 30 years, there's bound to be plenty of revelations mixed in The Mandalorian. And apparently, fans won't have to wait long to experience at least one of these declarations: according to The New York TimesThe Mandalorian's very first episode contains a major Star Wars spoiler.

Although critics haven't seen the full first episode of The Mandalorian, instead shown about a half an hour of footage said to be taken from the first three episodes of the series in order to preserve any surprises for fans, The Times was still able to scoop that one spoiler with Star Wars universe-wide implications is indeed included on the debut episode of the first-ever live-action Star Wars series. 

The outlet revealed the tidbit in a throwaway line tucked in a lengthy article about the impending November 12 launch of Disney+, stating, "The Mandalorian, which contains a dramatic Star Wars universe spoiler in the first episode and will be available the moment Disney Plus starts, has been as heavily promoted as a traditional feature film, with billboards, 30-second television commercials, radio spots and digital ads."

Admittedly, the scoop admittedly doesn't offer much to go on, but it's certainly tantalizing to think of the possibilities that come with a "dramatic Star Wars universe spoiler." So, what could this spoiler possibly be?

The characters and time setting of The Mandalorian could give us a clue

Contrary to the rumors that swirled when the series was first announced, The Mandalorian is not about Boba Fett. Everyone involved with The Mandalorian insists that the title character, played by Pedro Pascal, isn't the Original Trilogy's infamous Sarlacc Pit victim, so we'll take them at their word. What the show is about, however, is an unnamed Mandalorian bounty hunter who operates in the seedy outer rim of the galaxy. Carl Weathers portrays Greef Carga, the head of a bounty hunting guild and an occasional ally of the Mandalorian, while Giancarlo Esposito plays a former Imperial Governor named Moff Gideon. Werner Herzog's character is a crime boss, Taika Waititi voices droid IG-11, and Gina Carano plays ex-Rebel Shock Trooper and current mercenary Cara Dune. They, too, will cross paths with the Mandalorian in their own unique ways. 

Not much has been revealed about the actual plot of the series, but its timeframe does offer up some tantalizing possibilities about the bombshell spoiler that awaits. By taking place in between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order, The Mandalorian will show a side of the Star Wars universe with which fans aren't familiar. Not only that, but the show is also primed to show how the First Order came to be. As show creator Jon Favreau previously told Entertainment Weekly, "What could happen in the 30 years between celebrating the defeat of the Empire and then the First Order? You come in on Episode VII, [the First Order are] not just starting out. So somehow, things weren't necessarily managed as well as they could have been if [the galaxy] ended up in hot water again like that."

What will The Mandalorian spoil?

There are several schools of thought when it comes to what the big Mandalorian premiere spoiler could be. Perhaps the most obvious choice is that the series has been bamboozling us all along and the show really is about Boba Fett or someone related to him. However, it's hard to see the universe-wide implications for that. Besides, the series has no reason to be this coy for this long about hiding that fact, should it end up being true. 

There's also the idea that the first episode of The Mandalorian could offer a spoiler that helps set up The Rise of Skywalker. The series premieres on November 12, while the next Star Wars film opens in theaters on December 20. That gives fans plenty of time to catch The Mandalorian before watching Episode IX – meaning if the series, say, reveals how Emperor Palpatine survived the destruction of the second Death Star, fans would be extremely motivated to pony up for a full Disney+ subscription prior to heading to the theater so they don't miss out on any possible additional spoilers on later episodes of The Mandalorian. And if you think Disney won't make its films at least slightly dependent on Disney+ shows, the company has already hinted at doing just that with its upcoming MCU offerings, with the streaming series WandaVision set to tie into the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The other big possibility is renewed canon from the old Expanded Universe. Some fans think Mara Jade, Luke Skywalker's wife in the EU, may be in The Mandalorian, and Favreau didn't exactly deny it when asked about it. He told EW in September 2019, "I don't want to talk about anything that might be fun for people to discover [...] Part of what's fun to see if we could merge the worlds of the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequels, The Clone Wars, and what's been considered canon up to this point and what's been considered part of Legends. I think this show offers an opportunity to bring in all those elements." If Mara does show up, the implications would be enormous — especially if it's revealed that she and Luke had a child.

All things considered, the only way to now for certain what the big Star Wars spoiler entails is to tune into the debut episode of The Mandalorian, hitting the Disney+ streaming platform on November 12. Whether the spoiler is totally shocking or something people have been speculating about for years, Favreau has promised that the show as a whole will satisfy every kind of Star Wars fan: "No matter what flavor of Star Wars ice cream you like, there will be something to enjoy."