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This Is Where The Mandalorian Fits In The Star Wars Timeline

Considering the fact the franchise started with the fourth installment, it's easy to understand how some people can get lost trying to follow the Star Wars timeline. It doesn't help matters that there are three separate trilogies and a handful of spin-offs factored into the mix, all of which were dropped in a nonlinear fashion. 

While the original trilogy follows the journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he takes on the Empire, the prequels track how Darth Vader came to be the villainous Sith Lord we met in Episode IV. Then you have the sequel trilogy, which predominantly follows a new Jedi-in-training, Rey Skywalker née Palpatine (Daisy Ridley). By the time the sequel trilogy rolls around, the Empire has been destroyed, but the First Order has risen to take its place as the preeminent fascist organization in the galaxy. 

That's a lot of plot to keep track of, and it all begs the question: When exactly does The Mandalorian take place? Despite some common misconceptions, "Baby Yoda" isn't actually Yoda, but a different member of his species named Grogu. How do we know this for sure? Because Yoda has been dead for several years when The Mandalorian begins. Additionally, the presence of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) can complicate matters a bit, since both characters feature in prequel-era material. Fortunately, we have the answers you've been looking for so that you know exactly when the events of The Mandalorian take place, and how it all fits together into one grand Skywalker Saga.

The Mandalorian takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi

TIME Magazine lays out the entire Mandalorian timeline by citing series creator Jon Favreau's past statements. Favreau has stated that The Mandalorian takes place five years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Additionally, it's set 25 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, when the First Order has established its authoritarian regime across the galaxy. The Mandalorian centers on a time period in the galaxy where the New Republic is still working to maintain its fragile hold over the galaxy, while the remnants of the shattered Empire are running loose without much central organization. That's why the Outer Rim, as seen on The Mandalorian, is largely lawless. The new Disney+ series Rangers of the New Republic should provide a more interior look at the nascent democratic regime of this time when it debuts sometime in the near future. 

If you want to get technical about it, Return of the Jedi takes place in 4 ABY, which refers to years elapsed "After the Battle of Yavin." What the heck is the Battle of Yavin, you ask? Despite never being named in the original trilogy, the Battle of Yavin was the battle depicted in the climax of A New Hope, wherein a group of scrappy rebels succeeded in blowing up the Death Star. Meanwhile, The Mandalorian occurs in 9 ABY, while The Force Awakens takes place in 34 ABY. 

Over the course of 30 years, the galaxy goes from the Empire to New Republic to First Order. Undoubtedly, The Mandalorian will continue to explore the roots of the First Order and depict how the galaxy once again descended into chaos, paving the way for the conflict of Episode VII. With season 3 of The Mandalorian coming out around Christmas of 2021, we're sure to learn more about this little-understood era of the greater Star Wars timeline.