February 20, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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The third season of the Disney+ phenomenon, The Mandalorian, is due to hit our screens on March 1st, marking a triumphant return for the series which last aired in 2020. The third season of the hit series began filming towards the tail end of September 2021 and wrapped principally photography in March of last year, but just mere months after the season wrapped, creator, Jon Favreau, revealed he was already hard at work writing a fourth season of the series and confirmed earlier today that he’s completed writing The Mandalorian season four.

Today a new report from MakingStarWars.net claims that the fourth season of the series, which thanks to Favreau we know has been in development for quite some time and seemingly ready to go, will begin filming this October at Manhattan Beach Studios, California. The outlet added that new armour for Mof Gideon, Gideon specific stormtroopers and a new jetpack for Din Djarin have been or are being made. In addition to The Mandalorian news, MSW also revealed a second season of the commercially successful Mandalorian spin-off series, The Book of Boba Fett, may be in pre-production with work commencing on the cockpit of Slave-1 and the armour of the titular character.

The outlets sources working on Fett related material believe that they’re prepping for a second season of the hit series, whilst other sources are working on the fourth season of The Mandalorian. It could be that these productions are simply one in the same and MSW’s sources have their wires crossed, but even if so, it likely marks a return of Boba Fett – whether that’s in his own series or in The Mandalorian remains to be seen. The outlet speculates that perhaps both series will begin production around the same time, emulating the production timeline of Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew. Ahsoka began filming in May of 2022 and Skeleton Crew started up in June of 2022 with the former wrapping in November, and the latter in January. Without question Lucasfilm likely have enough locations and space to film both series together just as they did Skeleton Crew and Ahsoka, with both set up at Manhattan Beach Studios and using the set located near a train yard in El Segundo and a large patch of land at California State University in Dominguez Hills.

Last week I spoke with MSW regarding a possible Writers Guild of America strike, revealing my sources close to Star Wars productions are prepping for it and that it feels somewhat inevitable. MSW has heard similar things since and speculates in the article that perhaps pre-production work on both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett is starting early in anticipation of a possible WGA strike. The current WGA contract is up in May, and perhaps that’s when strike action will take place and if history is anything to go by then the strike could last all Summer. The last WGA strike took place in November 2007 and ran until February 2008, though the longest writers strike took place from March 7th, 1988 and lasted until August 7th, 1988 – five months.

Disney+ content should be fine if the strike happens, at least for its tentpole franchises – Marvel and Star Wars. It was reported last week that though Marvel Studios and Disney initially planned to have five live-action series debut on the streaming service this year – Secret Invasion, Loki season two, Echo, Iron Heart and Agatha: Coven of Chaos, only two, Secret Invasion and Loki, are now guaranteed to release this year, with Secret Invasion rumoured to release in May, and Loki later in the Summer. If only those two series release this year, it means Marvel and Disney have five series already in the bag ready to release next year, along with two live-action Star Wars series, The Acolyte and the second season of Andor. It’s more than likely any live-action Star Wars series such as Mando 4 or a second season of Boba Fett wouldn’t release until 2025, and the same could be said for the two Marvel Studios series set to begin production this year, Wonder Man and Daredevil: Born Again. This means, at least on the Disney+ side, that if the WGA strike goes ahead, Disney will have more than enough content from their core franchises to hold them over.

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