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Having already teased his return within the season premiere, Temuera Morrison formalized his position because the bounty hunter Boba Fett — the unique wearer of that iconic armor — in an action-packed episode that premiered Dec. 4.

Through the decade between the second and third “Star Wars” trilogies — the hole from “Revenge of the Sith” to “The Pressure Awakens” — animated TV exhibits carried the banner for Lucasfilm. With the flicks once more at a crossroads, the brand new live-action standard-bearer has exhibited an uncanny knack for tapping into the fan base’s passions.

Because the earlier episode underscored, animation has lengthy been an unsung hero of the “Star Wars” franchise, each by way of protecting the model alive and planting seeds to assist domesticate its current and future.

With the newest chapter, the present reached even deeper into “Star Wars” lore, providing the type of dazzling motion sequence involving Boba Fett that frankly eclipses something the character (or his father, Jango) did within the earlier films.

One key ingredient in “The Mandalorian’s” evolution could be Dave Filoni, who govt produced the animated collection and has joined Jon Favreau in shepherding alongside this primary live-action TV present.

Filoni, notably, wrote and directed the episode titled “The Jedi,” which introduced some of the widespread “Clone Wars” characters, Ahsoka Tano, into the live-action realm, performed by Rosario Dawson.

Ahsoka’s look — which prompted one other rapturous wrinkle within the Pressure — is one in all a number of ties to the animated exhibits.

Along with Ahsoka — who had served as Anakin Skywalker’s padawan earlier than his fall to the darkish aspect — the brand new season launched Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, reprising a Mandalorian warrior she voiced on these animated packages. Ahsoka additionally referenced looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, a blue-faced dangerous man from “Rebels.”

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All this may sound arcane to those that by no means tuned into the collection, which primarily performed on kids’s cable networks. “Clone Wars” premiered in 2008 on Cartoon Community, later enjoying on Netflix, and lately ending its run on Disney+. “Rebels,” set 5 years earlier than the unique “A New Hope,” aired on Disney XD, an adjunct of Disney Channel.

The live-action collection has however highlighted how these smaller platforms can and have been used to maintain the “Star Wars” model.

With Ahsoka’s debut, and now Boba Fett, the notion of seeing such figures crop up elsewhere — together with live-action TV and even films — appears particularly ripe with prospects, with huge gaps that may very well be stuffed in these timelines.

Nor, it ought to be famous, has the dedication to animation ceased, with a “Clone Wars” spinoff, “Star Wars: The Unhealthy Batch,” scheduled to hit Disney+ subsequent 12 months.
Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio has made clear that the “Star Wars” galaxy is huge sufficient to discover throughout quite a lot of fronts. However when the prequel “Solo: A Star Wars Story” yielded disappointing box-office outcomes, Lucasfilm dialed again its theatrical ambitions.

What “The Mandalorian” has demonstrated — by plunging into “Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” and now the unique trilogy — is that the urge for food for extra “Star Wars” is on the market. And if the aim is maintain stoking these embers, that is, certainly, the best way.

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