Star Wars: The Mandalorian is set to premiere next month, expanding the galaxy far, far away into the realm of live-action television. Thus far, the series is expected to include entirely new Star Wars characters, although some have significant ties to the franchise's lore. Among those is IG-11, a droid that bears a resemblance to the original trilogy's IG-88. In a recent interview with IGN, The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni spoke about the choice to feature IG-11, as opposed to just further expanding on IG-88's canon. Filoni, who previously worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, had a unique take on the whole thing.
"For me, working on Star Wars so long, I tend to like to lean towards creation of new characters." Filoni explained. "I love and respect the old characters and the classic characters - and sometimes I think maybe I'm a bit too reverent with things - but I like areas that are undefined now. Like my experience creating Ahsoka [Tano for Star Wars: The Clone Wars] in a space that was fairly well defined between two films, and yet we were able to land and add a valuable piece to that story in the prequels that didn't take away from any of Anakin or Obi-Wan's arc."
"So a droid like IG-88, if you know the Expanded Universe and the Star Wars history, there are a lot of stories around him or what might've happened to that particular droid." Filoni continued. "So out of respect for people that have been with this franchise a long time, it's like, 'well if we do something with this space, would that be contradicting those stories?' So it's better just to say, 'Well, there's other droids,' it's not like it was a unique assassin droid. And then we have a little more free-range. I mean, people forget in Empire, you never even see him walk or take a step - the prop was actually bolted to the floor. So just giving him feet was something new and original. But yeah, I just gravitate to the open field that you get with new characters, and then when you do bring up something, if you choose to, like when we brought Obi-Wan finally into Star Wars Rebels, I think it becomes significant and special."
This difference between IG-11 and IG-88 is expected to factor into Waititi's portrayal, as this newer character will have a bit more innocence than his predecessor.
“[IG-11 is] very innocent and naive and direct and doesn’t know about sarcasm and doesn’t know how to lie,” Waititi told Entertainment Weekly last month. “It’s like a child with a gun.”
The Mandalorian will premiere on November 12th on Disney+.