Was The Mandalorian's New Episode a Backdoor Pilot for Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic?

Just hours after announcing a horde of new movie and TV projects set to arrive over the next few years, Star Wars seemingly already used its tentpole title to set one of them up. Friday morning brought the newest episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, the penultimate episode of the show's second season, and it helped lay the groundwork for Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic, a spinoff that was revealed to be in development after Thursday afternoon. Looking at the bigger picture, it feels like the franchise may have been using Mandalorian as a backdoor pilot of sorts, setting up the events of the upcoming Rangers series.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian! Continue reading at your own risk...

Lucasfilm and Disney+ haven't revealed exactly what Rangers of the New Republic is about, and all we really know is that it takes place during the timeline of The Mandalorian. What we do know, however, is that two of the guest characters on The Mandalorian are currently working for the New Republic. Cara Dune is the most well-known, having taken up a position as the marshal of Nevarro, but she's not the only one. There's also the X-Wing pilot, Captain Carson Teva, who convinced Cara to work with the New Republic in the first place.

Neither Cara nor Carson carry the title of "Ranger," but that's where this new episode comes in. A ranger is typically someone who protects and/or serves a community or place. In the case of the New Republic, that likely mean ridding the galaxy of the remnants of the Empire, like the base featured in Chapter 15. Cara worked with Fennec Shand, Boba Fett, Mando, and Mayfeld to get into the facility, ultimately destroying in the process (though that wasn't the initial plan). You could see the wheels turning in her head throughout the events of the episode, but especially at the end.

When Mayfeld set off the explosives at the base, Cara saw an opportunity in him. He's a former stormtrooper who knows how the Empire functions, and he hates that same Empire as much as she does. There's a reason that she doesn't send him back to jail when the mission is over. Their paths are likely going to cross again.

Mayfeld now longer has an identity, as Cara said she was going to report back that he had died on the mission, making him totally anonymous. Fennec Shand is also believed to be dead. Those two are the building blocks of a task force that will be able to get in and out of any Imperial facilities in the galaxy, keeping the New Republic from having to wage another war.

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Nothing official about this new series has been announced, so it's all speculation at this point, but it makes too much sense not to think about. Bill Burr and Ming-Na Wen are already fan-favorites amongst the Star Wars faithful. Folks would absolutely tune in to watch those two lead a group of intergalactic agents on dangerous missions against the Empire.

What do you want to see out of the new Rangers spinoff series? Let us know in the comments!