The Mandoverse is Heir to the Empire

The Mandoverse is Heir to the Empire Already

Lately, there has been quite a bit of buzz about Dave Filoni’s upcoming Star Wars movie temporarily dubbed “Heir to the Empire”. Some rumor sources have even claimed that this is the name of the film.

There isn’t any real evidence that it’s the case, though I would not rule it out as a future film title.

However, it’s no surprise that fans would believe Filoni’s film bears the name as Timothy Zahn’s famous 90s Star Wars novel. After all, since Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn and other elements of the trilogy have been re-canonized.

I believe that the entirety of the “Mandoverse” is the remake of Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. But perhaps “remake” is too strong of a word

Rather, broad story elements are being retold with different characters to stand in for the Original Trilogy characters, and characters unique to Heir to the Empire.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first series of the Mandoverse takes place 5 years after the Return of the Jedi. After all, it’s when the first book of Zahn’s original trilogy begins.

All the series of the Mandoverse so far, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and Skeleton Crew bring together different characters and subplots culminating in one film that very loosely mirror elements of Heir to the Empire.

Here are the new characters.

Ahsoka is the Luke Skywalker of Heir to the Empire

The newest series of the Mandoverse, Ahsoka, will focus on Ahsoka exclusively as she searches for Thrawn and Ezra Bridger. This series is partly a continuation of Star Wars: Rebels. That’s not to say we won’t see another CGI Luke Skywalker in Filoni’s film, but I don’t think he’d be more than a cameo.

It’s possible that we should see Ezra and Ahsoka as both representatives of the original Jedi character for Zahn’s novels. However, I think Ahsoka will occupy the primary Jedi character.

Ahsoka is the "Luke" of the new Heir to the Empire
Ahsoka represents the “Luke” of the Mandoverse Heir to the Empire

Ahsoka already knows of Thrawn, and has been actively seeking him. Morgan Elsbeth, the very obviously Dathomirian witch, has been working with him. The Nightsisters may occupy the former role of the Noghri, a race of aliens, in the Legends novels.

Rukh was in Star Wars Rebels, but was killed. Given the decimation of the Nightsisters in the Clone Wars, I can see them trying to align with anyone who can offer them a renewed place in the Galaxy.

Din Djarin and Bo Katan Kryze are the Han and Leia

I’ve written plenty on how Din and Bo are likely becoming a couple. I’ve also written of their unique female animus and male anima relationship here.

Again, the Mandoverse characters are not one-to-one mirrors of their OT counterparts in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire novels. They are placeholder types. Din and Bo are not Jedi, but they are fighters. Like Leia, Bo-Katan is a princess.

Han and Din are not very similar as characters, but they don’t need to be. Rather, they occupy similar story PLACES. In the Legends novels, Han and Leia are a part of the New Republic, with Leia as the leader and Han running missions.

Din Djarin ended this past season of The Mandalorian, officially as a father and aide to the New Republic. Instead of being a smuggler like Han, his occupation was bounty hunter, but like Han he’s turning his work history to something for the good.

He is has a Force sensitive son. Again, Han and Leia have Force sensitive children by the end of Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy, and those children are hunted. Grogu is that hunted child here.

Bo-Katan Kryze isn’t cemented officially as Grogu’s mother yet, but I speculate that she will be. While Leia Organa is currently working in the Core Worlds trying to lead the New Republic with her young son Ben Solo, Bo-Katan of the Mandoverse is leading Mandalore.

Force Sensitive Children of the Mandoverse

I don’t think we’ll see Ben Solo in this series. However, there is one, and potentially one more Force-sensitive child to stand in for the Jacen and Jaina Solo of the original Heir to the Empire.

Grogu is the primary child. He has already been hunted by Moff Gideon, who perhaps represented the Joruss C’Baoth character in the novels after Leia’s children. It’s also possible that it is other characters in Ahsoka who will want Force senstive children like Din’s green boy.

We also can’t forget Jacen Syndulla, the child of Hera Syndulla and Kanan in Star Wars Rebels. We know that Hera is back in Ahsoka’s series. So far, fans haven’t been told the whereabouts of Jacen who was named after Jacen Solo.

Boba Fett is the Mandoverse Talon Karrde

In Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy, Talon Karrde is an honorable man who is a smuggler and underworld leader who helps our heroes. He is portrayed as just man who ends up taking over after Jabba the Hutt’s death.

I think Boba Fett has stepped into that particular role now. Boba Fett has never been a malicious person, and his character’s arc was planned a long time ago. You can read more about that here.

Just as Talon Karrde had a working relationship with Han Solo, Boba Fett has one with Din Djarin. I think that Boba Fett will likely argue for neutrality for Tatooine, but gradually offer more help to the New Republic, or at the very least, to the Mandalorians.

Other bits of Heir to the Empire in the Mandoverse

I don’t think the Mandoverse will follow the Legends Heir to the Empire to the letter at all. But we will certainly see much of the same ideas play out. I’ve been wondering about the fate of Mount Tantiss on Weyland. That was a planet from Zahn’s books in which Thrawn made his Spaarta clones.

I’ve talked before how Nala Se was likely working on her own version of fast made clones here. I’m not sure that this particular cloning operation will survive beyond season 3 of the Bad Batch, however.

I think Palpatine will be forced to remove much of his operations to Exegol. However, it is possible Mt Tantiss will be abandoned and re-used by Thrawn. Or it’s possible that story aspect was concluded with Moff Gideon’s story this past season.

Of course, The Bad Batch is long before the events of the Mandoverse.

But why do I bring this up? Because Fennec Shand ties that era with the Mandoverse. Fennec has known Omega, Nala Se and now she works for Boba Fett. I think Fennec’s knowledge will come in handy and if Mt Tantiss is still in play as a part of Mandoverse version of Heir to the Empire, this might tie those two storylines together.

Bonus if we finally get Boba Fett and Omega united via Fennec Shand.

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