'The Mandalorian' Timeline: What Else Is Going On in the 'Star Wars' Galaxy?

The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire, between the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, but pinpointing the setting of the Disney Plus series in the Star Wars timeline only tells part of the story. Since The Mandalorian takes place on the fringes of the Star Wars galaxy, it only occasionally touches on wider galactic turmoil. One such moment came in The Mandalorian Episode 3, which hints at what's going on elsewhere in the Star Wars galaxy.

In the third episode of The Mandalorian, the titular character is troubled after delivering the baby of Yoda's species to The Client (Werner Herzog).

"They work for the Empire, what are they doing here?" the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) asks Guild representative Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) after delivering the child bounty.

"The Empire is gone, Mando," Carga says. "All that are left are mercenaries and warlords. But if it bothers you, just go back to the Core and report them to the New Republic."

"That's a joke," the Mandalorian responds.

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The Mandalorian doesn't take seriously the authority of the New Republic. Lucasfilm/The Walt Disney Company

With all its midi-chlorians focused on the stoic, deliberative work of its bounty hunter, The Mandalorian is light on identifying details, not even naming planetary locations. But the mention of the New Republic is helpful in placing the series in the overall Star Wars timeline and understanding the show's wider context.

The New Republic was the democratic government formed after the fall of the Galactic Empire. The Alliance to Restore the Republic, more commonly known as the Rebel Alliance, moved quickly after the Battle of Endor, reestablishing the Galactic Senate that same year. Rather than the former capital of Coruscant, the new Galactic government first assembled on Chancellor Mon Mothma's home world of Chandrila, with member worlds hosting the Senate on a rotating basis.

While the Senate held power in the Galactic Core, their presence drove the remnants of the Empire outward, into the Outer Rim worlds, where The Mandalorian is set. New separatists factions, including a corporate confederacy, also popped up during this period to challenge New Republic authority.

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Who is The Client really working for? Lucasfilm/The Walt Disney Company

The Mandalorian is set at the beginning of this chaotic period, just five years after the Battle of Endor—placing the series at 9 ABY on the timeline.

The Star Wars timeline is measured on the Galactic Standard Calendar, based on the solar cycle of Coruscant and roughly corresponding to our own conception of years. Events are typically counted as taking place in years BBY or ABY—Before or After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin was the attack on the first Death Star seen in the 1977 movie Star Wars, and the opening salvo in a Civil War that would eventually bring down the Galactic Empire with the death of Emperor Palpatine in 4 ABY.

"It was really compelling to me," The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau said, while sharing series details at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April. "What happened after the celebration of the Empire falling? The revolution is successful, and then what happens? Now what?"

Outside of a few books and comics, The Mandalorian is the first substantial exploration of this period on the Star Wars Galactic timeline. Still, a few other events are known from these years. While not an official designation, the period between the Empire's last stand on Jakku and the explosive reemergence of the First Order is often described as a cold war period in Galactic history. The Empire has largely receded into the Unknown Regions (likely to be an important plot point in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), but pardoned Imperial officials continued to destabilize the New Republic governing coalition.

In later years, including those following The Mandalorian timeline, internal and external threats against the New Republic grew. A Senate faction known as the Centrists wanted to centralize power and model the more authoritarian style of the Empire, while the New Republic was harried by border raids undertaken by the growing First Order. Crime also ran rampant throughout the galaxy, with organizations like the Ranc gang (introduced in the Marvel Comics series Poe Dameron) taking advantage of Imperial tech for their own ends, and sometimes finding a willing ally in the First Order.

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While the Mandalorian takes on old-school stormtroopers, it's likely only a few years before the sleek new First Order stormtrooper uniforms start popping up in the Outer Rim part of the "Star Wars" galaxy. Lucasfilm/The Walt Disney Company

It's not until 34 ABY that the New Republic Senate is destroyed by the First Order, as seen in The Force Awakens, leaving a 30 year window between Episode VI and Episode VII of the overall Star Wars saga. The Mandalorian takes place when Ben Solo, later to become Kylo Ren, is only four years old. Finn and Rey have yet to be born. Nevertheless, conditions for the war in which they will fight are already emerging during the time of The Mandalorian.

New episodes of The Mandalorian stream on Disney Plus every Friday.

'The Mandalorian' Timeline: What Else Is Going On in the 'Star Wars' Galaxy? | Newsgeek