Please do not share the details of this article openly on social media and spoil The Mandalorian for those that want to remain spoiler-free. These are very general spoilers but let’s respect other fans’ wishes and not spoil those that do not appreciate spoilers. What follows will be considered a spoiler to some so as always, be cool!
This one of those stories that is “spoilery” but at the same time not unlike seeing the toy at the store before the show or film is out. On our podcast we call these “Target” spoilers or basically stuff you’re gonna see at Target before you’ve seen the film or in this case the Disney+ streaming series.
Star Wars loves trenches. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given a story that lacks some details and trenches become a topic of clarification. We have the trench on the Death Star. We have Resistance fighters in trenches on Crait. We had a set on IX that required a trench to be dug up for entirely different reasons. We have crews that just dig trenches for cameras to get shots that are low to the ground. We also have a giant spider man named Admiral Trench because of course we do. Today’s trench is apparently about transporting people on what we think might be a lava river.
The Mando Location in Southern California
For the last few days we have observed a large trench being dug into the ground at the location of Star Wars: The Mandalorian. At first we didn’t know if it would be for a camera rig or a trench like something out of Solo: A Star Wars Story. We quickly started to see crew members lining up the black molten rock foam along the sides of it. A tunnel also sprang up and the tunnel appears to be coated in blackened molten rock inside just like the cooled lava we saw around the previous sets. We jokingly called it “The Tunnel of Love” (no relation to the The Force Awakens codeword) for the last several days before more details popped up.
A day or so later, a skiff or boat also showed up on set confirming it was essentially a canal. The skiff is the same gray as the speeder we saw before, but we think it still may need paint applied to it. While the skiff in these photos is probably unfinished, there is a chance that is the actual color of the ship since it matches other decor around the sets.
At one point we could see that the skiff does in fact have wheels on the bottom of it so it can move through the canal. A short while later a forklift also moved the skiff inside the tunnel so it will leave the tunnel and set out on the canal’s water or lava. We have place and function.
A Skiff Theory, Questions, and Memories
Now, This is Podcasting’s Jon and I baselessly theorized that the trench may be how the city evacuates the excess lava to keep the settlement inhabitable. If that should be the case, do these skiffs use those canals as avenues for transport as well? Does the skiff float or fly? Does this skiff just pass by, meanwhile our heroes sneak in through the city’s canal systems? Also: who rides on this thing?
This story might be the first actual “breaking news” story in recent memory. This is actually happening right now as this story comes out and it may actually develop like “breaking news” does. But no promises. However, if we learn anything else about the skiffs and the canal we will update you. With it being Thanksgiving week in the United States there isn’t much time left in the week for filming.
I’m really happy to see a skiff on screen since we haven’t really seen one in live action since Return of the Jedi. As a kid, I could never find Jabba’s skiff at the store. We really tried and just never saw one at retail. One of my favorite Star Wars childhood memories was finally finding one at an antique store in 1988 when Star Wars was as dead as it has ever been. My father saw the price tag and scoffed. We called the booth’s owner and he was firm on the price. So my dad took me to the hobby store and we made one out of balsa wood over a weekend. I remember soaking the pieces of wood so we could bend them into shape. It was pretty accurate. We even made the plank retract. We used kabob skewers for the pointed fins which made it a delicate-yet-dangerous toy for an eight-year-old.
Who knows if this skiff will have an important sequence or just float by in the background of one shot. But that’s the rad thing about Star Wars. It also doesn’t mean we aren’t looking at something that will be huge to us later. I’m reminded of that after spending the week looking at Death Troopers we only really associated with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in live action. Every new design or concept could be the next things we see everywhere in Star Wars stories moving forward.
The Mandalorian will be streamed on the Disney+ streaming service in 2019. The series has an eclectic lineup of directors supervised by showrunner Jon Favreau. The Mandalorian will be the first live-action small-screen Star Wars and will be followed up by a Cassian Andor spy thriller series.
The Kessel Toy Run
If you enjoyed the scoops the MakingStarWars.com team has brought to you today, please consider donating a Star Wars toy to a hospitalized child this holiday season. The Kessel Toy Run allows us to give the gift of Star Wars to seriously ill children and their siblings. The toys are delivered by costumed Star Wars characters and it makes a huge difference in the kid’s experience in the hospital which only improves the chances for recovery. Star Wars-themed toys and activity books are welcomed!