5 TV shows to watch if you like The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian‘s third season has come to an end, and it’s going to be a long time before season 4 rolls around. Since new episodes haven’t even started filming yet, late 2024 or even 2025 is the soonest that The Mandalorian‘s next season will hit Disney+. Now, it’s not like there’s any shortage of Star Wars shows on Disney+, but none of them quite scratch the same itch as The Mandalorian. It’s got a particular blend of sci-fi meets Western, with a cool bounty hunter, and the most adorable (and possibly only) Baby Yoda in existence. What show could compete with that?

As it happens, there are other series that offer a lot of the same things that we love about The Mandalorian. Not all of them are on the same level, of course. But if you follow our recommendations and watch these five shows, then maybe the long wait for The Mandalorian season 4 won’t feel so long after all.

Firefly (2002-2003)

The cast of Firefly.

Firefly was only on Fox for a single season, but it inspired a cult following that has endured to this day regardless of the way fans currently feel about series creator, Joss Whedon. There are few shows that successfully join the sci-fi and Western genres like Firefly. It even takes place in a future that is just coming out of a civil war, which only adds to the rustic flavor.

Nathan Fillion stars as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, an ex-revolutionary who finds his freedom in the stars alongside the makeshift crew of the Serenity, which includes Zoe Alleyne Washburne (Gina Torres), Hoban “Wash” Washburne (Alan Tudyk), Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin), and Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite), with a Companion, Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin), who gives the ship an extra touch of status in the galaxy.

When the Serenity takes on a Sheppard (preacher) named Book (Ron Glass), Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher), and his sister, River Tam (Summer Glau), as passengers, Mal’s crew finds themselves targeted by government forces that want River back at all costs. It’s kind of like the Empire’s chase for Baby Yoda/Grogu in The Mandalorian. But Firefly is a singular achievement that has not been matched by network television in the two decades since it went off the air.

Stream Firefly on Hulu.

Altered Carbon (2018-2020)

Joel Kinnaman in Altered Carbon.

Netflix spent a fortune bringing Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon to life, and it all shows up on the screen. This cyberpunk tale takes place in a future where the rich and powerful can almost live forever by uploading their memories into new “sleeves,” which is what they call spare bodies. The series follows Takeshi “Tak” Kovacs, a former member of the revolutionaries known as The Envoys. In the first season, Kovacs’ memories are placed in a new body (portrayed by Joel Kinnaman) as he is tasked by a wealthy man named Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) to discover who killed one of Bancroft’s earlier bodies before his memories could be saved.

Make no mistake, this is a sci-fi story at its core, and the second season expands the scale as Anthony Mackie takes over the lead role as Kovacs’ latest body. By then, Kovacs has the equivalent of a droid sidekick, an artificial intelligence that bases its persona on Edgar Allan Poe (Chris Conner). And Poe is often more sympathetic than Kovacs is!

Stream Altered Carbon on Netflix.

Killjoys (2015-2019)

The cast of Killjoys.

If you like one kickass intergalactic bounty hunter on The Mandalorian, then you’ll probably love the three bounty hunters at the heart of Killjoys. Years before she joined the MCU in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hannah John-Kamen headlined this series as Yalena “Dutch” Yardeen, an elite RAC agent who was teamed with her best friend, Johnny Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore). They were doing just fine as a pair until Johnny’s older brother, D’avin Jaqobis (Luke Macfarlane), came along.

At Dutch’s suggestion, D’avin becomes a bounty hunter and joins her team with Johnny. But much to Johnny’s chagrin, D’avin and Dutch’s mutual attraction is messing with their dynamic. There are also dark forces that are manipulating D’avin’s mind, and a far more sinister conspiracy involving Dutch’s past. Life is never easy for these Killjoys, but the show got a full five seasons to explore their stories in the stars.

Stream Killjoys on DirecTV.

Dark Matter (2015-2017)

The cast of Dark Matter.

Who are you without your memories and experiences? The sci-fi series, Dark Matter, adds a bit of mystery when six people wake up from stasis on the starship Raza, and they have no idea who they are. Since they can’t remember their proper names, they go by One (Marc Bendavid), Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Anthony Lemke), Four (Alex Mallari Jr.), Five (Jodelle Ferland), and Six (Roger Cross).

To their horror, the crew of the Raza discovers that their original personas were among the deadliest criminals in the galaxy. The kind of thieves and murderers that the Mandalorian would have brought in dead or alive on his show. But in this series, the crew, and their android companion (Zoie Palmer), try to find new identities while reconciling with their past. And one of the crew isn’t who he says he is…

Stream Dark Matter on The CW.

Halo (2022-Present)

Spartan soldiers in Halo.

Out of all of the shows on this list, Halo is the one that shamelessly lifted elements from The Mandalorian instead of pursuing a more direct adaptation of the hit video game series that inspired it. Pablo Schreiber stars as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, a legendary Spartan super soldier in the far future where humanity is locked in a war with the aliens known as The Covenant.

When The Covenant wipes out the human colony on Madrigal, a teenager named Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha) is the only survivor. After Master Chief saves Kwan’s life, he defies his superior’s orders to silence her and goes on the run with Kwan under his protection. Meanwhile, the creator of the Spartan super soldiers, Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey (Natascha McElhone), displays an obsession with cloning and a drive to get Master Chief back under control.

Stream Halo on Paramount+.

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