Disney has run guns blazing into the streaming wars with an arsenal bolstered by every facet of the media giant's gargantuan entertainment holdings - from the Star Wars franchise to the Marvel universe and all the original Disney you can handle.
With a catalogue full of the entertainment industry's biggest and most-established franchises, the arrival of Disney+ in the streaming market is a game-changer.
New Zealand is one of the first five countries in the world to gain access to Disney+, which launches here (and in Australia) today, just one week after going live in the United States, Canada and The Netherlands.
Not only that, but it costs just $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year), as opposed to Netflix, which recently upped its prices to range between $11.99 (for the most basic package) and $21.99.
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That $10 will buy you hundreds of live-action Disney movies and animated features (including Pixar), all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films (with some new MCU shows on the horizon), a raft of National Geographic content, every episode of The Simpsons and, of course, Star Wars.
Disney+ is coming in hot, launching with not only an impressive back catalogue but a slate of new offerings, including what could reasonably be described as one of the most anticipated TV shows of all time: the first ever live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.
The series takes place in the period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, a lawless time both fruitful and perilous for gunslingers like the mysterious title character, who is played by Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones' Oberyn Martel, aka the Red Viper).
Casual Star Wars fans will note his helmet resembles those worn by Boba Fett in the original trilogy and by Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) in the prequel trilogy. Hardcore Star Wars fans know that the Fetts weren't actually from Mandalore but borrowed the uniform of the planet's super-commandos.
It remains to be seen how often the Mandalorian will remove his iconic helmet but Pascal is always under it and the actor says that the first time he tried it on was the culmination of a childhood dream.
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"It fit perfectly," Pascal tells TimeOut, barely containing his glee. "Trying the costume on for the first time and looking in the makeup mirror ... if you grow up playing with Star Wars toys and seeing those movies and then you're staring at yourself and you are the image of that childhood imagination, it's a super 'pinch me' moment."
Among the The Mandalorian's eclectic supporting cast is MMA fighter-turned-actor Gina Carano, Rocky franchise mainstay Carl Weathers (Action Jackson), German film-maker Werner Herzog and Taika Waititi. Sort of.
The Kiwi writer/director/actor behind Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok directed the finale of The Mandorian's eight-episode first season and also provides the voice of IG-11, a droid character the same model as The Empire Strikes Back's bounty hunter, IG-88.
The Mandalorian's showrunner Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and The Lion King), tells TimeOut that Waititi brought his specific flair to both positions.
"When he shows up, it gets everybody excited, it's a fresh energy on the set," Favreau says of Waititi. "He brings his style of humour to it but he also is a fan. The guy is just such a powerhouse right now, creatively."
Favreau had previously got to know Waititi due to them both having directed Marvel movies.
"We had been sharing experiences that we'd had [with Marvel]. But to actually be on the set and to witness what he did was tremendous. And to have him do the voice of IG-11 and bring that specific tone to that character, was fantastic."
Helping Favreau steer The Mandalorian is fellow executive producer Dave Filoni, a revered figure in Star Wars fandom thanks to his work on the beloved (and canonical) animated shows Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, which will also be available on Disney+.
"I met Dave because I was up at Skywalker Ranch mixing Iron Man," says Favreau. "And he was secretly working with [Star Wars creator] George [Lucas] on Clone Wars before anybody had ever heard of it. I showed him Iron Man, he showed me Clone Wars."
That creative connection resulted in Favreau eventually voicing a character on Clone Wars, a Mandalorian no less. He says that Filoni's role on the new show strengthens its links to Lucas.
"What's so nice is that George had worked with him for 10 years, so a lot of what's wonderful about working with Dave is that continuity of vision."
Filoni, who directed two episodes of The Mandalorian, was excited to venture into live-action Star Wars, having worked exclusively in animation so far.
"I treated it as boot camp for me to learn this kind of film-making," Filoni tells TimeOut. "I tried to offer the knowledge that had been passed on to me by George and the way that he liked to shoot things."
The 27 minutes of selected scenes screened for journalists reveals The Mandalorian to have some pretty deep cuts – there's more than one reference to the fabled Star Wars Holiday Special. Favreau loves the Easter eggs but says the show is designed to cater to fans both new and long-term.
"We wanted to start fresh with a whole new set of characters that you've never met before," says Favreau. "And coalesce it in a way that creates an overarching narrative and rewards the people who've been putting the time in over the years since they were kids growing up with it."
Unlike many streaming platforms, Disney+ isn't adopting the binge model for its original series. The first two episodes of The Mandalorian will be available upon Disney+'s launch in New Zealand, with new ones dropping every Friday after that. Favreau says that sets it apart from the movies.
"The idea of telling a story over more than just a couple of hours told every few years, opens us up. [This] has a lot of the qualities and aesthetics of a film, [but with] serialised storytelling. To me that's where it really opened up a lot of freedom and opportunity where we don't feel that we're repeating or copying anything else that people have experienced from Star Wars."
Who: Jon Favreau, Pedro Pascal, Dave Filoni
What: The Mandalorian
When: Coming to Disney+ when it launches next Tuesday.
THE 411 ON DISNEY+
Launch date: Tuesday, November 19
How to join: Visit Disneyplus.com/nz
The cost: $9.99 a month or $99.99 per year
The perks: Access to all things Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic, including Disney Exclusives like The Mandalorian and the new Loki and Scarlet Witch series from Marvel.
Bonus: Unlimited downloads