Since “Rogue One”, Disney hasn’t hit a writing home run with its live action productions until Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, the genius minds behind “The Mandalorian”, had a good feeling about how the first Star Wars live action TV series should look like.
Like Solo and “Chewie”, they joined forces to bring Disney+ subscribers together for an original spin-off set five years after the events of “Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.”
Inspired by classic Western movies, such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, Mando, the main character, brings a lone-wolf-Man-with-No-Name vibe to the show that is an overload of badassery.
“I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.”
He belongs to a group called Mandalorians, a creed where warriors are never allowed to remove their helmets as a representation of their loyalty. Working as bounty hunters, they share their rewards with the head of the group to help new foundlings — orphans raised under the Mandalorians’ beliefs — as well as to fund new equipments and weapons.
Even though they didn’t give birth to the franchise’s universe, Favreau and Filoni brought new characters to the show, such as Cara Dune, played by former MMA fighter Gina Carano, Greef Karga, portrayed by Carl “Apollo Creed” Weathers, and Moff Gideon, brought to life by the talent of Giancarlo Esposito.
They also fathered “The Child” — also known as “Baby Yoda” — , who is by far the most iconic character on the show, whose powers extent are yet to be revealed.
The story has elements that seem to be taken from a typical RPG game: main character goes on quests to receive a reward and exchanges it for better items. Once he is back, there are more missions available and so on. However, just like in the entire Darth Vader saga, fatherhood is still the main theme behind all episodes.
Since the first season brings what could be seen as a compilation of short stories, Favreau and Filoni convinced Disney to bring different directors to lead the team on each episode, thus giving a unique dynamic to each story.
Disney simply replied, “I like those odds.”
They were also able to fund the special effects used for the entire show with technologies that go way beyond any power converter you may find at Tosche Station.
With the help of Lucasfilm’s subsidiary Industrial Light & Magic, Favreau and Filoni developed a giant video wall that uses parallax to move its 3D background according to real world camera positions, rendering elements in real time.
The result is a 3D set that looks real and can be modified as they shoot, adding new elements, objects, and light if necessary. These groundbreaking special effects might one day become Disney’s standard for its main features.
The new season of “The Mandalorian” premieres this Friday, October 30th. A must-see for all old and new Star Wars fans.