On October 19th, journalists gathered at the London Hotel to be the first to get a glimpse of Disney+’s new live action Star Wars series The Mandalorian. With state of the arts visual effects equaling its feature film counterparts, the footage was a stunning blend of new worlds and creatures.
The series takes place after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. It follows the life of The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), a lone gunfighter/bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy from the authority of the New Republic. Also starring in the series are Carl Weathers as Greef Carga, the head of the bounty hunter guild and Gina Carano as Cara Dune, who fought for the Rebel Alliance and now has become a mercenary.
Creator, head writer, showrunner and co-executive producer of the streaming series, Jon Favreau, and star, Pedro Pascal, were part of a press conference to discuss their exciting new project. The series begins streaming on November 14th, 2019, on Disney+.
This is the first live action Star Wars television series. Can you talk a little bit about what is so appealing about that to you?
Jon Favreau: As somebody who grew up with Star Wars, there was some aesthetic to it that I really gravitated to. My whole taste in movies was probably formed in a big way from seeing George Lucas’s original film. I learned about cinema through the lens of that film. My father would explain to me this is a lot like samurai movies, or this is a lot like westerns or World War II films. That became my inroad.
So (it’s good) to come back and return to this with the freedom that this new platform affords; the idea of telling a story over more than just a couple of hours.
It’s fun not to have a preciousness in the way we’re telling the stories, because we’re coming back to you next week with another one. It’s (a) bigger budget, it has a lot of the qualities and aesthetics of a film, but the serialized storytelling to me is where it really opened up a lot of freedom and opportunity. We don’t feel that we’re repeating or copying anything else that people have experienced from Star Wars.
Pedro, what was the moment you realized, I’m truly in the Star Wars universe?
Pedro Pascal: Putting the helmet on, for sure, which they had handy at our first meeting to see if it would fit. It fit perfectly. I guess, very simply, trying the costume on for the first time and looking in the mirror. You can’t see very well through the helmet, but I got a pretty clear impression.
If you grow up playing with Star Wars toys and seeing these movies, and then you’re staring at yourself, and you are the image of that kind of childhood imagination, it’s a super pinch me moment. Quote me exactly: “Super pinch me moment.”
You tease in the footage that the Mandalorian never takes off his mask. Technically, Pedro, you don’t have to be in a costume. It could be a voice over.
Pedro: Oh, but I guess I do.
So you do take off the mask?
Jon: Do you really want to know that?
Yes, why would you hide Pedro’s face?
Pedro: The real question is: do we ever take off our masks? (he laughs)
What would you say the percentage is as far as you being in the costume versus a stunt double?
Pedro: Well, stunt doubles are essential to every large production. Even for the strongest people or agile ones. None of it can get done without the incredible stunt work.
You have no idea the amount of star power from every department that goes into making something like this; from the person that is working on the shine of my shoulder to the person who built the entire ship that we’re shooting on. I haven’t seen anything like this.
I noticed the footage we saw today there were a lot of references to the Star Wars holiday special, Life Day. And, of course that’s where we saw our first Mandalorian.
Jon: Yes, that’s right.
Can you talk about why you wanted to connect those dots?
Jon: There definitely was the gun, the pulse rifle. But here’s the thing. We wanted to start fresh with a whole new set of characters that you never met before.
It reminds me of when we were starting with Iron Man. For new fans, these were new characters, new actors, and a new world. It was a really nice entry point for people who didn’t know anything about Marvel and just wanted to see a movie. And we assumed that you didn’t know anything and so we taught you, introduced you to everybody.
Director Dave Filoni
Gina Carano AKA Cara Dune
Showrunner Jon Favreau talking about director / actor Taika Waititi. In 2017, he directed the Marvel’s film Thor: Ragnarok.