When The Mandalorian premiered last year, fans in the UK were left waiting like Luke Skywalker, longing for an adventure they knew was out there but just out of reach. This time around UK fans won’t have to wait as season two is hitting Disney Plus on the same day as America which means that Disney UK is getting in on the promotional build up with these ten fun facts about Star Wars’ first live action series.
There’s not much here that long term fans will find revelatory but there’s some nice quotes from Jon Favreau and Pedro Pascal about the series.
1 – THE SHOW’S STARTING POINT IS LINKED TO THE SKYWALKER RANCH
Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are two of the creative masterminds behind The Mandalorian, so it’s very telling that their very first meeting was on George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch more than a decade ago. “I met Dave because I was up at the Ranch mixing the first Iron Man movie and he was secretly working with George on The Clone Wars before anybody had ever heard of it,” reveals Jon Favreau. “I secretly showed him Iron Man and he showed me The Clone Wars—and I was blown away. I was like, ‘If you ever need a voice on this, I’d love to do it.’ That eventually turned into me playing a Mandalorian named Pre Vizsla on his show. That was the start of our history of working together.”
2 – PEDRO PASCAL HAD NO IDEA HE WAS LINED UP FOR THE LEAD ROLE
When Pedro Pascal walked into his first meeting for The Mandalorian, he had no inkling that he was being approached to play the lead role. The actor recalls being in a meeting room with wall-to-wall displays of artwork from the show during his first appointment with executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. “They were the most gorgeous Star Wars images you could possibly imagine,” Pascal admits. “I asked them, ‘Well, what role do I have to audition for? This creature? This robot? What? They looked confused and said, ‘You’re the Mandalorian.’ It was exciting.”
3 – THE SHOW IS FILLED WITH SECRET STAR WARS EASTER EGGS
Stay alert when you watch the action unfold because there are tons of treats in the show for eagle-eyed Star Wars fans. “We wanted to make sure that if you were watching and you know Star Wars then you will be rewarded,” explains Jon Favreau. “And this is where Dave has been a treasure trove of information. We tried different ways to work stuff in, whether it’s humorously by making a reference to Life Day, or a reference to a prop that has been appreciated by a core group of fans over time. It’s been exciting to put these little Easter eggs into the story; it rewards the people who’ve been putting the time in over the years since they were kids growing up with it.”
4 – THE SHOW IS FOR NEWCOMERS AS WELL AS LIFE-LONG STAR WARS FANS
It was the storytellers’ mission for the show to appeal to newcomers, as well as hardcore fans of the Star Wars saga. “I honestly think the beauty of The Mandalorian is that you don’t really need to know anything about Star Wars to enjoy it,” reveals executive producer Dave Filoni. “If you know that Mandalorians are notoriously the greatest warriors in the galaxy and they’ll fight you to prove it, then that will go a long way. You’ll seem smarter at the start, but you don’t need to know Star Wars lore.”
5 – CARL WEATHERS HAS A DIRECTING ROLE IN SEASON TWO
When Carl Weathers signed up for The Mandalorian, he wasn’t expecting to have much screen-time as Greef Karga. “We roped him in,” chuckles Jon Favreau. “It started off with, ‘Hey, maybe you’ll do a few episodes.’ And then it turned into, ‘You know, we really like your character…’ We worked him into the show a lot more than he agreed to do. And now, in season two, he’ll be directing for us. By Carl being on this high-tech innovative set that we’ve developed for these specific stories, he’s seen how we have put this together. He’s seen us experimenting with it and he’s seen it all come together, so he is perfectly qualified. He understands the story. He understands the characters, as well as the cast and the technology. It’s really fun to be working with Carl.”
6 – PEDRO PASCAL TRIES TO MAKE HIS CHARACTER AS RELATABLE AS POSSIBLE
There’s a unique sense of humanity in Pedro Pascal’s portrayal of the lead character, Din Djarin. “I love the opportunity I’ve been given to make him as human and as accessible as possible,” explains the actor. “That’s a strange thing to say because it’s impossible to get to him; he’s covered in armor from head to toe. And yet, the idea is that he’s relatable. In a way, we’re all covered in our own armor. And we’re all terrified of taking that armor off. That’s the thing that crosses him over into a character that we’re all going to want to follow.”
7 – WERNER HERZOG WAS BROUGHT INTO THE SHOW BY JON FAVREAU
Famed movie director Werner Herzog steps in front of the camera to play the mysterious role of The Client in The Mandalorian—and he blames it all on Jon Favreau. “Let’s face it, it’s Jon Favreau who got me into the mess,” Herzog says with a smile. “I knew within less than sixty seconds that this was going to be big, because I saw the universe, I saw the costumes and I saw the spacecraft. Secondly, when Jon explained a little bit about the character to me, I knew it was going to be easy. I enjoyed every single moment of it.” And he especially enjoyed The Child. Herzog was affected emotionally by the character and taken aback by how realistic the practical puppet was.
8 – STAR WARS CREATOR GEORGE LUCAS VISITED THE MANDALORIAN SET
If you take a look at Jon Favreau’s social media, you might spot a photograph of a Star Wars icon on the set of The Mandalorian. “It was a very special day when George Lucas came to visit,” recalls Jon Favreau. “The cast were on set that day, but George really came by to see Dave. He didn’t say it in front of Dave, because he didn’t want to embarrass him, but I could see that George was very proud that Dave was moving on to the next step. George discovered Dave, and they ended up working together for 10 years on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. They have a long relationship and understanding of filmmaking; of Star Wars. And now, Dave has taken the next step into live-action directing. I think that’s a big reason George was there.”
9 – PEDRO PASCAL WAS GIVEN A WIDE RANGE OF REFERENCES FOR THE ROLE
When it comes to playing the role of the Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal was given a number of movie references to watch before stepping on to the show’s set. “I asked Jon Favreau, ‘What should I be looking at?'” explains the actor. “He immediately brought up Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone with movies like Yojimbo and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. For that reason, the [character of the] Mandalorian is very samurai, Clint [Eastwood] to me.”
10 – THE CREATIVE TEAM’S ARTWORK IS ON DISPLAY IN THE SHOW
Thankfully, the stellar concept art for The Mandalorian hasn’t been locked away in a secret Star Wars vault. Instead, the jaw-dropping visuals created by artists, including Doug Chiang, Jama Jurabaev, John Park, Christian Alzmann, Ryan Church, Nick Gindraux and more, are on display in every episode. “We have included some of the artwork at the end of the show,” reveals Jon Favreau. “Each week, you see some of the images in the end credits.”
The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. ‘The Mandalorian’ stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito. Directors for the new season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez. Showrunner Jon Favreau serves as executive producer along with Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson, with Karen Gilchrist serving as co-executive producer.
Season two of The Mandalorian begins streaming exclusively on Disney Plus on Friday, October 30.