When adding new stories to existing franchises created by someone else, there is a natural desire to have the blessings of the original creator. The Mandalorian is a spinoff from the world of Star Wars created by George Lucas. In an interview executive producer of the Disney+ show Dave Filoni, who has worked with Lucas on Star Wars projects in the past, revealed the latter enjoys watching the series as a fan instead of a creator.
"When I talk with him, I like to get more knowledge. He'll give me some reminders, especially before I shoot something, about how many setups I should try to get in a day, and I might rack his brain for certain things about how to cover a scene. He's been very complimentary. I think he's enjoyed the show, and he said once [that] now he gets to watch it as a fan and watch it as a viewer. My job is to bring that knowledge forward and pass on what I've learned from him in every discipline to Jon and to the creative departments."
While having Lucas' approval on a Star Wars project seems like a no-brainer, the filmmaker has had little to do with the direction the franchise has taken since he sold the series to Disney. In fact, former Disney CEO Bob Iger made it clear in his memoir that George Lucas was not a fan of 2015's J.J. Abrams' feature The Force Awaken, which was meant to usher in a new era for Star Wars films.
"He didn't hide his disappointment. 'There's nothing new,' [Lucas] said. In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, 'There weren't enough visual or technical leaps forward.'"
Many fans would agree with Lucas' negative assessment of the new Star Wars movies and positive assessment of the Disney+ show. In fact, reviews for The Mandalorian often cite the series as a return to Lucas' original vision for the franchise, telling tales of morality and the struggle between good and evil on alien worlds with gunslinger-type characters.
Lucas is also probably impressed with the technology being used to make The Mandalorian. The series makes use of a groundbreaking new Unreal Engine tech that is used in the gaming industry to create a holodeck-type projection on set while filming. The projection depicts the alien world of the series in real-time, allowing actors to react to the VFX setting in their performance instead of having to imagine everything.
Experts predict The Mandalorian's on-set VFX techniques will soon be adopted by the rest of the entertainment industry, which is exactly the kind of technological innovation Lucas was invested in that allowed his Star Wars movies to stand out from the crowd and become classics of their genre. The Mandalorian is continuing in that tradition, and has earned Lucas' support in the process.
Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Taika Waititi, and Emily Swallow. Season 1 is available now on Disney+, with Season 2 arriving in October. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.