The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian
The words "The Mandalorian" in gold on a black background.
Genre
Created byJon Favreau
Based onStar Wars
by George Lucas
StarringPedro Pascal
Composer(s)Ludwig Göransson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes9 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Los Angeles, California
Cinematography
Editor(s)
Running time31–52 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorDisney Media Distribution
Release
Original networkDisney+
Original releaseNovember 12, 2019 (2019-11-12) –
present (present)
External links
Production website

The Mandalorian is an American space Western streaming television series created by Jon Favreau for Disney+. It premiered with the service's launch in November 2019, and is the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise. It begins five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983) and stars Pedro Pascal as the title character, a lone bounty hunter who is hired to retrieve "The Child".

Star Wars creator George Lucas began development on a live-action Star Wars television series by 2009, but the project was deemed too expensive to produce. After he sold Lucasfilm to Disney in October 2012, work on a new Star Wars series began for Disney+. Favreau signed on in March 2018, serving as writer and showrunner. He executive produces alongside Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson. The series' title was announced in October 2018 with the start of filming at Manhattan Beach Studios in California. Visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic developed the StageCraft technology for the series, using virtual sets and a 360-degree video wall to create the series' environments. This has since been adopted by other film and television productions.

The Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ on November 12, 2019. The eight-episode first season was met with positive reviews. It was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards and won seven Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. A second season premiered on October 30, 2020, and development work on a third season has begun.

Premise

Set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983) and the fall of the Empire,[1][2] The Mandalorian follows a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.[2] He is hired to retrieve "The Child", and chooses to go on the run to protect the infant.[3] While on their quest to learn more about the child's origins, they are pursued by Moff Gideon.[4]

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
18November 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)December 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)
28[4]October 30, 2020 (2020-10-30)December 18, 2020 (2020-12-18)[5]

Season 1 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Chapter 1: The Mandalorian"Dave FiloniJon FavreauNovember 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)
22"Chapter 2: The Child"Rick FamuyiwaJon FavreauNovember 15, 2019 (2019-11-15)
33"Chapter 3: The Sin"Deborah ChowJon FavreauNovember 22, 2019 (2019-11-22)
44"Chapter 4: Sanctuary"Bryce Dallas HowardJon FavreauNovember 29, 2019 (2019-11-29)
55"Chapter 5: The Gunslinger"Dave FiloniDave FiloniDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
66"Chapter 6: The Prisoner"Rick FamuyiwaStory by : Christopher Yost
Teleplay by : Christopher Yost and Rick Famuyiwa
December 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)
77"Chapter 7: The Reckoning"Deborah ChowJon FavreauDecember 18, 2019 (2019-12-18)
88"Chapter 8: Redemption"Taika WaititiJon FavreauDecember 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)

Season 2 (2020)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [6]Directed byWritten by [7]Original release date [8]
91"Chapter 9: The Marshal"Jon FavreauJon FavreauOctober 30, 2020 (2020-10-30)
102"Chapter 10: The Confrontation"TBAJon FavreauNovember 6, 2020 (2020-11-06)
113"Chapter 11: The Bounty"TBAJon FavreauNovember 13, 2020 (2020-11-13)
124"Chapter 12: The Republic"TBAJon FavreauNovember 20, 2020 (2020-11-20)
135"Chapter 13: The Loyalist"Dave Filoni[9]Dave FiloniNovember 27, 2020 (2020-11-27)
146"Chapter 14: The Sorcerer"TBAJon FavreauDecember 4, 2020 (2020-12-04)
157"Chapter 15: The Return"TBARick FamuyiwaDecember 11, 2020 (2020-12-11)
168"Chapter 16: The Empire"TBAJon FavreauDecember 18, 2020 (2020-12-18)

Cast and characters

Pedro Pascal stars as Din Djarin, the series' title character and a lone bounty hunter.[2][10][11] Pascal compared the character to Clint Eastwood, with advanced combat skills and of "questionable moral character".[12] The character's real name, Din Djarin, is not revealed until "Chapter 8: Redemption", but Pascal accidentally revealed the name in an interview in November 2019.[11] His bounty in the series premiere is "The Child"—colloquially known as "Baby Yoda" by audience members—an infant that is the same species as Star Wars character Yoda. The child is primarily created with animatronics and puppetry, though this is augmented with visual effects. He becomes the Mandalorian's ward.[3]

The first season features several recurring co-stars, including Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, leader of a bounty hunter guild;[13][12] Werner Herzog as "The Client", an enigmatic man;[13][14] Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing, a scientist working for the client;[13][15] Nick Nolte as the voice of Kuiil, an Ugnaught moisture farmer who helps the Mandalorian;[16][17] Taika Waititi as the voice of IG-11, a bounty hunter droid;[18][12] Gina Carano as Cara Dune, a former Rebel shock trooper-turned-mercenary;[19][12] Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon, a former officer of the Imperial Security Bureau;[13][20] and Emily Swallow as "The Armorer", a Mandalorian who forges armor and equipment from Beskar steel.[13][21]

Several actors appear in the second season as characters from previous Star Wars media, including Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth,[22][23] Temuera Morrison,[23][a] Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano,[25] and Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze.[26]

Production

Background

Star Wars creator George Lucas began development on a live-action Star Wars television series known as Underworld in early 2009. More than 50 scripts were written for the series by 2012, but they were eventually deemed too expensive to produce.[27] In January 2013, ABC president Paul Lee stated that his network would be discussing potential live-action Star Wars television series with Lucasfilm after the latter had been sold by Lucas to ABC's parent company The Walt Disney Company in October 2012.[28] In November 2017, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing a live-action Star Wars television series for the new streaming service Disney+.[29]

Development

While working on The Lion King (2019), a photo-realistic remake of the 1994 animated film, in 2017, director Jon Favreau pitched an idea he had for a Star Wars television series to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Kennedy suggested Favreau discuss the idea with Dave Filoni, executive producer on the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.[30] Favreau and Filoni had met at the Skywalker Ranch when Favreau was working on Iron Man (2008) and Filoni was working on the first season of The Clone Wars, and Favreau subsequently voiced the Mandalorian character Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars for Filoni.[12] When Favreau met with Filoni about his series idea, the latter drew a doodle of a baby of the same species as the Star Wars character Yoda which became "The Child".[30] Favreau wanted to explore the "scum and villainy" of the Star Wars universe following the events of the film Return of the Jedi (1983).[12] He began spending several hours at the end of each day developing the series while he was directing The Lion King.[30]

Lucasfilm announced that Favreau would write and executive produce a new Star Wars series for Disney+ in March 2018. Kennedy added that the series was an opportunity for a diverse group of writers and directors to be hired to create Star Wars stories, after the franchise's films had been criticized for being written and directed by only white men.[31] In May, Favreau stated that he had written scripts for four of the series' eight episodes before being officially hired for the project.[32] On October 3, Favreau announced that the series was titled The Mandalorian and revealed the premise for the show.[2] The following day, Lucasfilm announced that Filoni, Kennedy, and Colin Wilson would executive produce the series alongside Favreau, with Karen Gilchrist acting as co-executive producer.[33] The series premiere was set to be available with the launch of Disney+ in November 2019.[34] Star Pedro Pascal described the series as taking the space Western undertones from the Star Wars films "and infusing it with steroids".[35]

In July 2019, Favreau confirmed that there would be a second season of the series and that he had begun writing it.[36] Iger announced in February 2020 that the second season would premiere that October.[37] By late April, Favreau had been writing a third season for "a while" and further development on the season was beginning.[38] In September, co-star Giancarlo Esposito said the second season would "start to lay the groundwork for the depth and breadth that’s going to come in season 3 and season 4, where you’re really gonna start to get answers."[39] The following month, filming on the third season was expected to begin by the end of 2020.[40]

Casting

In November 2018, Pedro Pascal was confirmed to be portraying the Mandalorian after being rumored to be cast in the role for some time.[10] Pascal initially thought he was being cast as the Star Wars character Boba Fett due to the visual similarities between that character and the Mandalorian,[41] but the latter is actually a separate character named Din Djarin.[11] Favreau called Pascal "a classic movie star" who "had the presence and skill[s]" necessary to portray a character largely concealed under a helmet.[42] The Mandalorian is also portrayed by stunt doubles Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder.[43] Pascal worked with Favreau and Filoni to record the character's dialogue later.[44][42]

Filming

The series is filmed at Manhattan Beach Studios in California.[3] Filoni directed the series' first episode, making his live-action directorial debut,[33][45] with Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow also directing for the first season.[33] Favreau was unable to direct any of the first season due to his commitments to The Lion King,[45] but was available to direct for the second season alongside Filoni,[46] Famuyiwa,[47] Howard,[48] co-star Carl Weathers,[49] Robert Rodriguez,[50] and Peyton Reed.[50]

New technology

Visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, a subsidiary of Lucasfilm, opened a new division in November 2018 called ILM TV, specifically intended for episodic and streaming television. Based in London with support from ILM's San Francisco, Vancouver, and Singapore locations, one of the first projects for the new division was The Mandalorian.[51] While directing The Jungle Book (2016), Favreau had used large screens on set to create interactive lighting so when live action footage was combined with a digital environment in post-production the effect would be more realistic. He found the process to be effective, but time consuming.[52] When he began working on The Lion King, Favreau worked with visual effects vendor Moving Picture Company, technology developer Magnopus, and the game engine software Unity to develop a new virtual camera system that allowed him to film scenes in a virtual reality environment as if he was filming with physical cameras. For The Lion King, the results of the virtual photography were then rendered by MPC as final animation for the film.[3] On The Mandalorian, Favreau wanted to use the virtual technology to aid live action photography and also develop the video wall system.[3][52] ILM partnered with video game developer Epic Games to create a new system named StageCraft based on Epic's game engine Unreal Engine. StageCraft consists of large LED video screens on which digital environments can be rendered in real time for actors to perform in front of.[53][3]

During pre-production, the virtual photography process developed for The Lion King was used to plan the series' filming and determine what environments would be needed on set. The digital environments were then created by ILM and added to StageCraft ready for live action photography with the actors. Some of these environments were based on location photography in countries such as Iceland and Chile, on which Favreau said, "The actors aren't brought on location. The location is brought to the actors."[3] The environments were designed by the series' visual art department, led by Lucasfilm's creative director Doug Chiang and production designer Andrew L. Jones.[54] During filming, the digital environments were rendered on a video wall in real time, allowing the filmmakers and actors to see the environments.[53] ILM used a smaller version of the technology for Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), but on The Mandalorian they utilized a 21 feet (6.4 m) tall set that was 75 feet (23 m) in diameter, surrounded by a 360-degree semicircular LED video wall and ceiling. The Manhattan Beach Studios set is referred to as a "volume", which is traditionally the name for motion capture stages.[53][3] Favreau's initial intention was to use the video wall as a way to provide realistic interactive lighting for the actors, with a section of the screen behind the actors displaying a green screen so a higher quality version of the background could be added in post-production. During filming tests with the technology, the team realized that the Unreal Engine could render visuals fast enough that they could have the background move in relation to the camera. This allowed the system to maintain the appearance of parallax, where the environment would appear differently based on the angle it was being looked at just as a real 3D environment would. This effect causes some distortion to the image on the video wall, but looks like a real environment when viewed through the camera.[52] The images rendered on the video wall in real time were often of a high enough quality to be used as final effects when filmed on set.[53]

Physical elements were added to the volume to match the digital backgrounds, such as dirt on the floor to match dirt displayed on the video wall.[52] Interior spaces were also created, such as an office used by Imperial agents where the walls and ceiling were displayed on the video wall around a physical table.[53] The production had several physical sections of the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian's ship, that could be placed within the volume, such as having the front half of the ship physically built and the back half rendered digitally.[52][53] The environments could be manipulated in StageCraft on set as required, allowing the filmmakers to request changes to the environment and have them rendered on the video wall on the same day.[53] The production was able to change between environments within half an hour, or even faster if the physical elements within the volume were not visible and did not need to be changed.[52] One of the primary advantages of using the video wall technology was the realistic lighting, with the wall providing ambient light and accurate reflections on the actors. This was especially important for the Mandalorian, who wears reflective armor. Traditionally, on a production using green screen, the visual effects team would have to remove the green reflections from a reflective character or object in post-production, and then add new reflections that matched the digital environment. Using StageCraft, the reflections in the Mandalorian's armor were already correct on set. It also allowed for the series' cinematographers to light scenes in a way that would match the background, rather than lighting the set and hoping the digital background would match in post-production as they would have to do with green screen. A technique used by the production to ensure the lighting from the video wall looked natural was to have the actors in shadow, with light from the environment behind them, often creating silhouettes.[52]

Music

Composer Ludwig Göransson was recommended by several of his previous collaborators to Favreau, including directors Ryan Coogler and Anthony and Joe Russo, and musician Donald Glover. Favreau knew that music would be important to the series due to the impact of John Williams' score on the Star Wars films, but also wanted the music of the series to be different from the films. He wanted the series to sound "a little grittier, a little edgier and a little more tech-oriented".[55] Göransson first met with Favreau in November 2018,[56] when Favreau showed the composer concept art for the series and discussed his inspirations for the story and tone, including Western and samurai films. They also discussed how they felt when they first heard Williams' Star Wars music, and Göransson set out to recreate those feelings and "capture the soul of what Star Wars is" but in a new way.[57]

Göransson was announced as composer for the series in December 2018.[58] The basis of the main theme was created from Göransson experimenting with a bass recorder, digitally manipulating it to make it more "futuristic". Guitars, a piano, drums, and synthesizers are also featured in the main theme.[57] A 70-piece orchestra was used for the first season,[55][56] combined with recordings of Göransson playing the main instruments which he augmented with synthesizers and other digital manipulation.[56] A soundtrack album was released for each episode of the first season.[56] Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the orchestra players were recorded remotely or in smaller, distant groups for the second season.[4] Recording occurred at the 20th Century Fox scoring stage, and was done from July to September 2020. 30 string players were used for the first seven episodes of the second season, while the final episode had 40 string players and over a dozen brass and woodwind players. Walt Disney Records is expected to release a soundtrack for the second season in November 2020.[59]

Themes

Parenting and fatherhood

One of the primary themes of The Mandalorian is parenting and fatherhood, particularly through the father–son relationship dynamic between The Mandalorian and The Child.[60][61][62] Ryan Britt of Fatherly wrote that this is unusual in Star Wars stories, and that past examples of parenting in the franchise have tended to be poor ones, from the murderous Darth Vader (father of Luke Skywalker) to the neglectful Galen Erso, father of Jyn Erso in Rogue One (2016).[60] Britt wrote: "For years the Star Wars franchise avoided depicting a parent-child dynamic. With Mando and Baby Yoda, that's finally changing."[60] The dynamic between Kuiil and IG-11 also reflect the childrearing theme in The Mandalorian. The two have a relationship similar to that of a father and son, as demonstrated in the scene in which Kuiil teaches IG-11 how to operate and function after the droid is reprogrammed.[63]

Vulture writer Kathryn VanArendonk argued that parenting has been the subject of past Star Wars stories, but almost always during later stages of parenthood, rather than an infant in early stages such as the Child. As examples, she cited Obi-Wan Kenobi serving as a mentor to the adolescent Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia lamenting over her grown son Kylo Ren, or the absence of Rey's parents.[64] Britt argued strong parental examples in Star Wars are important because the franchise is so often associated with the childhoods of its fans.[60] The Mandalorian particularly highlights the challenges of being a single parent,[61][62] and a working parent, as the Mandalorian struggles to continue his day job as a bounty hunter and mercenary while serving as the sole caretaker of the Child.[64][62] Richard Newby of The Hollywood Reporter described the show as "the adventures of a single dad looking for a job".[65] Several reviewers have compared the dynamic between the Child and the Mandalorian to Lone Wolf and Cub, a manga about a samurai warrior and his young son.[66][67][68][69] Favreau acknowledged Lone Wolf and Cub as an influence in an episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian.[70]

The Mandalorian's parental role in the series makes him a softer and more relatable character;[71] he changes in a positive way because of raising the Child, becoming less selfish and self-absorbed.[72] He risked his life and drastically changed his career as a bounty hunter to accept his responsibility as the Child's caretaker and guardian,[61][62] marking a significant parental sacrifice.[62] When the Mandalorian seeks work to earn money, he is now doing so to provide not only for himself, but for the Child as well.[61] We see several examples of the Mandalorian parenting the Child throughout the series, such as when he stops the Child from pressing random buttons in the cockpit of the Mandalorian's spaceship, ultimately by holding him in his lap.[60] In another example, the Mandalorian establishes a car seat for the Child in the cockpit of his ship, so he can be seated safely and comfortably during their travels.[73]

The relationship between the Mandalorian and the Child is an example of unexpected fatherhood.[64][72] The Mandalorian feels a connection and parental bond with the Child because of his own childhood, when he was orphaned upon the death of his parents and was adopted by the Mandalorian culture as a "foundling".[64] Nevertheless, fatherhood was not a role the Mandalorian was initially seeking, and he makes repeated initial attempts to avoid this responsibility.[72] He first does so in "Chapter 3: The Sin", when he first leave the Child with the Client.[72] He does so again in "Chapter 4" Sanctuary", when he plans to leave the Child with Omera, a protective mother on the planet Sorgan, who is willing to take the Child into her own family.[64] The Mandalorian does not fully commit to the role of fatherhood until the first-season finale, "Chapter 8: Redemption", when the Child himself is also adopted into the Mandalorian culture as a "foundling" and the Mandalorian is formally declared to be his father figure.[64]

Several writers suggested the fact that the Mandalorian's face is concealed has a tabula rasa effect and his anonymity allows viewers to see and imagine themselves as parents.[60][61] Britt said this "allow(s) us to dream about what arsenal we might deploy to protect our children".[60] However, Singer said the show's setting in space make the challenges of child-rearing seem more exciting and exotic than they might otherwise be.[61] Anthony Breznican of Vanity Fair has noted that none of the day-to-day difficulties of parenthood are portrayed in the series: "There is no shrill squawking from Baby Yoda, no tantrum, no spit-up, no uncontrollable shrieking that burrows into a parent's psyche like a dentist's drill shredding a soft, pink nerve."[74] Likewise, Vulture writer Kathryn VanArendonk said the show ignores or does not address many parenting details that make fatherhood difficult, such as what the Child eats, when he goes to sleep, and whether he wears diapers. She wrote: "The Mandalorian is uninterested in diapers, and so Mando gets to be a very particular image of fatherhood: the guy who doesn't have to sweat the small stuff."[64] VanAnderonk described this as a wish fulfillment fantasy for parents or prospective parents: "a vision of parenting stripped so thoroughly of all detail and specificity that all that's left are archetypes: the parent, the child".[64]

The Child encounters a handful of other protector figures throughout the first season, including Omera, IG-11, and Peli Motto.[64] Some observers have criticized the series for the fact that the Mandalorian repeatedly leaves the Child alone or in the hands of relative strangers,[61] as well as for making decisions that place the Child in danger. One example is in "Chapter 6: The Prisoner", when he allows a team of dangerous mercenaries to use his ship while the Child is on board, nearly resulting in the Child's death.[61][75] An interaction the Mandalorian has with Peli Motto in "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger" is one of the most overt discussions about the challenges of caring for the Child. When the Mandalorian accidentally wakes the child, who had been sleeping in Peli's arms, she chides him: "Do you have any idea how long it took me to get it to sleep?"[64] She also condemns the Mandalorian for leaving the child alone on the ship, saying: "you have an awful lot to learn about raising a young one".[76] ScreenCrush writer Matt Singer argued the Mandalorian's parenting errors makes the show that much more appealing because making mistakes is a large part of being a parent.[61] Eileen Chase of Today echoed this: "He is not an ideal parent, just like the rest of us who have to balance parenting and work."[62]

Good and evil; nature versus nurture

The nature of good and evil and the question of nature versus nurture is raised repeatedly throughout The Mandalorian, perhaps most overtly through by Kuiil's reprogramming of IG-11 from a bounty hunter to a nurse droid and protector.[77][78] Even after IG-11 is reprogrammed, the Mandalorian does not believe he has truly changed, because he believes droids have an essential nature and that IG-11's nature remains murderous and untrustworthy.[79] But in reprogramming IG-11, Kuiil nurtures him and helps him to change; Kuiil feels that in the process of learning how to function again, IG-11 gained a new personality.[80] Kuiil insists to the Mandalorian: "Droids are not good or bad — they are neutral reflections of those who program them."[78] Keith Phipps of Vulture wrote of IG-11 and the nature versus nurture theme: "He's not bad. He's just programmed that way, and with care and change he can do a lot of good in the world."[77]

The Kuiil and IG-11 scenes also demonstrate that the way in which the "child" character is raised makes a significant difference in whether the child becomes an asset or a threat to those around him. The droid was a dangerous assassin before Kuiil reprogrammed him, but thanks to the Ugnaught's parenting, he becomes a protector and helper instead.[63] Some writers have likewise suggested the Child is not inherently good or evil,[78][81] but that instead, like all children, he is impressionable and does not fully understand the events occurring around him. He is learning about the world around him and needs guidance as he develops his abilities.[75][78][82] It will largely fall to the Mandalorian to provide this guidance,[75] as when the Mandalorian stops him from strangling Cara Dune.[78]

However, multiple writers have questioned whether the violent acts the Child has repeatedly witnessed throughout The Mandalorian are having a negative impact on his development, and that he is learning to become violent himself as a result.[78][83] Phipps wrote of this: "That look of wonder in the Child's eyes as IG-11 kills and kills again is hilarious, but also a little chilling."[77] One particular scene in "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" led many reviewers and fans to question whether the Child may be demonstrating evil tendencies. During a scene on the Mandalorian's spaceship, the Child observes as the Mandalorian and Cara Dune engage in a friendly arm wrestling match. During the contest, the Child uses the Force to choke Cara, nearly strangling her before the Mandalorian intervened.[81][82][83] Throughout the Star Wars franchise, that ability has been most commonly associated with the Dark Side of the Force, particularly Darth Vader.[83][84][85]

Sarah Bea Milner of Screen Rant wrote: "The moment is genuinely shocking — and more than a little disturbing."[78] Some reviewers noted, however, that the Child likely mistakenly believed the Mandalorian was in danger and intervened to help.[85][86] Additionally, in the same episode, the Child uses Force healing to save Greef Karga, a power typically associated with the Light Side.[78][81][86] Nevertheless, some writers have suggested viewers had been underestimating the Child's capacity for evil because he is so adorable.[85][84][87] Fans speculated the Child could be presenting a false personality or using the Force to manipulate people into caring about him to help ensure his survival.[83] However, Caitlin Gallagher of Bustle suggested rather than building toward making the Child evil, the show could be suggesting the Mandalorian needs to find a way to raise the Child in a less violent environment.[83]

Release

The Mandalorian premiered on the streaming service Disney+ on its United States launch day, November 12, 2019.[34] The second season premiered on October 30, 2020.[37]

Reception

Critical response

Critical response of The Mandalorian
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
193% (34 reviews)[88]70 (29 reviews)[89]
294% (50 reviews)[6]76 (14 reviews)[90]

For the first season, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating with an average rating of 7.92/10 based on 34 reviews The website's critical consensus reads, "Action-packed and expertly-crafted—if at times a bit too withholding—The Mandalorian is a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe that benefits greatly from the cuteness of its cargo."[88] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 70 out of 100 for the season, based on reviews from 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[89] For the second season, Rotten Tomatoes reported an 88% approval rating with an average score of 7.25/10, based on 6 reviews.[6] Metacritic assigned a score of 76 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[90]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2020 Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Richard Bluff, Abbigail Keller, Jason Porter, Hayden Jones and Roy Cancinon (for "Chapter 2: The Child") Won [91]
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project Richard Bluff, Jason Porter, Landis Fields IV and Baz Idione (for "Chapter 6: The Prisoner"; The Roost) Nominated
Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project Terry Bannon, Rudy Massar and Hugo Leygnac (for "Chapter 2: The Child"; Mudhorn) Nominated
Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project Doug Chiang, Jay Machado, John Goodson and Landis Fields IV (for "Chapter 3: The Sin"; The Razorcrest) Won
Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project Alex Murtaza, Yanick Gaudreau, Marco Tremblay and Maryse Bouchard (for Nevarro Town) Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project Xavier Martin Ramirez, Ian Baxter, Fabio Slino and Andrea Rosa (for "Chapter 2: The Child"; Mudhorn) Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards One-Hour Period or Fantasy Single-Camera Series Andrew L. Jones (for "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian") Nominated [92]
Publicists Guild Awards Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Television Award Disney+ Won [93]
Nebula Awards Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation Jon Favreau (for "Chapter 2: The Child") Nominated [94]
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form Jon Favreau and Taika Waititi (for "Chapter 8: Redemption") Nominated [95]
TCA Awards Outstanding New Program The Mandalorian Nominated [96]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson and Karen Gilchrist Nominated [97]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Taika Waititi as IG-11 (for "Chapter 8: Redemption") Nominated [98]
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) Greig Fraser and Baz Idoine (for "Chapter 7: The Reckoning") Won
Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes Joseph Porro, Julie Robar, Gigi Melton and Lauren Silvestri (for "Chapter 3: The Sin") Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon (for "Chapter 8: Redemption") Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series Ludwig Göransson (for "Chapter 8: Redemption") Won
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less) Andrew L. Jones, Jeff Wisniewski, Amanda Serino (for "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian") Won
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special Brian Sipe, Alexei Dmitriew, Carlton Coleman, Samantha Ward, Scott Stoddard, Mike Ornelaz and Sabrina Castro (for "Chapter 6: The Prisoner") Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series Andrew S. Eisen (for "Chapter 2: The Child") Nominated
Dana E. Glauberman and Dylan Firshein (for "Chapter 4: Sanctuary") Nominated
Jeff Seibenick (for "Chapter 8: Redemption") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation David Acord, Matthew Wood, Bonnie Wild, James Spencer, Richard Quinn, Richard Gould, Stephanie McNally, Ryan Rubin, Ronni Brown and Jana Vance (for "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian") Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Shawn Holden, Bonnie Wild and Chris Fogel (for "Chapter 2: The Child") Won
Outstanding Special Visual Effects Richard Bluff, Jason Porter, Abbigail Keller, Hayden Jones, Hal Hickel, Roy Cancino, John Rosengrant, Enrico Damm and Landis Fields (for "Chapter 2: The Child") Won
Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie Ryan Watson Won

Industry impact

The Mandalorian was the first production to be filmed using real time rendering for realistic, parallax environments.[52] Favreau believed that the StageCraft technology developed for the series would have a significant impact on the production of films and television series moving forward.[53] He attributed the breakthroughs made with the technology to the support of Kathleen Kennedy, who was in charge of both Lucasfilm and ILM, as well as to his own drive for innovation, and to previous work done by George Lucas on new technology for the Star Wars films. Favreau also acknowledged that much of the technology involved in StageCraft is not proprietary and is readily available to others, it just had not been combined in this way before.[52] Favreau invited other filmmakers and studios to visit the series' set and see how the new technology was being used, noting that Lucas and other filmmakers such as James Cameron had done the same when they had been working on innovative film projects. Favreau added that the companies working on the series' new technologies—including ILM, Epic, and MPC—were being encouraged to share their work and develop the technology further beyond the requirements of the series.[3] Several actors working on the series, including Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, gave high praise to the technology and the way it allowed them to act within the environment rather than pretend in front of green screen.[52] After learning lessons about the technology during production on the first season of The Mandalorian, ILM was able to make several advancements beginning with the second season. This included transitioning StageCraft to a fully in-house product utilizing ILM's own game engine, Helios, rather than Epic's Unreal Engine.[54] In February 2020, ILM announced that it was making its StageCraft technology available to all filmmakers and production studios as a complete end-to-end solution.[53]

Future spin-offs

In November 2019, Walt Disney Studios CCO Alan Horn said if the series was successful, a film featuring the Mandalorian could be developed.[99] The next month, Favreau said there was an opportunity to explore the series' characters in other Star Wars films or television series.[3] In February 2020, Bob Iger said spin-offs of The Mandalorian were being considered, including the potential to add more characters to the series with the intention of then giving them their own series.[100] Speaking to this in October 2020, Favreau said as more characters are being introduced through the series, "we are beginning to explore where we could go", and given the faster production time for television series than films, Lucasfilm could be "more responsive" to audience reactions to determine potential spin-offs. Additionally, Favreau looked to his experience working in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where smaller stories exist within the larger narrative, as a potential guide for spin-offs. As for the potential for the character to appear in a Star Wars film, Favreau and Pascal were both open to the idea, but Favreau was in "no rush" to expand the series.[40]

Tie-in media

Documentary series

An eight-episode documentary series titled Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ on May 4, 2020, Star Wars Day. It features interviews with the cast and crew of The Mandalorian, behind-the-scenes footage, and roundtable conversations hosted by Favreau that explore the production of the first season.[101]

Publishing

Lucasfilm announced a publishing campaign of tie-in books and comics for the series in June 2020. The campaign includes The Art of The Mandalorian (Season One) by Phil Szostak, an original adult novel written by Adam Christopher and published by Del Rey Books, a visual guide written by Pablo Hidalgo and published by DK, a junior novelization of the first season written by Joe Schreiber, and comic books inspired by the series to be published by Marvel Comics and IDW.[102]

Notes

  1. ^ Morrision has reportedly been cast as Boba Fett.[24] However, while he appeared and is credited in "Chapter 9: The Marshal", his role is not yet confirmed.[23]

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