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SYFY WIRE Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau and his fellow directors talk The Mandalorian and on-track Season 2

By Josh Grossberg
The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian mastermind Jon Favreau and his fellow Season 1 directors offered Star Wars fans a fresh update on the space western's highly anticipated sophomore season on Disney+.

Per The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline, Favreau revealed that Season 2 is still on track for its October premiere on the streaming service, despite the coronavirus pandemic shutting down nearly all Hollywood film and television production.

"We were lucky enough to have finished photography before the lockdown," the show's writer and executive producer told a pre-recorded virtual panel at the ATX Television Festival hosted by Vanity Fair. "Thanks to how technology-forward Lucasfilm and ILM are, we have been able to do all of our visual effects and editing and post-production remotely through systems that had been set up by those companies for us."

Also on hand for the discussion were Season 1's directors: Favreau's frequent collaborator and Clone Wars vet Dave Filoni (Episodes 1 & 5), Bryce Dallas Howard (Episode 4), Rick Famuyiwa (Episodes 2 & 6), Debra Chow (Episode 7), and Taika Waititi (Episode 8).

The latter two have separate projects they're developing in the Star Wars Universe. Waititi is set to helm the first-post Skywalker live-action feature.

"It's all finished, I'm done," joked Waititi, who also voices The Mandalorian battle droid IG-11, when asked about the upcoming film.

While Chow is shepherding the Obi-Wan Kenobi series expected to hit Disney+ in 2021, which just brought on a new writer.

The group reminisced about what they each brought to the streaming hit's inaugural run of episodes. For Favreau, it was about capturing the spirit of the genres that inspired George Lucas' imagination: westerns, samurai films, space adventures, and World War II movies. For Chow, it was the influences of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and Hong Kong action flicks while helming her episodes, "The Sin" and "The Reckoning."

Waititi also noted that shooting Mando removing his mask in Season 1's final episode, "Redemption," was the most "stressful day" he had on set, and he was just trying to get "something on camera."

"I knew it was supposed to be an emotional moment,” he continued. “It struck me at that moment that we haven’t seen the main character’s face, and you have to create an emotional bond with the character and the baby.”

The Mandalorian Ep 6 Baby Yoda

As for what the style and tone of The Mandalorian's next season will be like, Favreau opined that the show will feel like a natural extension of the first season.

"As we explore partnering with new filmmakers and having new characters and going deeper with the characters we already have, it's really been very fun and fulfilling, and I hope people are having as much fun seeing it as we are having making it," Favreau said.

Pedro Pascal, who plays Din Djarin, aka the titular bounty hunter, is set to return along with supporting cast members Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Carl Weathers (Greef Karga), Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), and of course Baby Yoda.

New additions to the cast include Michael Biehn as an unnamed bounty hunter, Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, and Temuera Morrison, who's rumored to play a resurrected Boba Fett.

And there will be some new faces in the director's chair as well, including Sin City auteur Robert Rodriguez, Ant-Man's Peyton Reed, and Favreau himself.

With the Skywalker film saga ending with The Rise of Skywalker, fans hopped right onto The Mandalorian upon its Nov. 12, 2019, release. Disney quickly greenlit a third season. While Season 2 doesn't drop on Disney+ until October, the new behind-the-scenes show, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, is streaming now.