The Mandalorian kicked off with a bang last year, putting Mando, Cobb Vanth (a swaggering Timothy Olyphant), a tribe of Tusken Raiders, and the villagers of Tatooine’s Mos Pelgo up against a massive Krayt dragon. And that was only the first episode.
Now that the series has been recognized as one of the American Film Institute’s top television shows of 2020, producer Jon Favreau (who also directed the Krayt dragon episode) has recorded a new The Mandalorian commentary video for AFI which walks viewers through some of the challenges of filming that sequence. Favreau also talks about that jaw-dropping cameo at the end of season 2, so check out the video below.
The Mandalorian Commentary Video
It’s pretty wild that Favreau, Dave Filoni, and the rest of the creative folks behind The Mandalorian have now been able to pull off two huge surprises in two seasons, first by springing Baby Yoda (A.K.A. Grogu) on the world at the end of the very first episode, and then by blowing fans’ minds by incorporating a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the season 2 finale. Considering so many of the major actors in season 2 of the show were reported about ahead of time (and we at /Film were the first to reveal many of those casting coups), it’s super impressive that they were able to keep the Hamill of it all a secret until the very end.
But let’s talk about that Krayt dragon sequence for a minute. So much has been written about “The Volume” and how Favreau and his team shoot this show in a Manhattan Beach soundstage (and that coverage is warranted, considering its potential to revolutionize how movies and television is made on a wider scale), so it’s cool to hear that this scene was actually filmed outdoors with green screens instead with sand on the ground. That approach almost feels novel for a show that’s as technologically advanced as this one. But it’s cool to hear Favreau nerd out about sand simulation. “The sand work, I don’t think people really appreciate how difficult that is, and that’s really what sells this whole gag,” he says.
Along with The Mandalorian, AFI recognized Better Call Saul, Bridgerton, The Crown, The Good Lord Bird, Lovecraft Country, Mrs. America, The Queen’s Gambit, Ted Lasso, and Unorthodox as the best shows of 2020. Here’s a video of actor Pedro Pascal talking about being on the set of the Star Wars series:
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