Live-Action Television

Exclusive Video of Taika Waititi directing Star Wars: The Mandalorian’s season finale!

Please do not share the details of this article openly on social media and spoil The Mandalorian for those that want to remain spoiler-free. These are very general spoilers but let’s respect other fans’ wishes and not spoil those that do not appreciate spoilers. What follows will be considered a spoiler to some so as always, be cool!

The Mando makers

This week at least two of the directors of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian where down at the filming location in Southern California. At the location, writer and showrunner Jon Favreau was with directors Taika Waititi and Dave Filoni as they went over action beats in between filming. The three directors, or most likely on this day the director (Waititi) and his showrunner/writer (Favreau) and executive producer (Filoni) worked out some rehearsals together and offered suggestions which seemed to inspire Waititi who became very animated and enthusiastic and the moment went from the Mando exiting and firing his weapon into something with a lot of style and flash to it.

From my vantage point, the trio appeared to be having a lot of fun and the creative enthusiasm was apparent in how animated and excited they were about what they were working on. Not to downplay the hard work of the three, but you wouldn’t think these were three guys working based on how much fun they seemed to be having working this stuff out.

It was not clear if other directors were also directing on set the last two or three days. There’s always a chance multiple directors are working at the same time. Usually a woman near the director’s tent would announce “we’re rolling” and she would alert everyone to quiet down but at this time it only appeared that Taika Waititi was actually directing the sequence after the rehearsals. There were moments yesterday that would get so quiet, there were times I wondered if everyone went to lunch while I checked my e-mail. But then all of a sudden I would hear a really boisterous laugh. At first I thought it was a crew member hearing or seeing something funny but I heard the same laugh in the same way a few more times.

To the left of the directors there were two cast members, I believe. The man and the woman to the left in suspenders and black cloak respectively, are characters I have seen on set a few times now. It seems he is someone of importance to the cast. On this day, however, his shirt was ripped behind his right arm. I can’t be certain but there was a day when someone who appeared to be him in a very similar outfit had a helmet on but very little armor.  (I could be wrong about it being the same person.) Make sure to check out the story from earlier in the week for more details. It is also worth noting that the guy that comes out of the door (not the crew member at one moment) has the Mando leg pieces on and something that hangs over his head which we guess is to match Pedro Pascal’s eye-line for the performers in the sequence with him.

The video of the action

Photos of Taika Waititi, Favreau, Filoni, as cast members watch

What we learned about the Mando series

The story takeaway is that by the end of the season, our Mando hero is taking on the Remnant Empire on the black lava world. Also not shown in the action moment are the Death Troopers who are involved in the sequence as it unfolds. Why is the Mando fighting the Empire? Is he trying to rescue someone? Was he hired or is it personal? I love the idea that we get to see this Mando fight the Empire and if he wins, he kind of wins his own war against the bad guys of classic Star Wars. It grows the universe instead of making it smaller. It doesn’t mean the fight ended with Luke Skywalker and his friends. I have to say, if he does succeed, the First Order will likely pick up the vendetta against the Mando by the time Kylo Ren emerges to destroy the galaxy again.

I can’t wait to learn more about the Mando’s companions. If the rumors are true, we won’t see his face for a while in the series. And if those rumors are true it probably gives us a clue as to how Disney+ will release the episodes. If they aren’t going to show his face for a few episodes, it won’t really mean much if all eight episodes drop at one time. But that’s just a guess based on a rumor and it might explain why we knew that Pascal was the Mando but there was no movement on it until now. That said, if the Mando does have the helmet on for much of the series, I think the audience is probably going to relate to him through the friends he has with him, sort of like the Judge Dredd film.

The Disney+ Streaming Service

Star Wars will have many shows hitting Disney+ in 2019 including The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ new season, there are rumors Star Wars Detours will be released on that platform and a Cassian Andor TV series could hit in 2019 if not 2020. As more details about Disney+ emerge, we will make sure to let you know. Disney+ is going to be a must for Star Wars fans in the next year. The content coming is as exciting as a the feature length films. The wait until Star Wars: Episode IX is not going to be as painful with so much fun between films right now.


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Jason Ward (EIC)

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