When The Mandalorian was announced in 2018, it was accompanied with the news that Dave Filoni would be transitioning to live-action. Filoni had spent more than a decade in animation working on The Clone Wars under George Lucas.
After this, he was in charge of Star Wars Rebels when Disney bought the company. The first-ever news that dropped about The Mandalorian was that Jon Favreau would be running the live-action Star Wars show.
Immediately, fans began to wonder if Filoni would try directing an episode of the show. Thankfully, Filoni expressed interest, and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy agreed with his intent. So she directed him towards Favreau.
Favreau has said before that he and Filoni had met originally in 2008 while he was sound mixing for Iron Man. Dave Filoni, on the other hand, was finishing up The Clone Wars season 1.
Both of them became the very first people to see the other one’s projects. The friendship continued when Filoni asked Favreau to voice Pre Vizsla.
When they worked on The Mandalorian, their shared passion for the franchise combined with their friendship paved a smooth road for their partnership.
Favreau has even stated that Filoni can veto anything written in a script. In turn, Filoni looks to Favreau for directorial guidance. But fans have always wanted to know more about the creative process that allowed them to create such a hit series.
And finally, a new book has revealed that information
In The Art of The Mandalorian: Season 2 book, Jon Favreau talked about just how important the design team was to his writing process. He said:
“I’ve leaned on the art department since the beginning [of the series].”
There’s almost a sort of relay of information developed between Filoni, Favreau, and art director Doug Chiang. Here’s how it’s done:
“As I would write, I would show Dave. Dave would sketch, and then we’d start sending Dave’s sketches over to Doug. [The art department] would start doing fully formed versions of [those sketches], and that would get me writing more.”
Dave Filoni generally also writes the episodes that he directs. And he was stunned by Favreau’s trust in him for “Chapter 13 – The Jedi.” He said:
“It was pretty astonishing, I’ve got to say. Jon let me go in there and write this episode about the Child, which includes his backstory. He told me the kid’s name because he named him. Jon knows that I’m very protective of Ahsoka and her history and what she’s about.”
So Filoni wrote that episode, and Favreau gave feedback on it. So their roles were flipped in the making of this episode. Here’s what Filoni says:
“We went through a couple of rounds where I’d write a bunch and then he’d look at it and give me his take – that perspective becomes really valuable for me to then communicate this character that maybe the larger audience doesn’t know but the fans do. And get at the root of what makes her special.”
It’s not surprising that The Mandalorian has been so well received. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau obviously respect Star Wars a lot and it can be seen in their work.
This is the first time a duo, or rather a tag team, has properly overseen a big project in the franchise. Previously, Star Wars movies were written by multiple people and directed by someone else.
The one exception before Filoni and Favreau were Phil Lord and Chris Miller. They were directing the Solo movie together. However, Lucasfilm fired them in the middle of production.
Filoni and Favreau are different from any other Star Wars team. They are both directors and writers, even though their experience levels differ. Filoni is a huge Star Wars fan and knows everything about it, so Favreau leaning on him for the character and story elements is just proof of the respect he carries for his partner.
On the other hand, Filoni had never directed a live-action Star Wars project as his arena was in animation. But Favreau gave him the courage to tell the story he wanted to tell.
Overall, they are a well-oiled machine. Filoni and Favreau work seamlessly as a team to make things possible.
The Mandalorian Season 3 will debut on Disney+ in late 2022.
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