Here’s What Jon Favreau And George Lucas Have Been Talking About For The Mandalorian
It’s been nearly seven years since George Lucas agreed to sell Star Wars, his most beloved creation, to Disney. Without his direct guidance, Disney’s Star Wars project has reached both critical and commercial highs with its first two sequels to the original Star Wars trilogy: The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017). It’s also hit massive lows, with Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018 that gave Star Wars its first true flop, forcing the Mouse to rethink their plan moving forward.
Lucas himself has been something of a recluse. He may remain a controversial figure with fans for his oft-maligned prequel films, but while Star Wars may no longer be his baby, the series’ heart still rests with him.
Jon Favreau, fresh off acting in both Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home as well as directing The Lion King – all released in the last three months – has been busy behind the scenes making his first foray into the Star Wars universe with The Mandalorian, a big-budget live-action mega-series coming to Disney+ this autumn. He’s serving as showrunner, writing and overseeing the entire show, and apparently already hard at work writing season two as he finalises the first.
“We’re actually in the editing bay now, I have to get back there after this,” Favreau explained in London, ahead of the global release of The Lion King. “It’s looking great!”
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After directing The Jungle Book (2016) and The Lion King (2019) live action remakes, Jon Favreau seeks advice on parenting from George Lucas ahead of directing the upcoming Star Wars flick, The Mandalorian. Here’s what he learned. [@whmullally] #GQME #JonFavreau #TheLionKing #TheMandalorian #GeorgeLucas
The Mandalorian is not a retread of stories we’ve already heard and didn’t need to see like Solo, nor a direct adaptation of any existing material. On Jimmy Kimmel recently, Favreau revealed a bit more as to the Mos Eisley-ish direction the series is taking.
“It’s after Return of the Jedi, so the Empire is gone and all hell is breaking loose in the Outer Rim. And it’s about the scum and villainy, that once you take out the rule of law, what happens? Chaos takes over and you have all of these unseemly characters,” he said on Kimmel.
While it sounds more spin-off than a sequel, Favreau has been focused on getting back to the heart of the series, and the roots of the storytelling that Lucas was trying to accomplish. To do that, he went to Lucas himself.
“We had a long talk with each other,” said Favreau. One thing he said to me was, ’remember, Jon, the real audience for all stories and all myths is the kids that are coming of age’, because he’s really a Joseph Campbell adherent.”
“We enjoy the stories as adults, but really, storytelling is about imparting the wisdom of the previous generations on to the children who are becoming adults, and giving them a context for how to behave and how to learn the lessons of the past without making the mistakes on their own. That’s the hope, that you can teach them how to avoid all the hardship but garner all the wisdom.”
Favreau applied Lucas’ advice The Lion King as well.
“I think a film like The Lion King is really the purest form of storytelling in that you are dealing with the biggest themes that we deal with as humans – about loss, about each generation replacing the previous one, about living a life of responsibility and stepping up when you are called upon in the face of tremendous suffering that life presents to you, especially in a world like the animal kingdom. That is a glorious story. Even though there is tremendous suffering, it is a net gain. If you live your life in harmony with the world around you, and you go on the spiritual journey that all these great myths discuss, there is something transformative and uplifting about it.
“That’s the monomyth and that’s the hero’s journey, and ultimately the reward for a life well-lived. That’s something that, as you get older, you start to appreciate more because life feels very finite and you see the next generation coming up, and you relate more to Mufasa than you do to Simba. I take comfort in those themes, and I like it, and I love sharing that with the next generation and knowing that will be left behind even as our generation passes,” says Favreau.
The Mandalorian is set to feature Pedro Pascal as the titular character, as well as Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Werner Herzog (Jack Reacher), and Taika Waititi as the voice of IG-11, a new robot character. Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels) will direct the first episode, with Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones) Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates) and double-duty Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) helming additional episodes.
While Disney+ will launch this fall in the US, no international launch has yet been announced.