Jon Favreau Discusses The E.T. Inspiration Behind Baby Yoda in THE MANDALORIAN


The Mandalorian was a huge hit with Star Wars fans and it even ended up landing 15 Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. After what that most recent trilogy ended up giving us, the fans needed something to unite them again and The Mandalorian gave us that!

During a recent interview with Deadline, series creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni talked about the series and one of the things they touched on was the design of The Child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda and how it was inspired by Filoni’s drawing of E.T., the title character from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Favreau explained:

“Dave had done a sketch of kind of a Michelangelo/E.T. moment, and that was a source of inspiration. Then, Doug Chiang and the whole art department started generating drawings of it, and the Legacy [Effects] people built it.”

Well, the design that they ended up coming up with was perfect. They went through several other designs for The Child, some of which you can see here. The final design ended up coming from artist Chris Alzmann. When talking about that art, Favreau previously said:

“It was finally that one image that Chris Alzmann did that had him wrapped up in what looked like a piece of a flight jacket or something. And his eyes were a little weird, and he looked a little out of it, there was something a little off with it. But we found it charming, and that became the rallying image that we said, ‘This is go’”

The producers also talked about why The Mandalorian was the right show to bring Star Wars into live-action television. When talking about bringing the show to life, Favreau said:

“What was really mind-blowing is there’s so much to trying to create that authenticity, to make it feel akin to what George had done and then you realize that George was doing it without a road map.

“To have a way to create a freshness, while still being respectful of what came before, I think is one of the challenges of storytellers in this moment, because we’re inundated with so much content. Now, everything’s at the touch of a finger, so everybody has a tremendous cultural context…You know, everybody’s checking your work.”

Filoni previously said:

“It’s a shift, for sure, and something that I was interested in for a while. I really got interested in, you know, seeing if I could do it from working with George [Lucas] and listening to his stories and his experience, and from the way he taught me how to, you know, shoot animation, because we were doing it in kind of a virtual sense, as well, with our animation programs that he was creating to tell The Clone Wars. So a lot of what Jon [Favreau] was doing when I saw him shooting Jungle Book, but even more so, Lion King, was very relatable to me as far as technique and technology, from what George and I had been doing in Clone Wars. So [Lucasfilm head] Kathy Kennedy and I, we’re always looking for a good bridge for me to try to, you know, change mediums, and this was, to be honest, a very perfect fit and a great environment, and I gained a great mentor and teacher in Jon here to shepherd me through the process of live-action.”

Well, we all can’t wait to see what is in store for the upcoming second season and how the story will continue to play out. I’m especially excited to see some of the characters from the animated Star Wars shows brought to life in live-action and see how they will be worked into the story.

The second season of The Mandalorian is currently in post-production, and the creative team is also in the process of developing Season 3.

Pedro Pascal stars in the series as a Mandalorian bounty hunter who becomes the guardian of a mysterious creature known only as The Child. Season 2 will continue their journey while they are being hunted down by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).

They will be joined by new cast members that include Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett and maybe Captain Rex, Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan, Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, and Michael Biehn in a yet to be revealed role. It’ll be interesting to see what other characters might be introduced in the series!

The Mandalorian Season 2 will feature episodes directed by Jon Favreau, Carl Weathers, Dave Filoni, Peyton Reed, Robert Rodriguez, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Source: Deadline


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Jon Favreau Discusses The E.T. Inspiration Behind Baby Yoda in THE MANDALORIAN
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