Jon Favreau Reveals That THE MANDALORIAN Was Shot Using Practical Effects and Model Ships

This past weekend Jon Favreau showed up at Star Wars Celebration to talk about his upcoming live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. Favreau is writer, producer, and showrunner of the series, and while talking about it he revealed that the series was shot using practical effects and miniature models of the ships in the series including the bounty hunter ship known as the Razorcrest.

Favreau was obviously looking to embrace the old-school filmmaking techniques that George Lucas used when creating the original Star Wars. So, he teamed up with Industrial Light & Magic to pay homage to the original Star Wars movies by shooting The Mandalorian the same way, which I love! They even used a motion-control rig to shoot it.

Favreau and director Dave Filoni hired ILM’s Doug Chiang to design this Razorcrest ship, which is described as looking like a “reflective silver old army surplus gunship.” They went on to explain that a lot of Star Wars fans at ILM came out to participate in the creation of the series. Favreau said:

Up at ILM there’s a lot Star Wars fans, and people started coming out the woodwork when they heard that we were doing this.”

Filoni added:

“We had a meeting [with ILM], and there were more people in the meeting than normal. And we started talking about the process of building a model, and there was a lot of interest in that. Then we started hearing that [John Goodson]’s making something in his garage.”

Favreau went on to explain:

“It was like a Star Wars club back in high school. So, up in ILM, they shot some behind-the-scenes footage of how they did that.”

They then showed some footage of the ILM team building the models and talked about the process that went into it. You can actually watch that in the video below, which is queued up at the point where they talk about all of this stuff. Another cool thing that Filoni pointed out was there was even research done regarding the flight patterns from the original Star Wars films, so that they could use them in the series. Favreau went on to say:

“Star Wars at its core has to feel hand-made and practical. So we have a lot of audio-animatronics and puppetry, all the techniques that we’ve used from the beginning.”

Favreau also joked that the real reason for the practical effects was so that he could have these models sitting on his desk.

 “The trick I learned from Guillermo del Toro, make sure you build practical props so you can have it for your house. [Dave] has nothing from Clone Wars…You can’t hang a Quicktime up in your office!”

I’m so freakin’ excited to see this series! I hope that they release the footage that screened at Star Wars Celebration officially online soon. I know there are bootleg videos, but I don’t want to watch this stuff from cell phone footage.

What do you think about Favreau and Filoni using practical effects to bring this new Star Wars story to life?

The Mandalorian debuts on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

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