A Look Back at Jon Favreau’s Perspective on Mandalorians

Mostly everyone I know is elated for the various Star Wars projects currently in development, but the one that has me over the moon is The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian is the first Star Wars live-action streaming series coming to the Disney+ subscription service, which will launch later this year. The highly anticipated series will be written and executive produced by Jon Favreau. Those who’ve watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars know he once voiced Pre Vizsla, a Mandalorian warrior who led Death Watch.

While recently exploring StarWars.com, I came across a few Jon Favreau videos from his time on The Clone Wars. I remembered seeing them a long time ago, but I forgot about them over the years. There’s nothing newsworthy about them, but they help re-emphasize how Favreau is the perfect person for the job.

“Playing this part, I did my homework about Mandalorians, and really, all that we knew was Boba Fett,” he said in this behind-the-scenes interview. “I know there’s always been a curiosity about the Mandalorians. People have spent more hour per screen second working on Boba Fett costumes than probably anybody else. He went around for a long time, but he had a big impact and I know people are very curious about the guy. I certainly was. There’s something cool about a bounty hunter. There’s something cool about a warrior. And there’s something about his face not being revealed, but yet him not just being a nondescript character. It hit something. It hit some sort of nerve. I know I was really curious about the guy. That’s an action figure you needed to have.”

He started off the same way most others do, by referencing Boba Fett. Whether you like it or not, Boba Fett inspired this distinct look and it evolved from there. But it’s not just Boba Fett anymore. There’s Pre Vizsla, Bo-Katan and Satine Kryze, the Wren family, Fenn Rau, etc.

“And there’s something about his face not being revealed, but yet him not just being a nondescript character.” It’s interesting how the first official image of The Mandalorian series reflect his past words about Boba Fett. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

With Dave Filoni directing the first episode and also working as an executive producer alongside Jon Favreau, it makes me happy to think about how Favreau’s knowledge of Mandalorians has increased dramatically within the last few years because of Filoni and the Lucasfilm Story Group. Remember how Filoni suggested to Rian Johnson how he should watch the Mortis episodes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars while working on Star Wars: The Last Jedi? He probably did the same thing with Favreau. For all we know, Favreau watched the Sabine Wren storyline in Star Wars Rebels because of how it directly connects to Mandalorian history.

Not only that, but there’s so much about Mandalorian culture that primarily exists behind the scenes because there hasn’t been a proper outlet to focus on it thoroughly. For example, we learn more about the Mandalorians through Rebels Recon because Star Wars Rebels (and even Star Wars: The Clone Wars) itself didn’t have time to flesh out certain details.

In an episode of Rebels Recon, Pablo Hidalgo said, “When you think about Mandalore, understand that it encompasses a lot of territory. There’s something like 1,000 worlds in Mandalorian territory that are neutral—not part of the Republic.” 1,000 worlds! Imagine the unlimited story opportunities that come with that one statement. Will we see one of these worlds in The Mandalorian series?

Filoni added, “I’ve given a lot of thought to Mandalorian culture since The Clone Wars. There are Clans and Houses, and there are some that see themselves as more rightfully Mandalorian and that would be like Vizsla. The Wrens are not from Mandalore. The Wrens fall into a group that would have been conquered by Mandalore. They are a branch of it and they have been loyal to Vizsla House, so they’re thought of very highly.”

In a separate Rebels Recon episode, Hidalgo said, “We’re just at the tip of the Mandalorian iceberg when it comes to Sabine’s history. It really builds on a lot of exploration that Dave and I did back during The Clone Wars. He had this rather elaborate tapestry in mind of how the various Mandalorian Clans connect to one another and what the tensions may have been in the timeline leading up to the events of The Clone Wars.”

Filoni explained the Mandalorian pyramid structure in the same episode, “The ruler of Mandalore has for themselves the Protectors and they make up this king’s guard and that maintains balance within this warrior culture. Below that, there are separate Houses. Houses are like a big faction. There would be House Kryze (which is Satine), House Vizsla, and beneath them, they have Clans. Multiple Clans will work under a House, so they’re like smaller families. Wren is one of these families that has actually aligned with Vizsla.”

What if The Mandalorian‘s main character is from a Clan of a conquered world? The numerous possibilities are exhilarating because Favreau has access to a wealth of information that we’ve only gotten a glimpse of through these behind-the-scene videos and interviews.

What’s even more exciting is knowing Favreau does exceptional work in collaboration with other people. Even George Lucas, back in a 2009 interview (alternate link), made note of this quality, “I know firsthand that [Favreau] is the type of filmmaker that crews here love to work with, because he always gives them the opportunity to break new ground.”

Favreau said this about Lucas in the same interview, “What I always loved is he lived through a period when films were nihilistic. The ’70s could be subversive, and I love those films, but he brought a sincere storytelling to what may seem like throwaway popcorn movies, and that hit the bull’s-eye for me.”

There’s no doubt in my mind, he and the rest of his crew are going to bring that sincere storytelling over to The Mandalorian.

Last but not least, there are always concerns about whether a new creator knows what Star Wars is all about. When it comes to Favreau, I don’t see any cause for concern because I feel this final statement still rings true today.

“What’s fun about Star Wars is that it still has as much relevance and impact now as it did then,” he said in this behind-the-scenes video. “It seems to be a set of characters and a world that is timeless and every generation seems to embrace, so it’s fun to be able to share with my family and my kids the excitement that I had when I was young.”

What are you hoping to see in The Mandalorian? Let us know in the comments.

Note: Please do not leave information pertaining to set rumors in the comments. We do not accept information that has been leaked. Any comments that fit this description will be removed and deleted.

1 comment on “A Look Back at Jon Favreau’s Perspective on Mandalorians

  1. “For all we know, Favreau watched the Sabine Wren storyline in Star Wars Rebels because of how it directly connects to Mandalorian history.” Oh, I hope that is true! I imagine if he had the experience voicing Pre Vizla from “Clone Wars”, Favreau knows how to go deep into a character and the culture surrounding them. I’m highly entertained when watching voice actors performing in front of the microphones.

    So the Mandalorian factions of houses and clans is a bit “Game of Thrones”, no? (I haven’t watched GOT myself…yet) While they want to be unified, people have loyalties to their own families. I don’t know what to expect from “The Mandalorian” show but if it continues to enrich the Star Wars saga with some fascinating characters and their story arcs, that’s good enough for me. Maybe it’ll follow the “Resistance” atmosphere without any Jedi or Force-sensitive people as central characters. On the other hand, what would happen if a Mandalorian was strong in the Force? Would he have to choose between loyalty to his clan or the Jedi?

    Knowing Favreau and Filoni are working on it make me so excited because they are such big fans. And moving forward with this saga, the one Mandalorian I want to know more about is Bo Katan. I’m hoping in a novel or comic book we’ll get some backstory for her, maybe see her being raised alongside her sister and some of her own struggles. Because after the events of Clone Wars, I think Bo Katan is very hard on herself and blames herself for her sister’s death; that’s why she’s hesitant to lead everyone when we see her in “Rebels”.

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