At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, the buzz for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian is fueling anticipation for Triple Force Friday — a massive retail initiative that will launch new toys and consumer products from a galaxy far, far away. While we don’t have a look at the actual product just yet, we did get a sneak preview of the packaging line look, and this weekend a clearer picture emerged for what will inspire the new offerings, with the first teaser for Skywalker, and a look behind-the-scenes of The Mandalorian.
Launching with The Walt Disney Company’s Disney+ on Nov. 12, The Mandalorian panel offered a first-look at the production of the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, including a sizzle reel showcasing the work that’s been taking place in Los Angeles since last October. Jon Favreau (writer/executive producer), Dave Filoni (director/executive producer), and Kathleen Kennedy (executive producer) were joined by cast members Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Gina Carano (Cara Dune) and Carl Weathers (Greef) on stage at the Wintrust Arena.
To produce a cinema-quality series for Disney+, Favreau notes that the crew is utilizing new technology that speeds up the process immensely — with VR for set and placement planning, video walls, and gaming engines paired with traditional tools and techniques including practical animatronics and puppetry. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the footage shown has not been made available, but we do have a breakdown.
The Mandalorian Sizzle Reel:
- A series of beeps against a black screen, opening on a shot of the solitary gunslinger, we see The Mandalorian making his way across a desolate landscape. He’s tracking something… or someone.
- A door opens, revealing what will be an iconic image (pictured top) of The Mandalorian, cape flowing in the wind, as those inside a dimly-lit room turn to see who’s entering their midst.
- Favreau narrates as a ship descends upon a rocky locale to begin a montage of footage and behind-the-scenes materials.
- We see new characters and creatures, but it’s familiar. Set just five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, we see the crashed remains of an Imperial TIE Fighter, a pair of Biker Scouts (last seen on the forest moon of Endor) alongside their speeder bikes, and shots of The Mandalorian on the hunt. Filoni and Favreau explain that when we meet him, he’s simply hunting down targets to collect on the bounty. “This is a character you’ve never met before, in a time that you’ve never seen,” says Favreau.
- A new montage showcasing the costume design and creation of the armor begins. Pascal says, “There’s just an aesthetic to The Mandalorian that is extremely powerful, mysterious — this armor that harkens back to the Medieval knights — he’s relatable. We’re sort of all covered in our own armor.”
- There’s a shot of The Mandalorian — perhaps concept art — that shows him riding atop a dewback. It’s nearly identical to Boba Fett’s first appearance in a cartoon short shown during the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
- The directors, including Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Taika Waititi are all shown at work on set. Waititi (director of Thor: Ragnarok) receives massive applause.
- More montage — creatures, droids, a photoshoot with the creative team. Jawas, Stormtroopers, what appears to be a Trandoshan (like Bossk), and shots of Carano and Weathers in action as Favreau discusses the new planets, races, species, and starships, while noting that they want it to feel completely connected and familiar. George Lucas shows up, then a Rodian.
- The Mandalorian is shown with a heavy gun — a tripod-mounted cannon like the Snowtroopers used on Hoth. Explosions, more concept art and a Jawa Sandcrawler parked infront of The Razorcrest — The Mandalorian’s ship, described by Favreau as “an old army surplus gunship.”
- Filoni says “it will feel gritty and real,” while Favreau adds that it will be a series “that anyone can sit down, watch and enjoy.”
- The title card is followed by our first look at the animated Disney+ Original logo.
Look for full details on The Mandalorian toy collection to emerge in the near future.