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Jon Favreau Jokes That George Lucas Gave Them a “Hard Time” on the Set of The Mandalorian

Baby Yoda with a wide-mouth smile in Disney+'s The Mandalorian Star Wars series.

The Mandalorian is easily the show I’m most excited about this fall. There are many reasons for this—in large part, because it is one of the only shows coming out in our current entertainment desert—but also because I love the Baby Yoda Chronicles. And now, as they gear up for the second season, the creatives behind The Mandalorian are talking about how George Lucas responded to the show.

Jon Favreau, who showruns The Mandalorian, told Entertainment Weekly that the visiting Lucas gave executive producer Dave Filoni “a hard time” on set while he was filming an episode. But Favreau’s tone is mostly joking in this respect. Lucas “closely mentored” Filoni throughout his seven years showrunning Star Wars: The Clone Wars, transforming Filoni into “the arbiter of what works for Star Wars,” as EW puts it. Lucas was there specifically to see Filoni work. We imagine they have a close relationship, and when visiting The Mandalorian, Lucas likely wanted to share a few more pointers when Filoni was behind the camera.

“He would be giving Dave a hard time about how many setups he was getting and how fast he was shooting and urging him to go faster. He was like a boxer’s cornerman coaching him, but always with a twinkle in his eye.”

It’s not surprising that George Lucas was keen to show Dave Filoni his knowledge of live-action Star Wars pacing. It’s hard to imagine Lucas sitting still and not being involved whilst visiting a Star Wars set—and he’s famous for telling actors to go “faster” and be “more intense.” It would appear he offered Filoni the same advice. Yet Lucas was also keen to experience The Mandalorian from the other side of things.

Filoni told The Hollywood Reporter that Lucas was excited to watch the show as a fan and a viewer and not as someone so entrenched Star Wars.

“When I talk with him, I like to get more knowledge. He’ll give me some reminders, especially before I shoot something, about how many setups I should try to get in a day, and I might rack his brain for certain things about how to cover a scene. He’s been very complimentary. I think he’s enjoyed the show, and he said once [that] now he gets to watch it as a fan and watch it as a viewer. My job is to bring that knowledge forward and pass on what I’ve learned from him in every discipline to Jon and to the creative departments.”

With rumors of even more characters from the animated world of Star Wars joining the series alongside Ahsoka Tano, it is going to be interesting to see where the second season transports us. Especially as a follow-up to a near-perfect first season.

Why the first season worked so well was because it was a space western, more in line with the original trilogy and less with Lucas’s more politically entangled later prequels. It drew on a popular element from Star Wars, the solitary bounty hunter, and expanded his world to make him the focus. Of course, Baby Yoda is adorable and was a smash hit in pop culture, but the character was also an important addition to The Mandalorian, humanizing Mando and giving him direction. The production was stellar overall, and we imagine that Lucas enjoyed his time as both a visitor on set and a viewer.

So what exactly will The Mandalorian have for us with a second season? We’ll have to wait and see—there isn’t even a trailer yet—but at least we know that George Lucas isn’t letting the creators slide. He’s watching. Helpfully.

(image: LucasFilm)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.