Last year, Disney+ introduced the world to The Mandalorian, the first live-action television series set in the Star Wars universe, and new and existing fans alike heaped the inaugural season with nothing but high praise. Helmed by Iron Man and The Lion King director Jon Favreau, the show’s first eight-episode run not only ended up with a massive seven Emmy Award wins, but also gathered together some of Hollywood’s most exciting and innovative filmmakers in a bid to bring one of the world’s most beloved franchises to the small screen.
Favreau and friends certainly knocked it out of the park with season one, making some of the most exciting and engaging Star Wars content since Lucas’ original trilogy, and drawing in a whole new generation into the fandom. Since then, two of the filmmakers behind season one have been recognised for their outstanding efforts and given ownership of their own projects in the Star Wars universe and will not be returning for season two.
The Season One Directors
Award-winning director Deborah Chow, who has also previously worked on the critically acclaimed series Reign and Mr. Robot, was responsible for Chapter 3: The Sin and Chapter 7: The Reckoning in season one, and is now being given ownership of the most highly anticipated Star Wars project on the Lucasfilm calendar – the Obi Wan Kenobi series, which will see the return of Ewan McGregor to the role of the infamous Jedi Master. According to McGregor himself, filming will begin in “Spring next year we start. I’m really excited about it. It’s gonna be great, I think.”
Secondly, Academy Award-winning Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, who directed Chapter 8: Redemption and also voiced the bounty droid IG-11 in season one, is moving back to the big screen as it has been announced that he is now co-writing and directing his own Star Wars film. Release dates for Waititi’s film have not yet been announced, and he still has Thor: Love and Thunder to finish first.
The Returning Faces
Joining Favreau in his return to the role of showrunner is fellow executive producer and creator of the animated The Clone Wars and Rebels series Dave Filoni. Considered by many to be a direct creative successor to George Lucas himself, due to his incredible knowledge of Star Wars lore and his deep understanding of Lucas’ own creative decision-making process, Filoni first made the leap from animation to live-action with The Mandalorian’s pilot episode Chapter 1: The Mandalorian and Chapter 5: The Gunslinger.
Also returning to the directors’ chairs are Rick Famuyiwa, who gave us some of the most action-packed episodes of season one such as Chapter 2: The Child and Chapter 6: The Prisoner, and Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard, who made her own impressive directorial debut with Chapter 4: Sanctuary that introduced Gina Carano’s fan-favourite character Cara Dune.
The New Faces Behind the Cameras
With Deborah Chow and Taika Waititi busy with other parts of the Star Wars universe, Favreau has brought in a few new faces to lend their own unique talents to season two. First of all, season one cast member Carl Weathers, who plays the Bounty Hunter’s Guild agent Greef Karga, has been tapped to also move behind the camera and will be taking over some directorial duties as well.
Also joining the crew for the very first time are acclaimed filmmakers Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez. Reed, like both Favreau and Waititi, has come across to Star Wars from Disney’s other major franchise Marvel Studios, and is responsible for helming both Ant-Man films and is also in the process of completing a third film in the series.
Rodriguez, whose own illustrious career began in the ‘90s alongside friend and collaborator Quentin Tarantino, has seen him tackle a wide range of projects from films such as Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn right through to the family-friendly Spy Kids series. Unlike his friend Tarantino, however, who is dismissive of the use of CGI in his own films, Rodriguez has always openly embraced cutting-edge technology, from his Spy Kids films to Sin City, and culminating in his most recent work on 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel. The technological advancements made possible through season one should fit his own interests and talents like a glove.
— Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) May 5, 2020
‘The Mandalorian’ season two starts streaming October 30 on Disney+