The Star Wars saga has been pushing the world of visual effects forward in exciting ways ever since Star Wars: A New Hope landed in theaters back in 1977, a tradition which continued with The Mandalorian, as it embraced all-new filmmaking techniques to bring alien worlds to life. While previous live-action adventures have used real-life locations that mimicked the terrains of distant planets, The Mandalorian utilized techniques that included immersive projection effects that wrapped around the entire set and reflected necessary movements in relation to the camera, helping the actors convey the wonder of these locations without having to travel great distances, as seen in the below behind-the-scenes featurette of the series' effects.
The visual effects of the Star Wars series have always impressed audiences, though once we learned how they were created, whether it be through practical models or computer software, we could then figure out how the most impressive sequences were pulled off. As we watch this new featurette, it truly feels like series creator Jon Favreau is pushing the world of special effects forward with this technology, as we witness not only how seamlessly the backgrounds can change to reflect new settings, but the ways in which these LED screens create truly immersive and realistic sets that offer their own unique lighting conditions.
Interestingly, while there are some ways in which the series is pushing things forward, it also finds ways to honor the past. For example, some sequences in Season One were lifted directly from visual effects from A New Hope.
"For example, there's a scene in episode five when Mando sees two Banthas off in the distance. I was adamant we shouldn't build a fully animated and rigged furry Bantha for just two shots and suggested we pull out the plates from A New Hope's dailies. I knew I could come up with a shot design to leverage the Banthas from that," ILM VFX supervisor Richard Bluff shared with ICQ Magazine. "When Mando flies toward Tatooine, we are actually seeing the [Ralph McQuarrie] matte painting seen early in the original film."
He added, "We reused another painting of Mos Eisley for a fly-in; in that case, I sent a photographer out to the exact spot George [Lucas] shot his original plate, capturing high-res elements so we could up-res as necessary."
The second season of The Mandalorian is set to debut in October.
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