Star Wars' first stab at live-action television with The Mandalorian has proven wildly successful with both fans and critics. The latest evidence of this is the show's 15 Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Drama Series. Producer Dave Filoni, who helped bring Star Wars to television via animated series like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, had a hand in bringing The Mandalorian to the Disney+ streaming service. Speaking to Deadline about the show's Emmy recognition, Filoni explained why this was the right time to move Star Wars into live-action television, and why The Mandalorian was the right show to make that move.
"It's a shift, for sure, and something that I was interested in for a while. I really got interested in, you know, seeing if I could do it from working with George [Lucas] and listening to his stories and his experience, and from the way he taught me how to, you know, shoot animation, because we were doing it in kind of a virtual sense, as well, with our animation programs that he was creating to tell The Clone Wars," Filoni said. "So a lot of what Jon [Favreau] was doing when I saw him shooting Jungle Book, but even more so, Lion King, was very relatable to me as far as technique and technology, from what George and I had been doing in Clone Wars. So [Lucasfilm head] Kathy Kennedy and I, we're always looking for a good bridge for me to try to, you know, change mediums, and this was, to be honest, a very perfect fit and a great environment, and I gained a great mentor and teacher in Jon here to shepherd me through the process of live-action."
Favreau says of creating the series, "We wanted to really wind it back to the things that inspired the original Star Wars and really get it small in scale and tell simple stories, because part of what you inherit when you're going to see Star Wars now is this whole history, because the stories have been told for decades, and it was nice, with the new medium, to be able to start with a new set of characters to introduce a new audience. But we always knew…and this is something I learned from…over at Marvel and working with Kevin Feige, is you always want to keep the core fans in mind, because they have been the ones that've been keeping the torch lit for many, many years, but these are also stories for young people and for new audiences. These are myths, and so you always want to have an outstretched hand to people who might not have that background. And so you're really telling two stories at once. You're telling the story for the people who are fresh eyes, and you're telling the story for the people who've been there with the property and with the stories and the characters for so many years, and make sure that you're honoring them, as well."
The first season of The Mandalorian is streaming now on Disney+. The Mandalorian Season Two premieres in October. The Emmy Awards ceremony broadcasts on September 20th.