In addition to its accomplishments with storytelling, The Mandalorian was lauded for its compelling visual effects, with creator Jon Favreau taking a number of unconventional approaches to bringing the first live-action Star Wars TV series to life, though the project did require some tried and true visual effects techniques to convey the galaxy far, far away, as highlighted in the above visual effects reel. While "The Child," a.k.a. Baby Yoda was largely conveyed with a puppet and the dramatic backgrounds were crafted in a 360-degree digital screen, the talented artists at PXO shared behind-the-scenes footage of how some of the series' most compelling components were crafted.
Dating back to Star Wars: A New Hope, the saga has regularly pushed the boundaries of what could be accomplished with visual effects, which continued with both the prequel and sequel trilogies. The Mandalorian, however, found ways to not only improve on filmmaking techniques that already existed in exciting ways, but also embraced a number of traditional filmmaking methods.
The second season of the series shot earlier this year, with the coronavirus pandemic seeing virtually all movies and TV series be put on hold this past March, as the entertainment industry had to alter nearly every element of production and delay highly anticipated projects. Luckily for Star Wars fans, the second season wrapped shooting merely days before other productions were put on hold, with the new season still slated to hit Disney+ on October 30th.
"The fact that the set is much more contained is a benefit, because you can limit the number of people," Favreau shared with The Hollywood Reporter about shooting the series. "A lot of the people controlling it are doing it remotely from what we call the Brain Bar, which is a bank of gaming computers, essentially. The amount of people near the camera could be much smaller than [usual]. We also shoot a lot outside, which is helpful, too. We build to a moment in filming more like an animated production, where we have a lot of storyboards, a lot of discussions and scouting in virtual reality. We use cinematic tools in VR much the same way we did for The Lion King and The Jungle Book. A lot of times the actors you are seeing on the screen aren't actually there on set."
Season Two of The Mandalorian hits Disney+ on October 30th.