Star Wars Celebration pushed full steam ahead in Anaheim on Saturday afternoon for a panel titled Mando+, focusing on the several offshoot shows from The Mandalorian.
Shadow and Act was on hand for the panel which was headlined by creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filloni, who brought out several cast members from the shows.
Here’s a rundown:
Jon Favreau talked about spearheading this new era for 'Star Wars'
“It’s been a dream come true,” said Favreau of continuously expanding the Star Wars universe with the Disney+ shows. “The story I wanted to tell really suited the small screen.”
Favreau also noted that the shows are great for both longtime fans and fans who may just be getting into Star Wars.
“It’s a place to grow and bring new people in that may not be up on all of the lore,” he said. “It became an entry ramp for people [and] thanks to Disney+ they can go and watch everything. All of the viewership [has been] going up on the old movies and the animated series.”
He also brought up that when envisioning Star Wars, George Lucas was about serialized storytelling.
When I first saw Star Wars it was a continuation of a serialized story. He was thinking of Flash Gordon,” Favreau continued. “You get six, eight, 10 of them a year, and they pick up and leave off. I think those chaptered stories are very fun to write. We’re thinking bout what set pieces, what environments, what characters we meet– we don’t have to solve things in 2 hours of a movie.”
Pedro Pascal's warm reception
Coming on stage to join Favreau and Filloni and being greeted to a standing ovation, The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal said, “My heart just exploded inside my body, so I don’t know how much of a contribution I can make. [laughs] It’s a good last day of my life.”
He was also joined by two of his doubles for the characters, Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder.
“I could never ever do what they do, but I learned so much from the two of them and just learning how to share skin with them,” he said on stage. “For me, it started with them.”
More tidbits for 'The Mandalorian'
Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow and Katee Sackhoff also came out to talk about the show, as well as The Book of Boba Fett‘s Temuera Morrison.
“I want the child within me to come back within the child within Grogu,” said Esposito of the show’s wide-reaching impact. “I’m hoping that happens and happens for you throughout this particular journey. I’m so happy to be a part of the process.”
On the character of Moff Gideon and the collaboration process, the actor said, “I make up a whole backstory for myself [for the character] and sometimes that doesn’t coincide [with what happens]. But it gives my imagination a chance to soar and jump into a character that’s full and complete. Those hints allow me to take what’s on the paper and fill in all of the other blanks.”
He continued, “The most compelling moments for me are Jon and Dave coming down and observing [on set], and Jon looked at me and said, ‘You’ve done this for a long time. You’ve brought a lot of ideas. I trust you. I trust that you intrinsically know. Do what your instincts allow.’ And isn’t that what our show is about? Empowerment? [It] changed my existence as an actor. It didn’t go to my ego it went to my heart and my soul.”
Carl Weathers on directing, Rick Famiwuya on being upped to EP.
Carl Weathers, who directs in the series as well as stars, toyed with fans and the creators: “I’m going to give you a spoiler — in the spring of 2023, The Mandalorian will be out. [laughs]”
On a more serious note, teasing season 3, he said, “With all of the other episodes, [this season] will be spectacular because we have such an amazing team of people – wardrobe, special effects, the people who create this magical world.”
Rick Famiwuya, who has directed episodes of all seasons of the show, is now an executive producer for the show.
‘For some reason, Jon saw my film Dope and said that’s Star Wars material,” he joked. “The first film I saw in the movie theater was Star Wars and I remember waiting in a long to see that movie and I had no idea what was going to see. And from that moment I saw the opening crawl, my life was changed. This has always been a dream of mine.”
The panel also showed an extended version of an exclusive season 3 preview shown at Thursday’s Lucasfilm studio panel. The new footage that the audience didn’t see on Thursday features the titular character flying over Mandalore
'Ahsoka' footage shocks
And last, but certainly not least, after missing Thursday’s Lucasfilm panel as she was filming the show, Rosario Dawson made a surprise appearance at the panel to talk Ahsoka.
She told fans they are the reason she was cast. “I loved the image that Bosslogic did and I posted the image and it ended up in front of Dave Filloni. So when Jon and him started working on Mandalorian, they were looking at the timeline and I turned 43, kind of Ahsoka’s image in this timeline.” And the rest is history.
Natasha Liu Bordizzo also joined Dawson and confirmed the news that she’s playing Sabine Wren. I know how much she means to a lot of people and watching [Star Wars] Rebels, she’s become to mean a lot to me too. I think you’ll be excited about the journey she’s about to have.”
Filloni and Favreau also have kudos to each other for their work bringing the animated characters and canon to life in live-action, while giving shout-outs to Ashley Eckstein and Tiya Sircar, who previously voiced the animated versions of Ahsoka and Sabine.
A short sizzle reel of what they’ve filmed so far (the show has been in production three weeks) was shown, and it included a tease for characters to appear such as Hera and other members of the Ghost crew.