In several respects, The Mandalorian is setting the course for what comes next. After all, the show has already made a direct impact on the Star Wars movies. And Taika Waititi might be only the first storyteller to graduate from Disney+ to the big screen.
But if The Mandalorian has ensured anything, it’s that creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) aren’t going anywhere. This duo will likely steer the Star Wars saga forward for years to come. Given Favreau’s recent comments on the fan base, their partnership might just be perfect.
Jon Favreau created the Disney+ series ‘The Mandalorian’
Favreau’s career has certainly been an interesting one. He first burst onto the scene as an actor, really breaking into movies with 1996’s Swingers. After writing and starring in that comedy with Vince Vaughan, Favreau reteamed with Vaughan five years later for Made. Only this time, Favreau was sitting in the director’s chair.
Over the next several years, Favreau took on bigger and bigger projects, culminating in 2008’s Iron Man and its 2010 sequel. While he has remained active in Marvel, the filmmaker has also shifted into other areas of Disney. Most recently, Favreau directed the live-action remakes of The Jungle Book and The Lion King.
But he had never created a TV series before The Mandalorian. Favreau did, however, voice Rio Durant in Solo: A Star Wars Story. That role paved the way for a much more substantive influence on the “galaxy far, far away.” Certainly, Favreau has a lot of hands-on experience with passionate fans. But what does he think about the Star Wars fan base?
Favreau believes it’s important to ‘feel the energy’ of ‘Star Wars’ fans
Star Wars fans are known for being very difficult to please. And the Disney era has particularly demonstrated that again and again. While everyone has his or her own take on the recent Star Wars fan culture, Favreau, for one, prefers to stay in tune with what the fans are saying, he told The Hollywood Reporter.
You put something out in the world, and then it echoes back at you. You have to listen. It’s not a one-way street. It’s a two-way street. You have to feel the energy of the audience. But when you come from comedy — and when I was doing improv back in Chicago — that’s it: You have to read the room, you have to feel the room. You have to be in community with the audience. You have to be part of it.
Most fans would agree The Mandalorian reflects a fairly accurate representation of what Star Wars should be. The show proved to be an instant hit for Disney+ because of its pulpy tone, mysterious characters, and expansive mythology. While it expands the saga’s universe, the series stays focused primarily on the personal stakes of its story.
The two men have complete opposite views on the saga’s fans
Much like The Mandalorian, many fans believe animated series like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels match the tone of the original trilogy. Since Filoni is often credited with the success of those shows, many fans would assume he embraced a fan-centric perspective too.
Yet, Filoni recently revealed he isn’t concerned with “chasing what fans are going to like or not.” Instead, he hews closely to George Lucas’ vision of the Star Wars universe. That point of view has served him well for years. Furthermore, the disparity between how Filoni and Favreau each see the fans achieves a perfect balance.
Filoni has the same bold, ambitious visionary mind that inspired Lucas to create the original 1977 film. Whereas Favreau brings a more modern, fan-based perspective to the table. With the two keeping each other in check, they’ve so far been able to push Star Wars to new places without alienating the purists. Imagine what they could achieve in The Mandalorian Season 2.
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