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Interview: The Cast of The Mandalorian on Their Live-Action Characters

The stars of the new Star Wars series launching Disney+ Streaming Network.

Nov 08, 2019

When new streaming service Disney+ launches on November 12th, the touchstone series “The Mandalorian” will premiere. After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. “The Mandalorian” is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

"The Mandalorian" | Official Trailer

 

The Mandalorian himself is a mysterious gunfighter and bounty hunter who is tight on action and a bit loose on morals. He is played by Pedro Pascal who was in “Game of Thrones” and played Matt Damon’s sidekick in the movie The Great Wall.

The MandalorianThe MandalorianCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Gina Carano, a celebrated martial artist and actress in Deadpool and Fast & Furious 6 plays Cara Dune, a former Rebel Shock Trooper-turned-mercenary who fought in the civil war for the Rebel Alliance.

Cara DuneCara DuneCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Celebrated actor Carl Weathers co-stars as Greef Carga who heads the bounty hunter guild and hires The Mandalorian to track a valuable “asset”.

Greef CargaGreef CargaCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

All of this is guided by actor/director/writer/producer Jon Favreau whom you might know best as Happy Hogan in the Spider-Man movies. Jon also directed the new The Jungle Book and computer-generated The Lion King films. He is the creator of “The Mandalorian” series as well as head writer and co-executive producer.

Jon Favreau at an eventJon Favreau at an eventCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

The new team got together recently for reporters to talk about their new show and characters.

Q: Jon, this is our first live-action Star Wars television show. Can you talk about what is so appealing about that to you?

  • Jon: As somebody who grew up with Star Wars and having an experience when I was little with the first film, my whole taste in movies was probably formed in a big way from seeing George Lucas’s original film. I learned about cinema through the lens of that film. My father would explain to me ‘This is a lot like samurai movies’ or ‘This is a lot like westerns’ or ‘World War II films’. And, there was a whole power of myth and storytelling. The idea of telling a story over more than just a couple of hours told every few years, opens us up to this novelization of story. It’s fun to keep coming back to you next week with another one.

Q: Cool! For the actors, when did you finally realize ‘I’m in the Star Wars universe’?

  • Pedro: When putting the helmet on for sure which they had handy at our first meeting to see if it would fit. It fit perfectly and I guess, very simply, trying the costume on for the first time and looking in the mirror. You can’t see very well through the helmet but I got a pretty clear impression and you grow up playing with Star Wars toys and obviously seeing these movies and then you’re staring at yourself and you are the image of that kind of childhood imagination, it’s a super “pinch me” moment. Quote me exactly ‘super pinch me moment’ (laughter).

Pedro Pascal is The MandalorianPedro Pascal is The MandalorianCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.
  • Carla: For me it was my first day on set and seeing the whole costume come together and Jon and Dave (other producer/showrunner) came and they made such a big deal out of it. ‘Oh my gosh, look how great you look’ and I was like ‘Wow. This is really great’ but then I saw them tell that to everybody and I’m like ‘Oh, you’re gonna do that to everyone? Okay’. But, it really honestly was my favorite unforgettable moment being on set, seeing the other cast members whether it be behind a helmet or as a creature. My first day on set I was up on this big thing and I was just like ‘Okay. This is it. This is my life now’. It was incredible.
  • Carl: Jon did sort of a slow roll on me. It was like ‘Okay, I’ve got this thing that I want to talk to you about’. When you walk into that conference room and all of this art is on the walls and he is so passionate about it all. It is magnificent. It is some of the most beautiful artwork you could ever see if you are a collector. You want to go and take pieces off the wall. Then he started telling me basically what this was and a little bit about this character. ‘I’m working on a Star Wars kind of (show)’? We’re in good hands, really good hands’. I’m happy to be a part of it.

            Jon:  And he directs in season two.

IG-11 and The Mandalorian in a scene from the first seasonIG-11 and The Mandalorian in a scene from the first seasonCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Q: Jon you posted a picture of yourself and George Lucas on set. Can you talk about that day?

  • Jon: Carl was there that day. I think Gina was there. I know for sure Dave Filoni (Co-producer) was there. I met Dave when I was up at the Skywalker ranch mixing Iron Man and he was secretly working with George on “Clone Wars” before anybody had ever heard of it. I showed him Iron Man and he showed me “Clone Wars”  and I ended up voicing a Mandalorian named Pre Vizsla on his show. George came by more to see him and was very proud that Dave was going on the next step (live action).

Q: Pedro, what is the percentage of you being in the Mandalorian costume versus a stunt double?

  • Pedro: Stunt doubles are essential to every large production, even for the strongest people (looks at Gina). Nothing can get done without the incredible stunt work. You have no idea of the star power from every department that goes into making stuff like this. From the person working on the shine on my shoulder to the person who built the entire ship that we’re shooting in or the whole set. I’ve seen some pretty big s**t and I’ve never seen anything like this. Yeah, there are stunt doubles thank God.

The Mandalorian on the huntThe Mandalorian on the huntCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.
  • Carl: I do my own stunts. Never, in all my years have I had a stunt person do anything. (laughter). Take that to the bank.
  • Gina: That’s neat. I did not want to see anyone else in my costume. Is she running? Okay, I’ll run. No, we don’t need her. I didn’t want anyone else in the costume. I didn’t want to share at all.
  • Pedro: I’m a bit more generous.

Gina Carano as Cara DuneGina Carano as Cara DuneCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Q: I think the Star Wars holiday special is where we saw our first Mandalorian. There is a lot of mention of that special. Can you explain why you wanted to connect the dots with that and other Star Wars shows?

  • Jon: We’re starting with new characters, right? There was a lot of conjecture. Is it really going to reveal that it’s Boba Fett all along? A character we already know. We wanted to start fresh with a whole new set of characters that you never met before. The foundation of all of this genre are the fans that have been there since the beginning and the people who grew up with [Star Wars] so how do you balance those two things? Never lose touch with the people who have put in the time and who’ve cared.

The Mandalorian and Cara Dune in actionThe Mandalorian and Cara Dune in actionCourtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.
  • So even though we have new characters and you can jump in with chapter one, we wanted to make sure that if you are watching and you knew about it, we tried to work things in whether it’s humorous like making a reference to Life Day or a reference to the pulse rifle, a prop that has been appreciated by a core group over time, just putting those little Easter eggs in, or big movements in the story that reflect storylines in either the legends or in canon that people have known.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Stream “The Mandalorian” on the new Disney+ starting November 12th!

What Do You Think? Are You In?

For about 6 dollars a month you can get the Disney + service. Do you want to see this cool new Star Wars live action series? Who is your fave Star Wars character? Talk it up with a comment or on your Kidzworld page and may the force be with you.

 

By: Lynn Barker