Every time an episode of Disney Gallery: Star Wars The Mandalorian lands, Fantha Tracks give their responses, and here’s our thoughts on the third episode, Cast. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.
DISNEY GALLERY: THE MANDALORIAN is an eight-episode documentary series that pulls back the curtain on The Mandalorian. Each chapter explores a different facet of the first live-action Star Wars television show through interviews, behind the scenes footage, and roundtable conversations hosted by Jon Favreau.
“The thing about Star Wars characters—they always have a silhouette. You can see them from a distance and you know who they are.” Director Bryce Dallas Howard shared this tidbit she picked up from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and it serves this entire episode well.
But it’s never just the outline of the character’s visual appearance that singularly defines these characters and the actor depth is on full display in “Cast,” the third installment of this behind-the-scenes look at The Mandalorian.
Din Djarin is brought to life by not only Pedro Pascal in Beskar armor but also is accented by stunt doubles Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder—who bring their own specialties to gunslinging and action sequences. And as director Deborah Chow points out, sometimes it is more about the stillness of the character—making the most simple gestures stand out more in understanding the man of few words.
Speaking of his words—the sneak peek into Pascal’s voice acting, with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni in the room was inspiring and a special moment to see.
Favreau and Filoni were joined around the table this week by Pascal, Gina Carano and Carl Weathers as changes in the script, an injury on the set and the all-out respect the actors have for one another—including a moving recognition of Weathers by Carano.
This episode showcased the stars and they delivered—but I also want to call out two smaller items that stood out to me.
Bravo to Kim Richards, first assistant director for six episodes of the series, on getting her screen time and continuing to put in the dedication and hard work in Hollywood—having also been on Favreau’s teams for the live-action The Lion King and The Jungle Book. I hope we’ll get to see her directorial debut on a future Star Wars show.
And I was also somewhat giddy when Filoni finally started using some sport references while explaining stories. Comparing Pascal to a hockey player made me smile—even if he’s a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Passion and fandom continue to shine through from creators, to the crew to the actors—and that’s why The Mandalorian inaugural season was magic.
I love this docu-strand almost as much as the show itself. Everything just clicks into place. In this episode Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni sit down with the three key cast members – Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Carl Weathers. It was interesting to discover that three performers were pivotal in bringing the titular character to life. Something that Pascal humbly acknowledges.
“I am third fiddle to two incredible guys — Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder,” Pascal explains.
For such a physical role it was only natural that stuntmen would be involved. The role of Boba Fett owes as much to Dicky Beer as it does Jeremy Bulloch in the original trilogy. For The Mandalorian, Crowder represents the character in martial arts combat. Wayne is handy with a gun so takes care of the gunslinger element of Mando’s character.
That name. Wayne. Yep, Brendan is the grandson of the legendary actor John Wayne.
Gina Carano embodies Cara Dune. The epitome of cool, the ex shocktrooper originated on Leia’s home world of Alderaan, and she is in awe of Carl Weathers, citing his superstar status.
It’s a fair comment. Much as in the 1977 original Star Wars movie where Alec Guinness gave a grandiose performance, and in turn the story gravitas, so it is the case for Carl Weathers in The Mandalorian. Carl was due to bite the dust early on in the series, but was enjoying the role so much and becoming more and more respected on set, his character survived the season.
It’s another great insight to what has swiftly become one of the most enjoyable Star Wars productions of the Disney era.
Further down the line, I do hope we get to see more of Taika Waititi waxing lyrical about IG-11 and please, please, some inner most thoughts from Nick Nolte on voicing our new favourite ugnaught.
As unexpected treats go, you have to go a long way to top what we’re getting with Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. Being allowed a look into the making of a show is one thing, behind the scenes press kits and documentaries are a common thing, but rarely do you get such a deep dive into the process, breaking the series down into a variety of elements. First off the directors, who brought their unique perspectives to the show, then legacy – over four decades in, how can you discuss Star Wars without acknowledging its vast legacy? – and with this episode the cast.
Every Star Wars project has its own flavour, dictated by story and era and a cast that uniquely fits the parameters of the story that’s being told. Pedro Pascal readily explains how Din Djarin is brought to the screen by a team of performers – something common in the GFFA (just look at how many actors took to bring Darth Vader to the screen) and his affection and excitement for the role is palpable. A treat then, to see him at the mic recording Mando’s lines in that unmistakable voice.
Gina Carano was clearly born to play Cara Dune, feeling at home in the role and understanding her character; another daughter of Alderaan but one who has fought in a very different way to Leia Organa. And then there’s Carl Weathers. What else can be said about the man who already flies high in pop culture as Apollo Creed from the Rocky series and Dillon in Predator? This is a hard-hitting bunch of actors with huge hearts that they wear proudly on their sleeves, and the pride on the faces of Favreau and Filoni is clear to see. This Star Wars story is about getting the job done, and here we have an A-Team of characters equal to Murdoch, Face, BA and Hannibal.
It goes without saying that the technology is a marvel – stay tuned to Making Tracks as we will very soon be chatting with one of the key players from ILM across a number of episodes – but as discussed in that forthcoming chat, all the technology in the world is worth nothing if there’s no guts and no heart in the story. Season one has shown us a galaxy after a period of civil war that’s trying to find itself once again, and populated it with characters who’ve been bruised and battered but who are determined to find a better path. It’s already a cliché, but this is the way.
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