Every time an episode of Disney Gallery: Star Wars The Mandalorian lands, Fantha Tracks give their responses, and here’s our thoughts on the first episode of season 2, Making of Season 2. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.

From the triumphant return of legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett to the live-action debut of fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, the second season of The Mandalorian is a fun, surprising, emotional thrill-ride, which has kept fans excited to see how each new weekly chapter will unfold. This Christmas, Disney+ takes viewers behind the scenes of the groundbreaking season in a new hour-long Making of Season Two special.

In this new installment of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, filmmakers and cast provide unprecedented access to the storytelling decisions and innovations that went into the second season of the Emmy Award-winning series.

Featuring immersive on-set footage that places viewers right in the middle of the filmmaking process, and rare insights from the cast and crew, this special documentary explores the production of all 8 episodes in Season 2 — from early concept art through the groundbreaking technology introduced in the series.

Mark Mulcaster

As Christmas treats go an hour long instalment of Disney Gallery is probably as satisfying as a double helping of Christmas Pud with brandy butter.

This instalment of the Gallery covers pretty much an overview of the making of each of the chapters with a particular focus on the directors both the returning directors from season one but also the new season’s A-list directors who bring a different approach to their directing. There’s always such a huge respect for the source material and a profound sense of respect for both Dave Filoni but also Jon Favreau. It was lovely seeing Uncle George on set cooing over Baby Grogu.

Since the first series of The Mandalorian the volume has seen an expansion which as allowed for more flexibility and bigger sets as well technical improvements opening the scope of what can be achieved. As with many of the Disney era Lucasfilm productions the crew embrace the merging of CGI and practical effects in the cinematography and season two is no different, but as with the making of The Force Awakens this wasn’t a mission statement but rather more of a logical amalgamation of combining the techniques used to give us the very best from the Star Wars galaxy.

This episode of the Gallery spends a good amount of time talking about the animated characters making their first live action debut as well as the return of Boba Fett but they don’t mention the return of the Jedi with the prosthetic hand and green lightsaber seen at the end of Chapter 16.

The episode opens with lots of smiles, and there is such a positive vibe across next seventy minutes. Everyone featured shows great respect for their fellow cast and crew as well as the source material.

Unlike season one’s The Gallery there were no round table discussions, and the behind the scenes footage is littered with cast and crew wearing face masks; a sign of the oncoming pandemic that the production was racing against to finish principal photography.

There were a few surprises about the production which I thought were cool, which I won’t spoil, but I think there’s got to be a few more episodes of the Gallery still to come as there was plenty of areas of production that were not covered.

This is a great accompaniment to season two of The Mandalorian and it’s well worth a watch and maybe a rewatch.

Paul Naylor

The ‘making of’ companion series to The Mandalorian returns, shedding light on the creative processes that drive the production of Disney Plus’s landmark small-screen Star Wars epic. Sadly, unlike for Season 1, this time round we get just one 65-minute episode, rather than the superb eight themed recordings.

I’m sure this is for a number of reasons, including the current situation with the pandemic, but also because much of the tech was focused on previously. Not forgetting, with all the promised Star Wars content coming up, our chums have plenty on their plates at the moment, so, as disappointing as it might be to have just this one instalment, there are some wonderful moments to behold.

From George Lucas cradling Grogu or chatting with live action Ahsoka Tano – Rosario Dawson – to a joyous Temuera ‘Tem’ Morrison, obviously chuffed to be back in the Fett family armour, it’s all wonderful.

Robert Rodriguez, the director instrumental in making Boba Fett’s return so memorable, clearly relished the opportunity to reunite his favourite bounty hunter with his armour. Talking of instrumental – check out the scene where Tem and Robert are duetting on a tune. Fett playing a guitar is about the coolest thing you can imagine – I’m sure Tobias Beckett would have loved to have been able to play the valachord so well.

No round table interviews this time, but plenty of snippets from Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Bill Burr, to name a few.

The stand out for me was the footage featuring Bib Fortuna, with Matthew Wood reprising the role he first played back in the late 1990s for the pod race scene in The Phantom Menace. Best known as a supervising sound editor and the voice of General Grievous, Matthew looked as if he was enjoying his short-lived cameo. Action figure fans will doubtlessly be thrilled to see the Fortuna staff making it’s live action debut. Previously, the only time you saw Bib with this was as his accessory to the Kenner action figure from 1983. I maintain that the post credit scene of Boba taking the throne at what was previously the palace of Jabba the Hutt is better than any Marvel have come up with.

Overall, what Gallery shows us is just how much fun it is to make The Mandalorian. It’s a well-oiled machine, with everyone 100 per cent committed to bringing what has quite easily been the highlight of 2020.

Mark Newbold

While the first season of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian went in-depth into every nook and cranny of the production, allowing us an insight into the making of the show that we didn’t know we even needed, any dip into season two was always going to be more concise. We were already familiar with the players, the process and the tech, and while season two has clearly evolved into a slicker, more proficient beast, an 8 part series was never on the cards. That said, to only be invited into the production for just north of an hour feels a bit like being invited to the party after the cakes been cut.

That’s not to overly-criticise this hour-long stroll through the landmark second season, which brings us some wonderful moments and introduces us to new members of the family. We’ve known for a long time what a great character Temuera Morrison is, through his time as Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones and the many clones of Revenge of the Sith, not to mention his pride at being a member of the Fett family via his voice work in the blu-ray editions of the original trilogy, but to see him fully inhabit Fett in body, voice and attitude is a joy. Similarly Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez, who both bring fresh energy and perspective to the Mandoverse, their blockbuster sensibilities melding sweetly into the gritty realms of The Mandalorian. Just imagine Rodriguez and Morrison, jamming blues riffs while crafting The Book of Boba Fett….roll on 2022 and Celebration Anaheim, our first real chance to celebrate a show which by then will be approaching its fourth season.

We’re reminded once again that Bryce Dallas Howard is an award-winning director in waiting, that Carl Weathers brings decades of experience and knowledge in front of and behind the camera, that Gina Carano is still barely touching the sides of her talent and that despite rumours to the contrary Pedro Pascal is clearly fully invested in the role of Djarin, generously acknowledging and sharing the physical performance with Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder. Grogu is still the biggest star in Hollywood, Rosario Dawson has the perfect energy to take on a live action Ahsoka Tano, Favreau and Filoni are the perfect partnership to bring this and the newly announced stable of shows forward and StageCraft really is an innovation that’s set to change the way film and TV are made. Following the progress of the making of the show is as much fun as the onscreen story itself, and here’s hoping Disney Plus allow us a similar dip into season three and the new shows that are headed our way.

Just one small gripe. When this season two special was announced it felt logical to assume that such an episode would delve into something extra special. The final moments of The Rescue gave us just that, via the return of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, looking every bit his 1983 Return of the Jedi self. To not have any on set footage from that emotional scene – and understanding that Disney Gallery is produced by an outside company, so the risk of leaks and spoilers were clearly an issue – did disappoint somewhat. To bring us that quality of VFX on television, every bit equal to the Tarkin VFX from the silver screen’s Rogue One just four years ago, is worth investigation. To see Hamill on a Star Wars set once again after the end of The Rise of Skywalker, somewhere we never thought we’d see him again, would have been a Christmas treat beyond words. Whatever the reason – and the logistics of that choice are not the concern of the viewer, that’s for Disney to sort out – that omission left Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – Making of Season Two feeling incomplete, which is a shame as season two of the show was as satisfying a season of television as any fan could hope for.

Ross Hollebon

David Choe’s street art surrounds Din Djarin and The Child on their path to Gor Koresh’s fight pit in the opening moments of The Mandalorian’s second season. The dimly lit corridor screams danger, even before seeing bright red eyes lurking in the shadows, as the layers of graffiti express the rage and revolution of outsiders in need of an outlet.

I love that Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – Making of Season Two makes me think this way and drove me to dive deeper into Choe’s story to better understand why he would be included in The Mandalorian family.

The artist’s background is complicated, much like the journey awaiting Djarin, but the most important thing for fans to know is that his artistic style is referred to as “dirty,” and that brings some Level 1313 influence to this show. It is his authentic voice, and maybe it’s not beautiful in the form of a sunrise on Naboo but there is talent, tears, and tragedy in the dress-up he directed for this opening set. What makes this even stronger is the communal approach to the art. Not only are the layers put down with different styles by different artists but, as the behind-the-scenes look showed us, different contributors to the show also pitched in.

Seeing Dave Filoni painting an Ahsoka inspired piece and Carl Weathers and Jon Favreau adding their own contributions—and Favreau talking about his 18-year-old son taking part as well—build on the theme of found family and creating a space where many people from different backgrounds, some who have been involved with Star Wars for decades and others who are new to the galaxy, can work together to give life to art.

Favreau, Filoni, and team have set a beskar-strong foundation for the property, and the contagious collaboration, professionalism, and respect from returning members continue to expand on-set with new combinations and fresh creative juices.

Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez (and Carl Weathers, though he is already part of the family) brought new directorial vantage points and backgrounds to the growing universe of Din Djarin and Grogu, as epic characters like Ahsoka Tano, Boba Fett, and Bo-Katan were introduced to this live-action, goose-bump giving melee of forward-moving story.

The personality, confidence, and recognition of the need to be responsible with the tales and characters—from every person involved—is my favorite part of this special. Each chapter could have a deep-dive of its own, but the most important aspect is how they all work together and create a living-canvas—like Choe’s wall from the beginning of Chapter 9: The Marshal—that has the ability to evolve not only in this series but even in the spin-offs that have begun to sprout from this blessed bulb.

Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Legends In 3D Bust: The Child @ ForbiddenPlanet.com

 

Star Wars Mission Fleet Defend The Child 2.5-Inch-Scale Figure 5-Pack with Accessories, Toys for Kids Ages 4 and Up
  • THE MANDALORIAN: The Mandalorian series follows a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, protecting a mysterious alien pursued by bounty hunters on behalf of Imperial interests
  • THE MANDALORIAN SERIES-INSPIRED DESIGN: Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with this 5-figure set with accessories, including a hover pram, jetpack, and 7 blasters
  • ICONIC STAR WARS CHARACTERS: The Star Wars Mission Fleet 5-pack includes the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, IG-11, Stormtrooper, and The Child figures, featuring multiple points of articulation
  • DEFEND THE CHILD: Boys and girls ages 4 and up will love pretending to protect The Child (lovingly referred to as “Baby Yoda” by fans) from the remnants of the Empire with the Star Wars Mission Fleet Defend The Child action figure set
  • COLLECTIBLE TOYS: Look for other Star Wars Mission Fleet figures and vehicles to collect, swap with friends, or give as gifts (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)