by Ray Keating
May 14, 2020
Disney+ aced its first live-action Star Wars series with The Mandalorian (check out our review). And now it’s created an excellent documentary series about the making of The Mandalorian. But this is far superior to the typical “making of” documentaries related to a movie or TV series. Disney Gallery/Star Wars: The Mandalorian ranks as must-watching.
The first two episodes of this eight-part series are available on Disney+ now, with the third coming tomorrow (May 15) and one more on each successive Friday.
So far, the documentary series is mainly focused on round table discussions led by Jon Favreau, creator of The Mandalorian, with the highlights being conversations with the various directors involved in the show’s first season. Those directors are Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi. Some other brief interviews and behind-the-scenes footage are worked in as well. But, again, this is primarily about fascinating conversations, with Favreau asking the right questions and ably steering the discussions in interesting directions.
As a result, these round tables are not exclusively meant for the Star Wars fans, but also for those interested in creating movies and/or television shows. Indeed, it’s not only a unique situation to be able to listen to a team of directors who basically worked together to produce an eight-episode television series, but to so clearly see the passion and expertise that each brings to the table.
For good measure, the respect and joy for Star Wars that each possesses clearly helps to inform the creative process, and should warm the heart of every Star Wars fan.
And that brings up the high point so far in this series. I will not spoil it, but check out Dave Filoni’s description of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In particular, his discussion of the role played by Qui-Gon Jinn. What Filoni says about Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Anakin might just change your take on the Star Wars prequels – indeed, elevating the importance of those films above where they might have previously been held. It was like Filoni was teaching a short class to appreciative students – not only to the viewers, but to his fellow directors around that table as well.
Star Wars fans who have been re-energized by The Mandalorian will be further pulled in by this documentary. And along the way, Disney Gallery/Star Wars: The Mandalorian might wind up creating some new fans.
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution (now available at a deep discount) and the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Get the paperback or Kindle edition of Ray Keating’s new book Behind Enemy Lines: Conservative Communiques from Left-Wing New York.