Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Mandalorian's subtle Jon Favreau touch

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It's not just the food, of course. While reading The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, one of the most striking themes is how specific Favreau's unique vision for the show is, and how well he communicates his ideas to Lucasfilm's designers. In most of Szostak's other art books, you can see how Lucasfilm's artists iterate on ideas over time, producing multiple concepts before they get close to the designs that eventually appear on screen. In The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, characters, vehicles, and locations appear almost fully formed. Most of the time, the original designs only differ slightly from what ends up on the show.

According to Szostak, that's pretty standard for The Mandalorian. “For me, the most surprising thing [about working on the show] was the incredible amount of design work that was accomplished in an extremely compressed schedule and at such a high quality,” Szostak tells Looper. “And it's something you only realize in hindsight.”

Highlighting a specific example, Szostak calls out the artwork that appears during The Mandalorian‘s credits' sequence, which depicts scenes from the episode that just ended. “Many fans on social media assume that the concept art featured in the end credits of The Mandalorian are paintings of scenes from the episodes after they are shot. But they were all completed months prior to each episode's filming,” Szostak explains. “The shots match the art, not the other way around.”

That's a pretty remarkable achievement — especially given the quick turnaround time a TV show schedule dictates — and it speaks very well of both Favreau's vision and the skill of the artists working at Lucasfilm. The Mandalorian may take place in a familiar setting, but as The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian proves, there's never been a TV show that looks quite like this one.

The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian is available now.

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