‘The Mandalorian’ Goes Big With Production Value For First Episode of Season 3

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Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian

Credit: Lucasfilm

The Mandalorian has never been a show to skimp on quality.

(L-R): Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Many fans were worried about the announcement of a Star Wars television program that production quality would suffer. TV shows, after all, have notoriously lower budgets that they have to stretch out over entire seasons instead of 2 or 3 hours of film. These fears were laid to rest quickly after the first episode, as fans saw how Jon Favreau and others put the millions of dollars invested in the Star Wars series to good use, and the premier of The Mandalorian season 3 wasn’t a step behind.

Taika Waititi talking to Jon Favreau on The Mandalorian set.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Grogu Had More Training Than Fans Thought, According to Showrunner

In a departure from much of the Star Wars content that came before it, The Mandalorian ditched the greenscreens of yesteryear and used, instead, immense LED screens wrapped around the set and actors. This made for immersive environments, and, until it was revealed how they did it, led fans to ask where on earth the episodes were filmed. The virtual sets, together with the amazing physical sets from Season 1 to Season 3, have all been second to none.

Din Djarin in The Mandalorian Opening Scene
Credit: Lucasfilm

Then there’s the costuming. The showrunners for The Mandalorian did their homework. Each character has their own unique style that doesn’t necessarily copy characters that came before but still feels uniquely part of the Star Wars Universe. Not to mention the Mandalorians themselves. Fans caught a glimpse in Episode I of Season 3 of more Mandalorians and their culture, each with unique armor and equipment, but all united. This is the way!

Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) among other Mandalorians in 'The Mandalorian' Season Three
Credit: Lucasfilm

What was most impressive in this first episode as far as production goes, however, was the attention to detail and dedication to practical effects when it came to the alien characters. First, audiences met some space pirates, all of whom were actual people in costume, with amazing prosthetics to solidify them as creatures from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. They were unique, intimidating, and realistic because, like Baby Yoda/Grogu (Himself), they were practical and not CGI.

Space Pirates in The Mandalorian Season 3
Credit: Lucasfilm

The other amazing alien characters in this first episode included some Anzellan droid smiths of the same species as Babu Frik (Shirley Henderson). The puppetry and animatronics on these characters, again, were worth every penny. The audience was immediately endeared to them because they were real! Then, of course, there was the Pirate King (Nonso Anozie): an almost Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) like figure, with plantlife draping from beneath his red eyes.

The Pirate King in The Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’, “Chapter 17 – The Apostate”

Each of these characters and elements makes for a much more engaging story. Regardless of how good the computer-generated effect is, Audiences nine times out of ten, audiences can still spot it, and it immediately takes them out of the action. Instead of thinking, “wow, that is an amazing character,” they end up thinking, “wow, those are some amazing digital effects.” Both are an accomplishment, but sometimes, doing things the old-school way makes for better storytelling!

Grogu hugging Babu Frik in The Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

Season 3 of The Mandalorian debuts on Disney+ today, March 1, 2023, and stars Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, The Mandalorian, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon, and Emily Swallow as The Armorer. According to the official logline of this Star Wars story, “The Mandalorian will cross paths with old allies and make new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together.”

What did you think of the amazing creature effects in Episode I of The Mandalorian? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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