1. First, The Mandalorian utilizes a new kind of technology that allows filmmakers to use “virtual sets and real-time rendering” to basically give actors the feeling that they are shooting on location.
Creator and executive producer Jon Favreau used similar technology while filming 2019’s The Lion King.
2. Baby Yoda is mostly a puppet and CGI is barely used — when CGI is needed, they still try to make him “obey the same physical laws that he would if he were a puppet.”
3. In fact, Werner Herzog was one of the reasons Baby Yoda remained mostly puppet — when the puppet was removed during a scene so they could get a “clean plate” in case CGI was needed, Werner said, “You are cowards. Leave it. Leave it.”
Executive producer Dave Filoni recalled the moment, saying, “He was so committed.”
4. It takes two technicians to operate Baby Yoda during a scene — one person controls the eyes and the mouth, while the other controls other facial expressions, like his ears moving.
5. The main Baby Yoda puppet, which is usually used for the adorable close-ups, costs a whopping $5 million dollars.
6. Deborah Chow, who directed Episodes 3 and 7, became the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars story.
Later, Bryce Dallas Howard directed “Chapter 4: Sanctuary” and Victoria Mahoney was the second unit director on Rise of Skywalker.
7. The Mandalorian became a very popular set to visit during Season 1 — Steven Spielberg, the Coen brothers, and Seth Rogen are just a few people who swung by to watch filming.
Gina Carano explained, “Everyone wanted to see what Jon Favreau is doing over here in these Manhattan Beach studios.”
8. The two bike scouts who kidnapped (and punched) Baby Yoda were played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally.
9. Pedro Pascal tried on Mando’s helmet for the first time during his very first meeting after he booked the role.
Pedro said, “They had it handy, in our first meeting, to see if it would fit, and it fit perfectly.”
10. Jon wrote the character of Cara Dune with Gina Carano in mind, and Gina was the only person who was brought in to audition for the role.
In fact, Cara’s name originated from Gina’s last name, Cara-no.
11. Pedro went to Oscar Isaac for advice when he was considering taking the role of Mando — Pedro said, “He played a part in making me feel certain about what I was joining.”
12. Werner Herzog had never seen a single Star Wars movie before getting the role.
13. Pedro didn’t physically appear in “Chapter 4: Sanctuary” — his stunt doubles were in Mando’s costume and he recorded his dialogue later.
Bryce Dallas Howard told Vulture, “He was in rehearsals for King Lear on Broadway. And so, while we were doing my episode, I wasn’t working with Pedro.”
14. Pedro and one of his stunt doubles, Brendan Wayne, worked together to create Mando’s “onscreen movements.”
Brendan is the grandson of the legendary John Wayne.
15. When Mando and Cara Dune are running from the AT-ST, it’s a reference to the Jurassic Park franchise — Bryce directed this episode and, of course, stars in Jurassic World.
Bryce explained to the Hollywood Reporter, “With all the AT-ST stuff, Jurassic is definitely a really great reference for that — when you’re on the run from a monster in close proximity and that monster is 30 feet high.”
16. Also, this moment with Omera and Mando looking at the children was a nod to a scene between Bryce and Joaquin Phoenix from The Village, which was Bryce’s first major movie.
Both scenes use a film technique called “French overs.”
17. Bryce and Gina helped create Cara’s costume, and together they figured out how to “put basically football padding on a busty curvy female” — they didn’t want to hide Cara’s femininity.
Gina explained, “They [the costume department and executive producers] found the most incredible balance, hopefully little girls and/or boys can put it on for Halloween.”
18. Gina actually “passed out twice” while filming the scene where Baby Yoda force chokes Cara.
19. Jon and Dave brought in local 501st Legion chapter members to play stormtroopers in Episodes 7 and 8 — the 501st Legion is comprised of a group of fans who create screen-accurate replicas of Star Wars costumes.
So fun fact: for episodes 7-8 of #TheMandalorian, they didn’t have enough costumes for all of the Storm Troopers needed in a scene. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni enlisted the help of a local 501st Legion chapter, comprised of fans with their own costumes, to fill in those spots pic.twitter.com/9BgBWx6hgb
— Joagie (@TweetinJoshBe) December 28, 2019
20. With her role in The Mandalorian, Ming-Na Wen is the only person to be a Disney princess, a Marvel superhero, and a Star Wars character, thus completing a “Disney Hat Trick.”
She was Mulan in Mulan, Agent Melinda May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and is now Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian.
21. Carl Weathers remembers the first time Jon told him about The Mandalorian and took him to a conference room that was covered in concept art for the series.
Original concept art. #TheMandalorian pic.twitter.com/4VWm6WUzFl
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) November 19, 2019
Carl explained, “[Jon] is so passionate about it all and it’s all magnificent.”