'The Mandalorian' Evokes First Act of 'Star Wars' But Prequels Are the 'Bedrock,' Says Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau, creator of The Mandalorian, wants the first ever live-action Star Wars series on Disney+ to evoke the cantina scene in the original Star Wars and the post-apocalyptic lunacy of the Mad Max movies. But recapturing those 1970s vibes involved lots of new technology.

Favreau employed some of the technology developed for his remake of The Lion King while filming The Mandalorian, including immersive "video wall" backgrounds, combined with "game engine technology, virtual camera work and virtual production." Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Favreau described how The Mandalorian used the new techniques to old-school effect, following in the footsteps of Star Wars creator George Lucas, who pioneered combining on-location settings, practical models and cutting-edge special effects.

The titular Mandalorian, played by Pedro Pascal. Lucasfilm/The Walt Disney Company

Favreau was also unafraid to align himself with the widely derided Star Wars prequel trilogy begun by Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace in 1999.

"I would argue that the prequels are—and Lucas in general is—the bedrock that all of this built on. He is the first person that had digital photography; he was the first person to do completely CG characters," Favreau told The Hollywood Reporter. "The whole notion of not having even a print [version of the film], of having everything be 0s and 1s, was all George. Not to mention EditDroid, which turned into Avid. Pixar was spawned out of their laboratories at Lucasfilm, so he is arguably the center of the Big Bang for everything that I'm doing. It's building on the shoulders of what he was able to innovate."

But, while Lucas pioneered digital movie-making in the Star Wars prequel series, Favreau is also looking to the Lucas of 1977, who captured a scuzzy and war-torn sci-fi past while filming the original Star Wars in Tunisia. Favreau described The Mandalorian as taking place on a "scale that lines up with the Original Trilogy."

"I'm trying to evoke the aesthetics of not just the original trilogy but the first film. Not just the first film but the first act of the first film," Favreau said. "What was it like on Tatooine? What was going on in that cantina? That has fascinated me since I was a child, and I love the idea of a darker, freakier side of Star Wars—the Mad Max aspect of Star Wars."

The Mandalorian is set in between the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi and the rise of the New Order in The Force Awakens and follows an armored gunfighter played by Pedro Pascal. The first episode of The Mandalorian will premiere on the November 12 launch date of Disney+.