With less than a week to go until the live-action "Star Wars" spinoff series returns for its second season, no one can accuse Disney+ of not knowing what it's doing with The Mandalorian. First, there was a production that found a way to thread the needle to avoid the kind of COVID-related delays and shutdowns suffered by dozens of other series. Then, we've watched a pre-premiere marketing campaign that's offered viewers just enough to keep the dumpster fires of speculation roaring without giving away a lot of intel (or visual confirmations, as you'll see below).
But this time? The streaming service is pulling out the big guns with a video compilation of… yes, that's right… the most adorable moments starring every marketing person's less-then-dry dream, The Child aka Baby Yoda. That's right, from the meme-generating, internet-breaking moment of broth sipping to pulling a "Florence Nightingale" to help "Mando" (Pedro Pascal), prepare to have some battery cables attached to both ends of your feels because the following clip dials up the "cuteness" to a Spinal Tap-loving "11."
Behind the camera, Peyton Reed (Ant-Man), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), cast member Carl Weathers, Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Dads), and Sam Hargrave (Extraction) will be sharing time with series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni in The Mandalorian director's chair. While the second season of Disney+'s live-action Star Wars spinoff series appears to have gotten off relatively light compared to many COVID-19-impacted productions, Favreau was asked if new health and safety guidelines would make it difficult starting up production on a (for now) hypothetical third season and if he had concerns. As Favreau sees it, the series' reliance on virtual sets/scenes and distance-based production actually lends itself pretty naturally to the "new norms" on sets now:
"The fact that the set is much more contained is a benefit because you can limit the number of people. A lot of the people controlling it are doing it remotely from what we call the Brain Bar, which is a bank of gaming computers, essentially. The amount of people near the camera could be much smaller than [usual]. We also shoot a lot outside, which is helpful, too. We build to a moment in filming more like an animated production, where we have a lot of storyboards, a lot of discussions, and scouting in virtual reality. We use cinematic tools in VR much the same way we did for 'The Lion King' and 'The Jungle Book.' A lot of times the actors you are seeing on the screen aren't actually there on set."
Disney The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin aka "Mando," Gina Carano as Cara Dune, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, and Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon. Between visual confirmation, press releases, and rumors, the second season could star all, some, or none of the following names: Sasha Banks, Rosario Dawson, Timothy Olyphant, Temuera Morrison, Katee Sackhoff, and Michael Biehn.