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How Jon Favreau Assembled The Mandalorian's 'Magnificent Seven' Crew Of Directors

If you're a fan of Star Wars, then you've already had ample time to watch, re-watch, and re-re-watch executive producer Jon Favreau's outstanding The Mandalorian, the long-awaited live-action television debut for the franchise. Over the years, rumors of a live-action Star Wars series have always bubbled around the edges of fandom. One effort from creator George Lucas, called Star Wars Underworld, actually saw life as a pilot, though it was ultimately scrapped. For fans who have been with the genre-defining franchise since the late 1970s, a live-action Star Wars series felt long overdue.

To call The Mandalorian an important property for Disney would be a massive understatement. The all-too-brief eight episodes of Star Wars goodness almost single-handedly launched the initial success of Disney+. It also served an important role as a proof-of-concept for the franchise's live-action potential on TV. Many Star Wars fans can be less than receptive when it comes to new developments with their favorite property. Favreau had the near-impossible task of taking Star Wars and doing something completely original that pulled in both new fans and lifelong die-hards alike. To pull off this herculean task, he reached deep into his rolodex and assembled an A-list crew consisting of some of the hottest behind-the-camera talent in the industry.

On the first episode of the new Disney+ documentary series Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Favreau discussed how he went about calling the show's stable of directors to arms.

Favreau's Mandalorian dream team was made up of fans

In addition to Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, and Rick Famuyiwa — who each directed two episodes of season 1 — Favreau's Mandalorian team also included single-episode directorial work from Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard as well as JoJo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok auteur Taika Waititi.

In the Disney Gallery documentary, writer-director Famuyiwa described Favreau's approach to pitching the project. "Jon Favreau explained like we were kind of like this Dirty Dozen, Magnificent Seven type of crew that he wanted to put together to help tell these stories," the filmmaker explained, "and wanted the different voices and personalities each of the filmmakers were bringing to the table, and wanted to accentuate that and bring that to the world of Star Wars."

Favreau believes that the team of disparate talents were all united by a genuine love of the source material. "One thing that unifies us is we all love Star Wars... that was the prerequisite," the showrunner said. "But other than that, I don't know that we all have anything else in common as far as how we came into directing. But each and every one of [the team] came in and learned so quickly, until [they] were actually pushing the medium in a different way and allowing us to create the tools around what [their] needs were. And so it was really fun for me — and I've never been in this position before. I'm usually the one directing."

Both Waititi and Chow spoke enthusiastically of their experience on The Mandalorian. "I really loved this way of working with all these directors. And what also helped a lot was having the presence of Jon and Dave around, basically just to keep me from veering out of the lane too far," Waititi said.

Chow agreed, "It was a really different experience to sort of get to work with other directors in creating a show, you know, and we can also bounce ideas off of each other."

Fortunately for Disney, Favreau's dream team delivered. The Mandalorian is a bona fide hit among viewers and critics alike, and the Disney+ streaming service is off to the races. While we don't yet know just what season 2 has in store, we're sure Favreau will manage to pull a few more rabbits out of his hat.