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What You Didn't Know About The Graffiti In The Mandalorian Season 2

Everything in season 2 of the Disney+ mega-hit Star Wars series The Mandalorian is a little bit bigger, a little bit deeper, and a little bit more detailed than it was in season 1. And for those who want a closer look at what happened behind the scenes, the documentary Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian's inside look at the making of season 2 shows how creator Jon Favreau and his team of artisans crafted the world of Baby Yoda (pardon, Grogu). The documentary is packed with fascinating looks at the groundbreaking Industrial Light & Magic LED backdrop technology that gives The Mandalorian its distinctive visual identity, as well as the process the special effects team used to develop the Krayt Dragon that Mando (Pedro Pascal) and his ragtag team of Tuskens and Mos Pelgo residents battle in episode 1, and Favreau articulating his vision to the people who execute it — and that all happens in just the first 10 minutes.

It also shines a light on something that casual viewers may not consciously notice, but which definitely makes a difference in the depth of the world-building: the graffiti. The legendary desert planet Tatooine is covered in it, because of course it would be, and the story of where the idea for the graffiti came from, and how it got painted, is an interesting one told in the documentary.

The graffiti comes courtesy of artist David Choe

David Choe is a controversial figure in the art world (via ArtNet News) who is best known for his graffiti murals. He is famous for painting murals at Facebook's offices in the social media company's early days, and receiving payment in the form of shares of stock that were valued at over $200 million when the company went public, according to The New York Times. He's a friend of Favreau's, and according to Disney Gallery, he asked the EP why there wasn't any graffiti in Star Wars (though Favreau is quick to point out that there actually is graffiti in the animated Star Wars Rebels series, just not in any live-action project before this). 

So, Favreau commissioned him to go bombing on Tatooine. Choe designed and painted the exteriors on the set, with some help from Max Favreau, Favreau's 18-year-old son — who noticed that his Queens-bred father seemed pretty experienced with the spray paint can — and Carl Weathers, among others.

"He said that graffiti's about layering," Favreau says of Choe's thought process. "You want to make, like, a mural. You want to make it look like generations of graffiti." Choe even took the species that live on Tatooine into account while painting. "We left a lot of the low graffiti for the Jawas," he says. "You know, they can't reach that high."

For his efforts, Choe was rewarded by getting to play a background alien in the Gamorrean fight club scene. To paraphrase Justin Timberlake playing Choe's old benefactor, Sean Parker, in The Social Network — $200 million isn't cool. You know what's cool? Being an alien in Star Wars.