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The Mandalorian

So have you seen the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian yet? I’m sure you’ve seen that cute little guy that everyone is calling Baby Yoda. You don’t have to be an avid fan of the Star Wars franchise to enjoy this new series.  On November 12, 2019, when the Disney+ streaming service launched, the first season of The Mandalorian was released. This hit series is based on the Star Wars franchise.  The second season of The Mandalorian premiered on October 30, 2020 and a 3rd season is now in the works. 

So how did Disney end up creating this new edition to the Star Wars franchise? George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars sold his LucasFilm production company to Disney in 2012.  He founded LucasFilm in 1971 and this acquisition by Disney was one of the largest entertainment industry acquisitions of the last 30 years. 

In a statement, George Lucas said, “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

The Mandalorian is the first live-action Star Wars series. The story begins five years after the events in the Return of the Jedi film.  In the Star Wars movie series, Mandalorians were never mentioned by name.  However they have been mentioned in books, video games, comics and TV. You’ll find the first mention of the word Mandalorian in the 1983 comic, Star Wars number 68.  

The Mandalorian series was created by none other than Jon Favreau, the director of films like Iron Man,  Elf, and the 2019 Lion King movie just to name a few of his previous projects. I’ve talked about him in some of our previous episodes.

Something cool about The Mandalorian is that groundbreaking LED stage production technology was created for this series.  The motion picture visual effects company ILM -short for Industrial Lights and Magic came up with their new StageCraft technology with the help of Epic Games.

The Mandalorian does not use massive sets or studio backlots for their production. Through this new technology, the locations are brought right to the actors without leaving the studio.  They use a large soundstage with a full ceiling and a 360-degree view.  Twenty foot tall LED video screens create fully digital environments that they use as in-camera sets and backdrops. 

Imagine having a big LED screen backdrop behind you and you can choose whatever location you want. The show doesn’t have to travel off to some location that looks like another universe, they can create it all right in the studio with this new technology.   This series of rear-projected LED screens act as a real-time green screen.  

And how is this for coolness, The Mandalorian’s directors and cinematographer use virtual reality headsets so they can pre-vizualise scenes. Talk about a fun job!  Watching how they do this is really pretty amazing.  Check out this video titled, The Virtual Production of The Mandalorian, Season One. It’s so interesting to see how they use this new technology. You can also check out this video titled, Real-Time In-Camera VFX for Next-Gen Filmmaking.

While George Lucas isn’t involved in the Mandalorian series, he has offered technical advice or pointers when asked, said Dave Filoni, who not only is an executive producer but directs some of the episodes. George Lucas has even visited the set during the filming of seasons one and two.  You have to wonder what George Lucas thinks about the series since Star Wars was like his baby that he conceived decades ago.  Wonder what he thinks when he watches the Mandalorain from the point of view of a viewer, not a creator or director of the series?  According to Dave Filoni, Lucas didn’t give a whole lot of feedback about season one. In an article with the Hollywood Reporter, Filoni says “I think he’s enjoyed the show, and he said once [that] now he gets to watch it as a fan and watch it as a viewer.”

In 2020, The Mandalorian was nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards including a nomination for Outstanding Drama series.  

In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll give you ten trivia questions about The Mandalorian series.  After I give you the questions, I’ll go back and review and give you the answers plus fun facts.  Plus, find out what fellow podcaster and avid Mandolorain fan Jeff Hunt, host of the podcast Jeff Needs Help, says is his favorite part of the Mandalorain series.

In our fun facts segment, find out which actor in the series had never even seen one episode of Star Wars when he took his role. Plus, find out which episode caused quite the controversy on Twitter!  These fun facts and more await you on this episode of Trivia Rewind. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

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Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.

Trivia Rewind – Episode 34  -The Mandalorian

[00:00:00] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:00] Hello Trivia Rewind listeners. I’m Debi Jenkins, your host. So have you seen the Disney+ series The Mandalorian yet? I’m sure you’ve seen that cute little guy that everyone is calling Baby Yoda. You don’t have to be an avid fan of the Star Wars franchise to enjoy this new series. On November 12th, 2019 when the Disney+ streaming service launched, the first season of The Mandalorian was released. This hit series is based on the Star Wars franchise. The second season of the Mandalorian premiered on October 30th, 2020 and a third season is now in the works. So how did Disney end up creating this addition to the Star Wars franchise?

[00:00:58] Well, George [00:01:00] Lucas, the creator of Star Wars sold his LucasFilm production company to Disney in 2012. He founded LucasFilm in 1971 and this acquisition by Disney was one of the largest entertainment industry acquisitions of the last 30 years. In a statement, George Lucas said, “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me. And I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

[00:01:44] The Mandalorian is the first live-action Star Wars series. The story begins five years after the events in The Return of the Jedi film. In the Star Wars movie series, Mandalorians were never mentioned by name. However they have been mentioned in [00:02:00] books, video games, comics, and TV. You’ll find the first mention of the word Mandalorian in the 1983 comic, Star Wars number 68.

[00:02:11] The Mandalorian series was created by none other than Jon Favreau, the director of films like Iron Man, Elf and the 2019 Lion King movie, just to name a few of his previous project. I’ve talked about him in some of our previous episodes. Something cool about the Mandalorian is that groundbreaking LED stage production technology was created for this series. The motion picture visual effects company ILM short for Industrial Lights and Magic came up with their new Stagecraft technology with the help of Epic games.

[00:02:49] The Mandalorian does not use massive sets or studio backlots for their production. Through this new technology, the locations are brought right to the [00:03:00] actors without leaving the studio. They use a large soundstage with a full ceiling and 360 degree view. Twenty foot tall LED video screens create fully digital environments that they use as in-camera sets and backdrops.

[00:03:18] Imagine having a big LED screen backdrop behind you and you can choose whatever location you want. The show doesn’t have to travel off to some location that looks like another universe. They can create it all right in the studio with this new technology. This series of rear projected LED screens act as a real-time green screen.

[00:03:40] And how is this for coolness the Mandalorian’s directors and cinematographer use virtual reality headsets so they can pre-visualize scenes. Talk about a fun job. Watching how they do this is really pretty amazing. If you’d like to get a behind the scenes look at this new virtual [00:04:00] production technology, I’ll post a link to a video on triviarewind.com. It’s pretty cool to see how they do it.

[00:04:07] While George Lucas isn’t involved in The Mandalorian series, he has offered technical advice or pointers when asked, said, Dave Filoni who not only is an executive producer but directs some of the episodes. George Lucas has even visited the set during the filming of seasons one and two. You have to wonder what George Lucas thinks about the series since Star Wars was like his baby that he conceived decades ago. Wonder what he thinks when he watches The Mandalorian from the point of view of a viewer, not a creator or director of the series? According to Dave Filoni Lucas didn’t give a whole lot of feedback about season one. In an article with The Hollywood Reporter, Filoni says, “I think he’s enjoyed the show, and he said, once now he gets to watch it as a fan and watch it as a viewer.

[00:04:58] In 2020, [00:05:00] The Mandalorian was nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards, including a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. Recently I asked fellow podcaster and avid Mandalorian fan Jeff Hunt, host of the podcast Jeff Needs Help, what he thinks of The Mandalorian series.

[00:05:19] Here’s what he had to say. “I got to say my favorite thing without a doubt about the Mandalorian series so far has to be just the fact that how many ancillary characters and you know worlds that they’ve, they’ve brought to life. You know, I, I grew up on Star Wars. Most of these things were, were toys or things that were, were, were just in our imagination that we dreamed up of how they would have, how they would have acted, how they would have talked, you know, the battles that they would have had. And they’ve really leaned into that, you know, to see, you know, the Mandalorian actually use a jet pack, you know, to see all these other characters, you know, brought, brought to life on the big [00:06:00] screen after so many years of just the Skywalker universe. It’s just been awesome. And is, it is literally like, um, you know, bringing my childhood imagination to life. And, uh, I, I it’s, it’s one of my favorite series that has ever been made.” It’s so great seeing fans get excited about this new series.

[00:06:21] Now that I’ve given you a little background on this highly acclaimed series, let’s get to the trivia and fun facts. In this episode of Trivia Rewind I’ll give you 10 trivia questions about The Mandalorian series. After I give you the questions, I’ll go back and review and give you the answers plus fun facts. In our fun facts segment, find out which actor in the series had never even seen one episode of Star Wars when he took his role. Plus find out which episode caused quite the controversy on Twitter. These fun facts and more await you on this episode of Trivia [00:07:00] rewind. Are you ready for the questions?

[00:07:03] Here’s question one. What is the birth name of the character known as the Mandalorian?

[00:07:12] Question two. In season one, the Mandalorian, a bounty hunter is given a job to collect a 50 year old asset. What is the asset that he is assigned to collect?

[00:07:27] Question three. What is the other name for Mandalorian iron, the material that makes up the armor of the Mandalorian?

[00:07:39] Question four. What is the name of the Mandalorian’s ship?

[00:07:46] Question five. What does The Client say he will give Mando if he brings the 50 year old bounty back alive?

[00:07:58] Question six. [00:08:00] In season two of The Mandalorian, The Child eats some unfertilized eggs out of a container that belong to which character?

[00:08:11] Question seven. What is the real name of The Child?

[00:08:18] Question eight. What is the name of the former MMA fighter that plays ex-Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Dune?

[00:08:30] Question nine. What is the name of the leader of the Bounty Hunter Guild?

[00:08:37] And question 10. In the episode titled Chapter 16: The Rescue, who arrives to take The Child to be trained as a Jedi?

[00:08:50] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and the fun facts. Question one.  What is the birth [00:09:00] name of the character known as the Mandalorian? Well, that is Din Djarin. The Mandalorian’s birth name is not revealed until the season one finale. To most he’s known by his nickname Mando. When creating the Mandalorian character, Jon Favreau, the creator of the series was inspired by Clint Eastwood and his “Man with No Name” character seen in the old  spaghetti western films. While seeing the Mandalorian’s face would be a rarity, the man behind the Mandalorian is actor Pedro Pascal. And let me point out here that the way I’m pronouncing his name is how he said it’s supposed to be pronounced when he was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s show.

[00:09:46] To me, I associate him most from his role on the Netflix crime series, Narcos, where he plays DEA agent Javier Pena. He’s also known as Oberyn Martell, [00:10:00] a character from the fourth season on Game of Thrones. At a Star Wars Celebration Chicago event in April of 2019 Pascal talked about what it was like having the lead role.  In a Starwars.com article, they say “Star Wars was an important part of his upbringing and he had trouble putting into words how it feels to be part of the franchise he’s loved for so long. ‘I was shaped by these movies.’ He said, ‘fantasy fulfillment. That’s what it’s like. I imagined that would be the dream of a lot of kids that grew up with the Star Wars franchise.'” The first time we see Pedro Pascal’s face as the Mandalorian is in the final episode of season one.

[00:10:48] Question two. In season one, the Mandalorian, a bounty hunter is given a job to collect a 50 year old asset. What is the asset that he is assigned to [00:11:00] collect? He is to collect a child that looks like a Yoda species. While fans everywhere refer to this character as Baby Yoda, at this point in the series he’s only referred to as The Child. It isn’t until the episode titled Chapter 13: The Jedi that we find out his real name. According to Deadline.com, “The actual puppet used on the streaming show costs $5 million to make and uses two technicians to control its movements.”

[00:11:35] The puppet was designed by special effects studio, Legacy Effects. In a Hollywood Reporter article, Jon Favreau says, “He’s mostly a puppet. When it’s CG, we try to make him obey the same physical laws that he would if he were a puppet. I think a lot of times CG makes itself too obvious where you don’t create parameters creatively that allow [00:12:00] the character to keep the same identity and charm.”

[00:12:03] The team went out of their way to make sure and conceal this Baby Yoda character until the moment the episode revealing him was released. They kept him out of pre-release marketing and he wasn’t one of the original toys released for the series. In a Hollywood Reporter article Favreau says, “I think that part of what people really value is to be surprised and delighted, and I think that’s becoming all too rare. It’s very difficult to keep secrets about projects you’re working on. By holding back on that one product, we knew that we may have had the disadvantage of not having toys available day and date, but what we got in exchange was an excitement surrounding the character because everybody felt like they discovered him together. That emulated more what my experience growing up was like.”

[00:12:56] Well, I’d say it worked because fans went crazy when the [00:13:00] character was revealed and people couldn’t get enough of this Baby Yoda character. When the baby Yoda products hit the market they flew off the store shelves.

[00:13:09] Question three. What is the other name for Mandalorian iron, the material that makes up the armor of the Mandalorian? Well, it is called Beskar Steel. Beskar steel is a blaster-resistant steel. In the book titled “The Jedi Path,” Beskar is also described as being lightsaber-proof. In The  Mandalorian, Mando is often paid with Beskar for his bounty assignments.

[00:13:41] Question four. What is the name of the Mandalorian’s ship? The name of his ship is the Razor Crest. It’s a former military gunship. The people at Industrial Lights and Magic  created the Razor Crest and got [00:14:00] inspiration from military style aircraft. When coming up with a design, a model was 3-D printed and making it was quite the undertaking. For a look inside Industrial Lights and Magic as they create the Razor Crest, check out triviarewind.com where I will post a link to the mini documentary titled, Inside ILM: Creating the Razor Crest. This was some old school Star Wars that’s for sure. It’s been years since ILM filmed with models like this. Lego recently came out with a Razor Crest Lego kit and for $129 and 99 cents, you can build your very own Lego Razor Crest. That is however if you can get your hands on one. At the time of this recording, they were temporarily out of stock in the Lego Store. With the popularity of The Mandalorian, who knows how hard it will be to keep those in stock.

[00:14:57] Question five. What does The [00:15:00] Client say he’ll give Mando if he brings the 50 year old bounty back alive? He will be given a full container of Beskar steel. The client is played by German actor, Werner Herzog. Herzog has quite the career as a film director, screen writer, writer, actor, and opera director. Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau approached Herzog directly about being on the show. Can you believe that when he took the role, the 77 year old actor had never even seen an episode of Star Wars?

[00:15:36] In a Variety article he’s asked about this and here’s his reply. “I was not tossed into unknown territory. I was very well briefed. I knew what was expected of me. I knew the interior landscape of the character and I knew the exterior landscape. You shouldn’t feel upset that I haven’t seen the Star Wars films. I hardly see any films. I read. [00:16:00] I see two, three, maybe four films per year.”

[00:16:05] Question six. In season two of the Mandalorian, The Child eats some unfertilized eggs out of a container that belong to which character?? Well, that would be the Frog Lady. The Frog Lady appears in chapters 10 and 11 of the series.

[00:16:24] When she appeared on the series, she immediately became a fan favorite. After the episode where we see The Child eat some of the Frog Lady’s unfertilized eggs, fans went nuts on social media. People couldn’t believe the normally well-behaved child would do such a thing. An Insider.com article discusses a tweet by the LucasFilm creative arts manager, who after the episode issued a clarification about the Frog Lady’s eggs. They quote him as saying that the eggs “are unfertilized, like the chicken eggs many of us enjoy.” I do have to [00:17:00] admit I was a little disturbed by the fact that The Child was sneaking around eating her eggs.

[00:17:04] There may be a reason why they had The Child do this. A Vanity Fair article titled “How the Mandalorian Fought to Keep Baby Yoda from Being too Cute” talks about how Jon Favreau didn’t want The Child to be overly cute. The article says, “avoiding the cutesy trap was something of an uphill battle for Favreau who found that the classic “Disney proportions” – think big round eyes and cuddly features- kept being applied to a character he wanted to keep as weird as possible.” So the incidents with the child eating the eggs looks to be an attempt at making the character a little less lovable.

[00:17:44] The Vanity Fair article says “The frog swallowing may only be the beginning of the gross things the show will let The Child do in order to underline the idea that in the end, he’s still an animal. ‘It’s like a stray [00:18:00] dog or having a little baby alligator or something,’ Favreau said, ‘then again, a baby alligator probably never sold this many toys.'”

[00:18:10] Question seven. What is the name of The Child? Well, his name is Grogu. Well, after months of people calling this cute little guy Baby Yoda, fans could finally call him by his real name, which was revealed in the episode titled Chapter 12: The Siege. The character Grogu was created by Jon Favreau. In a Hollywood Reporter article, Disney CEO Bob Iger had this to say about Grogu. “The scale of the reaction is beyond my expectations by a wide margin, says Iger. That said, the moment I laid eyes on the character, I had a strong feeling that it was going to connect with audiences. So cute. So interesting. So compelling, so [00:19:00] familiar and yet so new.”

[00:19:02] He is right about that. From the moment fans saw Grogu, The Child, everyone was in love. Imagine the amount of money being made off Grogu products.

[00:19:14] Question eight. What is the name of the former MMA fighter that plays ex-Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Dune? That is Gina Carano. The Cara Dune character is an ex-Rebel Alliance Shock Trooper turned mercenary.

[00:19:33] You may recognize Gina as Crush from the 2008 series American Gladiators. After retiring from mixed martial arts, she pursued a career in acting. She’s had several movie roles. When discussing her Mandalorian role in a Starwars.com article, she said this production called for the most secrecy of any job in her career.

[00:20:00] [00:19:59] On the series, she did most of her own stunts. A Starwars.com article quotes Jon Favreau as saying, “The only person that didn’t have any fun was Gina’s stunt double,” Favreau joked, “because they hardly got to work.”

[00:20:16] Question nine. What is the name of the leader of the Bounty Hunter Guild? His name is Greef Karga. Actor Carl Weathers plays Greef Karga in this series. You probably recognize Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed from the Rocky films. Before acting, he was a professional football player. He was once a free agent with the Oakland Raiders, where for one year he played linebacker. He then played a few seasons in the Canadian Football League.

[00:20:47] During the off season, Weathers went to San Francisco State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Drama. When he signed on to play Greef Karga in The Mandalorian, he told Jon Favreau [00:21:00] that he’d like to direct an episode. Well, Favreau made good on that request. Weathers is the director of the episode, Chapter 12: The Siege. When asked about his experience at a question and answer session at the Star Wars Celebration Chicago event in April of 2019, Starwars.com quotes Weather’s saying, “Of all the things I’ve been involved with, I don’t think anything has come close to this. This is insane.”

[00:21:29] And question 10. In the episode titled Chapter 16: The Rescue, who arrives to take The Child to be trained as a Jedi? Well, to everyone’s surprise that person was Luke Skywalker. In the final episode of season two, it was a huge surprise to see Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker character show up at the end. This wasn’t the older version of Luke Skywalker that we’ve seen in recent Star Wars movies. It was the younger one, like we saw [00:22:00] in A New Hope.

[00:22:01] So how they do it?  Well, it’s likely a combination of body doubles and CGI. After the episode aired and fans went crazy on social media, Mark Hamill sent out a few tweets about the episode. One tweet said, “#NoWords. Seeing fans reaction to Luke’s return is something I will cherish forever” Hamill wrote. Adding that the experience was “overwhelming” and “very moving.” And “I’m a fan myself. So I knew true fans would love it, but to see them thrilled beyond belief with the exuberance of children, whooping it up, screaming in ecstasy, the tears of sheer joy… it’s a roller coaster of emotions I’ll never forget.” I will say this was my son’s favorite part of the series so far.

[00:22:51] Mandalorian fans everywhere will be on the edge of their seat waiting for season three. When will that be you ask?  Well, [00:23:00] I’ve heard answers that range from December of 2021 all the way to sometime in 2022. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. So what’s your favorite part about The Mandalorian series?  Let me know. Email me at triviarewind@gmail.com or visit Trivia Rewind on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or on triviarewind.com.

[00:23:25] Thanks again to my guest Jeff from Jeff Needs Help, a podcast where he discusses random subjects from entertainment to sports and just about everything else in between. You can find Jeff Needs Help wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:23:41] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for listening and I will be back next week with another new episode of Trivia Rewind. [00:24:00]

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