Just Forty days separates us from what should be an exciting new era in the already rich history of a galaxy far, far away, the beginning of live-action Star Wars television. When Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, officially launches on November 12th, so too will Jon Favreau’s live-action series “The Mandalorian”, the most anticipated Fall show in all of television.
What is The Mandalorian? According to Star Wars dot com…
"After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. "The Mandalorian" is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic."
Now, we’ve seen live-action attempts before to varying degrees of success, from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, to The Caravan of Courage, to the ill-fated Star Wars Underworld, live-action TV is not necessarily uncharted territory for this franchise. But "The Mandalorian" seems to be an entirely all-together more substantive and legitimate step forward, and there are two reasons for that, Jon Favreau and Disney Plus.
Disney Plus offers creative minds like Favreau, the opportunity to tell a story any way they see fit, with a production quality that rivals most any film set. Plus, the ability to convey a narrative over a longer period offers the creators a world of possibilities and is incredibly attractive to any would-be directors.
I’ll admit, when the show was just a rumor over a year ago, I wasn’t overwhelmingly excited for a series about a Mandalorian, but as new information has slowly been revealed, I’ve gotten more and more excited.
Culminating in a spectacular sneak peek at last April’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, my excitement level was comparable to The Rise of Skywalker hype. Beyond just looking incredibly cool and bad ass, I think the most important aspect of the show, has been the incredibly talented and diverse cast of directors that Lucasfilm and Jon Favreau have been able to bring on board.
With Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi, and Star Wars Animation legend Dave Filoni, they have assembled an absolute murderer’s row of directors that will undoubtedly bring their own brand and vision to the galaxy.
Just recently, Favreau revealed that he would take over the director’s chair for a few episodes of Season 2, which is already underway, and Famuyiwa is back for two more as well. With a scheduled 8-episode season, this leaves the door slightly open for either some of the other directors to return, or completely new ones to come aboard. This got me thinking, with so many talented directors out there who have yet to play in this universe, whose creative vision and voice would I want to see take on The Mandalorian?
Here are 5 directors who would make great contributions to the Star Wars family…
Although Peele hasn't been directing movies for as long as some of the other names on this list, no one has made a bigger impression with their debut quite like Peele. Peele cut his teeth over the past decade in comedy and because of that many people, me included, were completely surprised and blown away by his first two films. In 2017’s “Get Out”, he delivered a brilliant thriller with poignant messages about race in America and would be become a nation-wide phenomenon almost overnight. He took that hype all the way to the Oscars, where Peele won for Best Original Screenplay and fell just short of Best Picture in 2018.
He followed it up earlier this year with another thriller in “Us”, this time anchored by an excellent performance from Maz Kanata herself, Lupita Nyong’o, proving that “Get Out” wasn’t a fluke.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, why him? While nothing about his work particularly screams Star Wars, the reasons on why he would be a good choice are quite simple. Peele is an excellent filmmaker, storyteller, and makes good decisions. Plus, he has plenty of short-from storytelling experience, The Twilight Zone for example, and at the end of the day I think that’s just the kind of person you want involved with a show like "The Mandalorian".
Whether it ended up being "The Mandalorian" or something else, I just want to see what a Jordan Peele directed episode would look like, especially if he was able to add in elements of his horror/thriller background.
If you need proof as to why Vince Gilligan needs to direct an episode of "The Mandalorian", look no further than "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film", his latest film that will air on Netflix starting October 11th.
Having both written and directed Breaking Bad, the best television show of the past decade, if not all time in my opinion, has brought this show back into the mainstream with this follow-up to the now classic series. If the most recent the trailer is any indication of what we can expect, the film will nail what made the original series so special. On top of that, Gilligan’s style would mesh so well with the world that "The Mandalorian" looks to set up.
A lawless wasteland with irredeemable characters that we expect to become emotionally invested in. The show itself even looks like Breaking Bad to me and after all, what’s the difference between Albuquerque, New Mexico and the desert planet of Tatooine? And if that wasn’t enough, how about another opportunity to direct a former villain of "Breaking Bad" and current Star Wars bad guy Giancarlo Esposito one more time?
Gilligan created one of the most iconic shows of all time and that kind of talent belongs in the Star Wars universe.
Before "Episode VIII: The Last Jedi" came out in 2017, I had no doubt in my mind that it would be a fantastic addition to the Star Wars universe and would probably take over as my favorite of the sequel trilogy. What I didn't anticipate was that it would become my absolute favorite Star Wars film in the entirety of canon and would affect me in a very profound way.
Highlighting the ideas of failure and legacy, it took an iconic series that we all love so much and steered it into new and bold directions and as the credits rolled, I was a bit overwhelmed. So much that I had to see it immediately after that first viewing, and another 10 more times during its theatrical run. I very quickly became a huge Rian Johnson fan.
Watching him while the film was being made and during the ensuing press tour, it was apparent how much love and thought he put into each frame. And as I watched more and more of his work, it became abundantly clear that’s how he tackles any film. From "Brick", to "The Brothers Bloom", to "Looper", and now his most recent "Knives Out", Johnson does something new each time while maintaining his wit and style.
Another "Breaking Bad" alumni, Johnson directed several episodes of the series including the fifth season episode titled "Ozymandias", which is widely considered the best episode of the entire show. Rian may be hard at work on his own trilogy of Star Wars stories, but a minor detour here certainly couldn't hurt. Could it?
I’ve been on the “Ava DuVernay directing a Star Wars” train for a while now and although by her own admission, she doesn’t think Star Wars is for her, I must respectfully disagree. Duvernay first appeared on many Star Wars fans radars after her friend, J.J. Abrams, revealed in "The Force Awakens" commentary that she played a role in a pivotal scene in the film.
Abrams said, “I also showed this film, an early cut, to my friend Ava DuVernay, and she had a bunch of great suggestions. One of them was that she really wanted to see Daisy, in her attack on Ren, have one really cool moment” and that moment found its way into the film at the end of the fight. It may not seem all that big, but it’s the kind of little character moment that shows that she has an understanding on how to make an already compelling character, even better.
A quick glance at her work shows that as well. From taking on the iconic Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma”, to the kid friendly science fiction world of “A Wrinkle in Time”, her focus on characters resonates throughout. J.J. Abrams himself has suggested that she would be a perfect fit for a Star Wars film, so why not a Star Wars TV show instead? Get her feet we?
It’s certainly a long shot, with her currently involvement with the “New Gods” at DC, but she has all the skills you need to make the characters we’re going to see in "The Mandalorian", even more compelling.
As far as I’m concerned, Ryan Coogler has yet to make a bad film. Sure, he’s only three films in, but all three have been some of my favorite movies of the past decade and incredibly diverse.
"Fruitvale Station" is an emotional retelling of a true American tragedy, “Creed” made me care about a Rocky movie again with incredible choreography, and “Black Panther”, well “Black Panther” is “Black Panther”.
I see a lot of parallels between George Lucas and Coogler. With both, their first projects were smaller independent films that showed their talent as photographers (THX 1138, Fruitvale Station), a second more mainstream success (American Graffiti, Creed), and finally, a massively success franchise that changed the industry (Star Wars, Black Panther).
Like every single one of these directors, Coogler is an immensely talented filmmaker and one who is in the Disney family already! With each film, he has proven that he respects and understands the universe he’s in, and he’s the perfect fit for "The Mandalorian".
Plus, there’s always the possibility his inclusion could mean his friend, and talented actor, Michael B. Jordan could also join the Star Wars universe!
Now, you tell me why that’s a bad thing?
So, what does everyone think? Do you like these choices or is there someone else you would love to see direct an episode of "The Mandalorian"? Let us know!
Next time, we'll take a look at some of the lesser known directors who we think would make a great fit!
May the Force be with you, always.
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5/19 - Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005)
5/19 - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999)
5/19 - Peter Mayhew
5/19 - Claudia Karvan
5/21 - Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
5/23 - Barrie Holland
5/23 - Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention (1987)
5/24 - Star Wars Celebration IV (2007)
5/25 - Frank Oz
5/25 - Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (1977)
5/25 - Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (1983)