REVIEW: ‘Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian’ Episode 1 – “Directing”

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Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is a Disney+ original that gives viewers a behind-the-scenes glance into the production of The Mandalorian. The first episode, entitled “Directing,” features a roundtable discussion with each of the season one directors, moderated by Jon Favreau, as well as one-on-one interviews and footage from the filming process. Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is an enlightening glimpse into the world of making a Star Wars TV show and will delight fans craving behind-the-scenes content of one of the most popular fictional universes of all time.

The first episode is divided into segments that specifically focus on the work of only one director at a time. As a result, the audience learns more about Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi and their work ethic, as well as the relationships formed with other crew members and actors on set.

However, while this segmentation works well in theory to give each director their time to shine, not everyone is given the same amount of time or depth throughout the episode. For example, as a Star Wars fan, I do love Dave Filoni and much of what he has done for the franchise. That said, Filoni receives quite a bit more screen time than any other director throughout the episode. This is not necessarily a problem except that Filoni’s time during the roundtable discussion is focused almost entirely on his history with Lucasfilm and his work on the Clone Wars.

Even though I did find this deep dive into Filoni’s career quite interesting as someone who loves the Clone Wars, I was still left feeling a little disappointed. Almost no time was spent discussing his actual episode of The Mandalorian, which is why I was watching Disney Gallery in the first place.

Plus, Deborah Chow, who directed two episode of The Mandalorian, was not given much time to speak at all. She did discuss how she brought her own love of action movies into the fighting sequences and joked about always wanting more stormtroopers for the good guys to kill, which I did find funny. However, other than that, there was not much talk about her directing style, behind-the-scenes footage, or acknowledgement of her role in the series.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

This was disappointing since she was in charge of two episodes, which, in a show that only has eight total, is a good chunk of the season. Additionally, Lucasfilm likes Chow enough for her to have been offered the directing role in the upcoming untitled Obi-Wan TV show, making it even stranger that we did not get much of a glimpse into her work on The Mandalorian.

That said, the rest of the episode is an absolute blast to watch. While Filoni and Chow’s segments are a bit strange or underwhelming, Famuyiwa, Howard, and Waititi’s are chock full of fun tidbits and explanations of how season one came to life. Their interviews and roundtable appearances show off their love and appreciation of Star Wars and filmmaking in general and offer incredible shots of the directors advising the actors and interacting with the props on set.

One of my favorite moments from the episode involves Famuyiwa talking about how in awe he was of seeing the life-sized Jawa sandcrawler on set. Little moments like this really demonstrate how strongly these directors feel about the franchise and how honored they feel to be working on something like The Mandalorian, which is entirely visible in both the production and reception of the show.

In addition, as someone who has always loved behind-the-scenes footage of Star Wars movies, this episode was like a dream come true. The footage from production shows off awesome snippets of how they filmed the Mandalorian flying the Razor Crest, scenes between the Mando and Cara Dune, and, of course, snapshots of the adorable, sensational Baby Yoda puppet, as well as a variety of other great glances at props, costumes, and set pieces.

In general, “Directing” was a great first step for Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. Although I do wish some directors would have gotten more interview time, the information provided was eye-opening and a phenomenal look into how Star Wars is created. I loved learning about how the directors approached the show and seeing them work with the actors, props, and costumes in behind-the-scenes footage. As a result, “Directing” is a must-watch for any Star Wars fan curious about how their favorite galaxy comes to life.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian‘s “Directing” is available now exclusively on Disney+.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

In general, “Directing” was a great first step for Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. Although I do wish some directors would have gotten more interview time, the information provided was eye-opening and a phenomenal look into how Star Wars is created…As a result, “Directing” is a must-watch for any Star Wars fan curious about how their favorite galaxy comes to life.