The second episode of Disney+’s Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, entitled “Legacy,” focuses on the origins of Star Wars and the impact of the franchise on filmmakers and popular culture over the past 40 years. While the basis of this episode could make for an interesting documentary on Star Wars in general, it feels out of place in a show about The Mandalorian, especially for an audience already invested enough in the franchise to be watching behind-the-scenes content.
“Legacy” follows the same format as the first episode. There are roundtable discussions with those involved in the show’s creation, as well as interviews with various cast members. Unlike “Directing,” however, this episode features two different roundtables.
The first includes John Knoll (ILM Visual Effects Supervisor), Kathleen Kennedy (Executive Producer), Richard Bluff (Visual Effects Supervisor), Hal Hickel (Animation Director), and, of course, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau. The second consists of all the show’s directors, who also appeared in episode one.
This episode is quite different from “Directing.” Instead of focusing on how The Mandalorian was created and showing behind-the-scenes footage, “Legacy” is almost entirely a discussion of how Star Wars as a franchise has influenced filmmaking since A New Hope came out in 1977. Additionally, since the episode revolves around the history of Star Wars, most of the discussion is centered around George Lucas and his innovation as a storyteller and director.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this, of course. As a huge Star Wars fan, the subject did interest me and I have spent time searching out tidbits of information like this for my own entertainment, especially as a kid. That said, however, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian gave the impression that the show would focus on The Mandalorian, not Star Wars as a whole or George Lucas, who no longer creates Star Wars stories at all.
Plus, as a younger Star Wars fan who was not alive when the first movie hit theaters in the 1970s, a lot of the discussion was completely unrelatable and relied entirely on the nostalgia of older fans and filmmakers. While I’m glad that Star Wars has had such a phenomenal impact on those who grew up in the 70s, especially those who entered the film industry because of it and later created their own fantastic movies, listening to people talk about how seeing A New Hope in theaters was incredible is nothing new.
At this point, every Star Wars fan, regardless of age, knows how important the franchise has been to popular culture and the movie industry as a whole. Going over these facts about the 1970s and 1980s for an entire 30-minute episode did nothing to add to my love of The Mandalorian, a show that came out last year and not 40 years ago.
Content aside, this episode still did not feel as put together as “Directing.” The first episode felt smooth and well-developed. In contrast, “Legacy” feels all over the place. Throughout the roundtable discussions, everyone is constantly talking over each other, making the conversation feel uncomfortable and hard to follow.
In fact, the first roundtable group seems almost unnecessary. I was interested to hear the opinions of ILM employees since ILM has done the visual effects on Star Wars and various other famous movies, an area of filmmaking that personally fascinates me. However, John Kroll was, unfortunately, the only employee that had any chance to talk for a substantial amount of time.
Most of the first discussion was completely dominated by Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Kathleen Kennedy. Although I do enjoy hearing their opinions on Star Wars, these three figures are interviewed so much more frequently than ILM employees who are doing the grunt work of making props and miniatures to be used on set. It felt like a time for those typically not in the spotlight to shine, except their limited time was taken over by three of the most well-known names working for Lucasfilm.
Overall, “Legacy” was a huge disappointment, especially in comparison to “Directing.” The Mandalorian was barely mentioned at all and the episode was sloppy and focused on information that any Star Wars fan dedicated enough to the franchise to seek out behind-the-scenes content would already know. Hopefully Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian continues to follow the direction of the first episode instead of the second, and returns to providing insight on the creation of The Mandalorian next week instead of worshipping the bygone days of A New Hope.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Episode 2 - "Legacy"
“Legacy” was a huge disappointment, especially in comparison to “Directing.” The Mandalorian was barely mentioned at all and the episode was sloppy and focused on information that any Star Wars fan dedicated enough to the franchise to seek out behind-the-scenes content would already know.