REVIEW: ‘Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian,’ Episode 4 – “Technology”

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Technology - Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

The fourth episode of Disney+‘s Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, entitled “Technology,” focuses on how the production crew used new and existing techniques to build the set of The Mandalorian. This episode is a true delight, especially for Star Wars fans interested in how Lucasfilm makes the galaxy far, far away come to life on their TV screen.

The first section of the episode focuses on Jon Favreau’s history with visual effects, highlighting his work on The Jungle Book and The Lion King. Even though these aren’t Star Wars movies, watching how Favreau and his team took the lessons they learned while creating The Jungle Book, which involved mostly blue screens, and adapting them three years later, along with virtual reality techniques and graphical rendering, in The Lion King was an incredible sight to see.

Most of “Technology” features discussion about The Volume, an LED-filled dome created just to film The Mandalorian. I loved hearing the visual effects experts describe how The Volume worked, using a combination of practical effects and set pieces and virtual floors, backgrounds, and ceilings rendered in real time by video game engines.

Hearing Jon Favreau and Kathleen Kennedy talk about their history in special effects and the role that movies such as King Kong and the original Star Wars films had in advancing movie technology was, of course, a special treat. However, by far, my favorite feature of this episode is simply how much behind-the-scenes footage is included, showing off The Volume, the actors working with practical props that would later receive a CGI treatment, and how the camera crew would move through The Volume to capture the right lighting and angles from the artificial, though realistic, backgrounds.

Additionally, hearing the directors and actors discuss their work The Volume provided phenomenal insight into what it was like filming The Mandalorian, especially when there were shots comparing the enormous warehouse and blue screens used to film the Star Wars prequel trilogy to The Volume used for this most recent show.

As an enormous prequels fan, I’ve never really thought that the CGI was what brought the prequels down. However, there is no doubt that when comparing The Volume to the blue screens of the early 2000s, this brand-new technique, invented by the crew of The Mandalorian, is far superior. This sentiment is echoed by both the actors and directors, who spoke at length about how incredible the immersion was during filming due to how detailed and realistic The Volume made the set feel.

Overall, “Technology” is, so far, my favorite episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. I’m a huge fan of behind-the-scenes footage and am personally mystified and intrigued by how filmmakers are able to take real life human beings and props and create enormous fantasy worlds like we see in Star Wars. “Technology” not only gave me that behind-the-scenes footage, but also explained in understandable language how exactly The Volume worked and the history that led to that decision. This episode is a must-watch not just for any Star Wars fan, but for anyone interested in movies, special effects, and innovative new technology.

Technology
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

“Technology” is, so far, my favorite episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. I’m a huge fan of behind-the-scenes footage and am personally mystified and intrigued by how filmmakers are able to take real life human beings and props and create enormous fantasy worlds like we see in Star Wars. “Technology” not only gave me that behind-the-scenes footage, but also explained in understandable language how exactly The Volume worked and the history that led to that decision. This episode is a must-watch not just for any Star Wars fan, but for anyone interested in movies, special effects, and innovative new technology.