Film School: Robert Rodriguez’s Home Movie for ‘The Mandalorian’

Disney Gallery / Star Wars: The Mandalorian | S2 E1 Disney Gallery / Star Wars: The Mandalorian | S2 E1

How an animatic starring his action figures and his kids was just the final step toward a role the director prepared for his entire life.

In his book Rebel Without A Crew, writer/director/editor/one-man-studio Robert Rodriguez recounts building his film-making chops shooting movies with his nine (!) siblings all through his adolescence. It led to incredible success: after donating his body to science to self-finance his indie film debut, El Mariachi (1992) launched a decades-long career in which he alternated between commercially successful family movies and R-rated, B-grade meta (?) action-horror-grindhouse flicks.

Cut to 2020: Rodriguez directs an episode of Disney / Star Wars series The Mandalorian, in which fan favourite Boba Fett makes his return. Boba Fett’s reputation seems to have been earned more on his look than on his actual screentime in the original trilogy of Star Wars movies (when tallied, the character’s presence is less ninja and more Inspector Gadget), so the lethal, domineering “barbarian” who appears in The Mandalorian is less a “return” than a different character entirely. So this entirely undue, wish fulfillment of a portrayal clearly needed to be directed by a fan who revels gleefully and unreservedly in unabashed action warrior cinema – and in that regard, Robert Rodriguez the man for this job.

What makes his glee weapons-grade infectious, however, is Rodriguez’s preparation for the directing gig: creating a live-action animatic starring his kids and his Star Wars action figures, of which we see excerpts during his recounting of the story in Disney Gallery / Star Wars: The Mandalorian (season 2, episode 1). You don’t need to be a Star Wars fan, or even nostalgic i general, to appreciate when a grown man who has retained his childhood creativity and momentum gets the dream gig to which everything he has done has logically led him:

Further Viewing

We have ongoing thoughts on The Mandalorian series overall:

A look at the revolutionary technology behind The Mandalorian: