Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Season 2 Special Is What Star Wars Fans Need More Of
There were plenty of pleasant surprises in the first season of the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series. However, one of the most pleasant came months later when Disney+ revealed a making-of series to show how they pulled off the already-classic series. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 lockdowns and perhaps a busier pre-production schedule for series co-creators Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, a full second season may not be coming. Still, fans got a Christmas present in the form of The Disney Gallery special, detailing the production of The Mandalorian season 2. The first season featured a little over four hours of content. The special, sadly, runs at a quarter of this runtime. Yet, it’s still a gift to fans and more of the content the Star Wars fandom needs to save itself.
It’s never been “easy” to be Star Wars fan. In the olden times of the original trilogy, geek culture didn’t enjoy the same popularity as it does today. Being called “a Star Wars fan” could be an insult. Yet, there has always been controversy in the fandom. There were some kids I grew up with who thought A New Hope was the only “good” Star Wars film. Later, after the prequels came out, the fandom aligned by trilogy. Then with the sequels (and social media) the toxicity grew out of proportion. This is partly because so many outrage grifters are making content for Star Wars fans meant to divide them further.
This is why it’s a shame that the Disney Gallery series for The Mandalorian season 2 is a special and not a full series. Because all five hours of both seasons feature people talking about how much they love Star Wars.
What Ever Happened to Star Wars Documentaries?
Whether as special features for the home releases or the odd TV channel, we used to get a lot of documentaries about Star Wars. The story of how George Lucas wanted to make this silly space opera that then took over a generation is an interesting one. Yet, they are also a kind of marketing for Lucasfilm. So, you’re not going to get hard-hitting exposés with reality-TV-style conflict. I saw one person on Twitter today lamenting how the whole special was just people talking about how magical the universe is. “Boring!” he wrote. And maybe it is. Some folks like to experience the magic and not see how the sausage gets made. Still, it’s a kind of content Star Wars fans haven’t gotten a lot of lately.
Along with sharing the excitement George Lucas had about innovative filmmaking, the Disney Gallery series shows off how The Mandalorian season 2 cast and crew simply love Star Wars. Instead of talking about how they did or did not “screw up” Luke Skywalker, they talk about why telling these stories is so special. (Also, they don’t talk about Luke Skywalker, conspicuously so.)
Controversy gets “clicks,” so all too often those of us privileged to talk about stories and whimsy for a living get lost in that. There is definitely a place and a need for critique (sometimes harsh) of the culture we love. (See literally any of the old Indiana Jones movies viewed from a place other than nostalgia.) Yet, there is a difference between critique and harassing creators because you didn’t get what you felt entitled to. Perhaps it’s naïveté, but it seems we had a lot less of this discourse in the fandom when fans could see the creators talking about how important Star Wars is to them.
Hopefully, We Get More Disney Gallery for The Mandalorian Season 2 and Beyond
Image via Disney+
A key part of the genius of Star Wars was that when fans saw A New Hope they left with more questions than answers. They wanted, no needed, to know more. So, perhaps a one-hour documentary about the making of this last season is all we really need. Personally, I missed the roundtable discussion with the directors, actors, and the like. It feels more authentic when they are in conversation with each other. Also, Dave Filoni dropped plenty of gems about the lore of Star Wars and the intention behind the films.
So, we hope that we’ll get some more content from Disney Gallery about The Mandalorian season 2. And there is reason to think we might. As I mentioned above, the climactic final scenes of the season were not discussed at all. And, given what they had to do to de-age the actor, it seems ripe for an extended discussion about how they did it. (Also, fans might be more forgiving of this amazing visual effects technology if they know more about it.) Plus, I would love to know the decision-making process that brought this to the screen.
One thing they may not talk about is how final that episode feels. There was no guarantee that The Mandalorian or even Disney+ would work. So, the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian seemed like a capstone for the story if they didn’t get to continue. But they’re going to continue. Yet, as we get more and more Star Wars series, I hope we get more Disney Gallery documentaries because I always enjoy listening to people talk about how much they love Star Wars.
The Disney Gallery special on the making of The Mandalorian season 2 is currently available on Disney+.
What did you think about the special? Do you think we don’t hear enough from the storytellers about how special making Star Wars is? Let us know your thoughts, reactions, and what you think can help make Star Wars Discourse™ less toxic in the comments below.
Featured image via screengrab
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book of superhero short stories, Tales of Adventure & Fantasy: Book One is available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon.