Mandalorian Season 2 VFX Video Reel Reveals Nothing Is What It Seems

A behind-the-scenes VFX video reel for season 2 of The Mandalorian reveals that nothing is what it seems. Since The Mandalorian follows the adventures of the mismatched Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in a galaxy far, far away, this naturally comes with an unprecedented scope and scale for a television series. To boot, the production of Disney+’s Star Wars series takes place almost entirely within studios, so the show’s visual effects team must utilize a seamless combination of miniature props, puppets, animatronics, and practical effects to bring the show to life, albeit to some controversy.

The final episode of season 2 titled, “Chapter 16: The Rescue” aired in December of last year and featured a contentious Luke Skywalker cameo during its final moments. While the digitally de-aged Mark Hamill cameo was not very well received, the sophomore season did feature some impressive visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic, a VFX and animation studio founded by Star Wars creator, George Lucas, in 1975. The Mandalorian innovated the use of 360-degree virtual sets in lieu of green screens and its season 2 premiere showcased a compelling krayt dragon sequence.

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Now, a behind-the-scenes reel released by Industrial Light & Magic reveals that nothing is what it seems on season 2 of The Mandalorian, while also showcasing their visual effects efforts which bring the show to life, such as the krayt dragon. However, the featurette curiously does not delve into how Mark Hamill was de-aged to appear in the season finale. Watch the BTS VFX reel below:

Industrial Light & Magic explains that The Mandalorian‘s visual effects were completed in all five of their studios in five different countries. “The season’s 8 episodes encompassed nearly 5,000 visual effects shots in addition to all of ILM’s real-time effects work done for use during principal photography.” Though the featurette did not touch upon it, visual effects supervisor Hal Hickel recently discussed the Luke Skywalker cameo on The Resistance Broadcast podcast. Hickel confirmed that Hamill was on set the day the scene was shot and was integral to the process, along with the director of the episode, Peyton Reed, who had previously done de-aging work with Michael Douglas in Ant-Man.

While Hamill’s de-aged cameo is a big topic of interest for many fans, it is still interesting to see how much VFX effort goes into bringing the iconic Star Wars creatures and locations seen in The Mandalorian to life. It can definitely make viewers stop to appreciate the level of work that has gone into each and every scene of the first two seasons. With a number of Star Wars spin-off series currently in development, fans will likely have to wait until late 2021 to see season 3 of The Mandalorian.

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Source: Industrial Light & Magic

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