Disney+’s upcoming live-action series “The Mandalorian” may be set in the “Star Wars” universe, but longtime obsessives aren’t the only audience filmmaker Jon Favreau is hoping to reach with the show.
Speaking at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, the “Iron Man” director recounted his conversations with George Lucas, in which the “Star Wars” godfather expressed his desire to keep the franchise’s purpose clear.
“[With] ‘Star Wars,’ part of that responsibility is remembering that part of your audience is a whole generation that’s coming of age and, through stories, we express our values to the next generation,” Favreau said. “And so one of the things he said was not to lose sight that is the main audience for stories.”
While “Star Wars” and stories set in that world are “great for us who grew up with it and feel nostalgic,” he said, “you’re trying to teach life lessons through the themes and the conflicts that arise among these characters.”
In Lucas’ thinking, Favreau said, Hollywood westerns helped teach a generation about the values espoused by that film genre.
“The Mandalorian” will debut on Disney+ on November 12, the same date as the service’s launch.
The show, about a Mandalorian bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal, required a nearly $100 million investment from Disney, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Even with a hefty corporate backing like that, Favreau said he feels the most responsibility to viewers, which includes a famously opinionated fandom.
“I don’t feel the pressure except to the audience that’s seeing what I’m making and I feel that pressure every time,” he said. “And I think – much like the chefs I learned from when I was training to play that role – there’s a certain stripe of personality that are attracted to telling stories, which is you want to do something, but the experience isn’t complete until the people that eat the meal/watch the show/watch the movie, reacts to it.”
Iger declined to say how many subscribers have signed up for Disney+ in its pre-launch phase but said “we’re optimistic.”
“There are numbers that mean success, but we’re in this for the long run. We’re don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves in a speculation about what it will launch with, but we’re not in any way going to feed that speculation.”