The Mandalorian season 2 release date on Disney Plus is October 30, 2020 – and the first trailer is finally here. Despite the ongoing public health crisis, the second season of the Star Wars TV show created by Jon Favreau finished filming before everything shut down earlier this year.

Numerous characters from a galaxy far, far away are set to appear this season, including a key character from The Clone Wars animated series and a long-time favorite from the Star Wars movies. We expect to learn more about Baby Yoda and his homeworld, too, as well as the mysterious Darksaber revealed in the first season’s final episode.

The Mandalorian season 2 Production

Background

A live-action Star Wars TV series entered production in early 2009, with over 50 scripts written by 2012, but they were deemed too expensive to produce due to their complex content. Its title was to have been Star Wars: Underworld. In January 2013, following the October 30, 2012 sale of Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company, ABC television network president Paul Lee spoke to the current status of the series commenting that “We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet. We haven’t even sat down with them.

We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.” In June 2014, more details regarding the series were revealed, including that Boba Fett would have appeared.

Development

In 2019, Jon Favreau revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he had first pitched the idea for what became The Mandalorian season 2 to Kennedy during the summer of 2017, while directing the photorealistic remake of The Lion King for Walt Disney Pictures. Kennedy put Favreau in touch with Filoni, and when the two men met, Filoni began to draw doodles on napkins of what would become The Child. After each day of work on The Lion King’s virtual reality set in Playa Vista, Favreau would then stay late and work a few more hours developing his secret television project for Lucasfilm.

On November 9, 2017, Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger, while on a quarterly earnings call with investors, announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing a new live-action Star Wars television series for Disney’s then-unnamed upcoming streaming service. On February 6, 2018, it was reported that Iger had revealed during another financial report conference call with investors that multiple Star Wars live-action series were actually in development by Disney saying, “We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct-to-consumer app.

We’ve mentioned that and we are close to being able to reveal at least one of the entities that is developing that for us. Because the deal isn’t completely closed, we can’t be specific about that. I think you’ll find the level of talent … on the television front will be rather significant as well.”

On March 8, 2018, Lucasfilm announced that Favreau was the writer and executive producer of the forthcoming series. In May 2018, Favreau stated that half of the scripts for the first season had been completed. On October 3, Favreau announced that the series had been titled The Mandalorian season 2 and revealed the show’s central premise. The following day, it was revealed that additional executive producers would include Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson with Karen Gilchrist acting as a co-executive producer.

Filoni was also expected to direct the series’ first episode with additional directors including Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow. The first season cost $100 million to make.

On July 12, 2019, during a press conference for The Lion King remake, Favreau revealed that he had written scripts for the second season and that pre-production was underway. Favreau directed an episode of the second season, after he was too busy with the production of The Lion King to direct any in the series’ first season. The second season introduces “a larger story in the world” with the episodes “less isolated, yet [with their] own flavor” still. The story between The Mandalorian season 2 and the child also continues to develop. The season also explores different storylines related to other characters; this approach was inspired by Game of Thrones, and its ability to follow characters through multiple storylines.

By the end of April 2020, Favreau had been working on season three “for a while”, along with additional pre-production work also underway.

The Mandalorian season 2 Casting

By November 2018, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Nick Nolte had been cast in starring roles. After meeting with Favreau, Pascal initially thought he would be playing Boba Fett, but he plays a separate The Mandalorian season 2 named Din Djarin. On December 12, 2018, LucasFilm announced that Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog had joined the main cast. On March 21, 2019, Taika Waititi was revealed to be recording a voice for the series, speculated to be bounty hunter droid IG-88, but which turned out to be a new character named IG-11.

Footage shown at Star Wars Celebration in April 2019 revealed that Bill Burr and Mark Boone Junior were in the series, with Burr portraying an outlaw. At the D23 Expo in August, it was revealed Ming-Na Wen would appear in the series. Julia Jones’s casting was announced in September.

In March 2020, Rosario Dawson was reported to be appearing as Ahsoka Tano in the second season, which would be the character’s first live-action on-screen appearance. Having previously appeared in the Star Wars animated media The Clone Wars (film and television series) and Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka’s voice was briefly heard in the live-action film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; she was voiced by Ashley Eckstein in these appearances. Shortly after, Michael Biehn joined the cast as a bounty hunter.

In early May, it was revealed that Temuera Morrison would reprise the role of Boba Fett. Morrison previously portrayed Boba’s father Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and has also voiced Boba Fett in various Star Wars media. Boba Fett was previously teased as returning in the season one episode “The Gunslinger”. Shortly after, Katee Sackhoff was revealed to be reprising her role as Bo-Katan Kryze, having previously voiced the character in The Clone Wars and Rebels, and Timothy Olyphant was revealed to also appear in the season, as Cobb Vanth.

Visual effects

Visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, a subsidiary of Lucasfilm, opened a new division in November 2018 targeted for streaming and episodic television called ILM TV. Based in London with support from the company’s locations in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Singapore, it is expected that the new division will work extensively on live-action Star Wars television series, starting with The Mandalorian season 2.

Unreal Engine 4, a game engine developed by Epic Games, is used to create the digital backgrounds. It makes the rendering of the visual effects faster than would normally be possible for a live-action series, and Favreau said the technology can be applied to a variety of challenges. So rather than using sketches on a whiteboard to map out scenes, the storyboarding was done on the game engine. However, only about 50% of the shots were actually rendered through Unreal and captured in-camera. The other 50% were created through ILM’s traditional visual effects pipeline and rendered with V-Ray. Image Engine also created visual effects for the series, particularly in “Chapter 3: The Sin” and “Chapter 6: The Prisoner”.

The Mandalorian season 2 Music

On December 19, 2018, it was announced that Ludwig Göransson would compose the musical score for the series. Each chapter has its own soundtrack album, released the same day. For the score, Göransson played many of the key instruments himself, and then added a 70-piece orchestra. He wrote four hours of music for the eight episodes.

Göransson will also be writing the music for the second season of the show. To create his score for the season, given the industry shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the orchestra players were recorded remotely or in smaller, distant groups. Favreau explained it was “remarkable what they were able to achieve under the circumstances”.

Marketing

On October 4, 2018, the first promotional image from the series was released, featuring a Mandalorian with a rifle. About a week later, Favreau released a photo through his official Instagram account featuring a rifle with a two-pronged barrel, an apparent callback to Boba Fett’s weapon in The Star Wars Holiday Special. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and the main cast hosted a panel for The Mandalorian season 2 at Star Wars Celebration Chicago on April 14, 2019, where the first footage premiered to fans in attendance. The first official poster and trailer were released at the D23 Expo on August 23, 2019. A second and final trailer was released on October 28, 2019. On November 11, a sneak peek was released during Monday Night Football.

The Mandalorian season 2 Release

The Mandalorian season 2 premiered on the streaming service Disney+ on November 12, 2019 in the United States. It is available in 4K HDR, though analysis found its luminance to be well below typical HDR standards. Disney+ releases The Mandalorian episodes on a weekly basis, with the first two episodes released only a few days apart on November 12 and 15, 2019 respectively. The seventh episode was released on December 18, 2019 instead of December 20, in order to attach a sneak preview of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which came out on the latter date.

When Disney+ became available in several European countries in late March 2020, episodes of The Mandalorian season 2 were available weekly, opposed to having all season one episodes available at the start, the first two episodes were available at launch on March 24, 2020, followed by the third on March 27, after which each episode were released weekly.

The second season is set to premiere on October 30, 2020. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, the second season was not delayed despite stay-at-home mandates aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Books

In June 2020, Lucasfilm announced a publishing campaign of tie-in books and comics. This includes an Art of book for the show’s first season, written by Phil Szostak and published by Abrams Books set for December 15, 2020, as well as an original adult novel, written under the codename Sparrow, by Adam Christopher and published by Del Rey Books, set for December 1, 2020. The publishing line also includes comic books from Marvel Comics and IDW, a visual guide by Pablo Hidalgo, and a junior novelization by Joe Schreiber.

The Mandalorian season 2 Notes

  • Actor Giancarlo Esposito, as well as Lucasfilm’s official Star Wars website, have identified the weapon as the Darksaber, a The Mandalorian season 2 lightsaber that has appeared previously in Star Wars animated series.

The featured members of the 501st Legion are Marie Gwin, Jeff Leone, Brent Wilkinson, Michael Bender, Todd Masters, Manuel Dekker, Rick Alpi, Jacko Luong, Mark Edwards, Jacob Gonzales, Chris Elguera, and Sam Newcomer.

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