If you want to watch a serialised story which stars Pedro Pascal as a devoted dad, trying to provide a semblance of safety for a much-sought-after child in a dangerous world out to get them, you have a few choices right now. The Mandalorian is returning next week for the long-awaited Season 3, reuniting Pascal’s Din Djarin with everyone’s favourite Force-sensitive baby, Grogu. Plus, he’s avoiding cordyceps-infected hordes while shepherding Bella Ramsey’s Ellie across the USA in The Last Of Us, based on the mega-popular video games.
As co-creator of The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau is in charge of bringing one of those stories to the screen – but, like everyone else, he’s also watching The Last Of Us. Joining Empire for an hour-long Q&A about all things The Mandalorian at a special Empire VIP members event, marking the return of his Star Wars series, Favreau was queried on whether we might see more of Pascal’s face in Season 3 – since he notoriously unmasked himself in the Mandalorian Season 2 finale. “Watch it on HBO!” he laughed, before going on to profess his admiration for Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann’s series. “It's a great show, by the way. I've been on the road, I missed the last one, so I don't want any spoilers. He's great!”
Favreau, of course, did note the surface similarities between the two shows. “It's amazing how much he's really cornered the market on this dad, protective father archetype,” he joked of Pascal. “But they're different characters, though! Completely different characters, but both have that same... There's a central relationship of modelling a protective father in a not very communicative relationship.”
As the primary writer on The Mandalorian, Favreau explained how he crafts a show in which the central character barely speaks (and, notably, neither can Grogu). “There’s a language that we try to pass down to the different directors, and usually to the cinematographers, that the Mandalorian has different expressions, based on how the head is tilted, and how the T-visor reveals itself,” he said. “Much like how Clint Eastwood would use the brim of the hat to make acting choices with a lot of stoicism in the actual facial performance. A lot of Eastwood's performance was how he worked the lens, and how he worked the camera and the angles, and how long the lens was, how the scene was composed. The artistic composition said much of the story.”
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Find out much more about The Mandalorian Season 3 in Empire’s new issue, featuring a 20-page blowout on the return of the Star Wars saga – speaking to Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff and more about their adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Find it now on newsstands, or become a Member now to instantly access the issue in full. The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ on 1 March.