The Mandalorian's Jon Favreau And Dave Filoni Recall First Meeting Over Star Wars: The Clone Wars And Iron Man

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Few times of the year are more exciting for Star Wars fans than the weekend of the big Star Wars Celebration, which took place in Chicago this year. Beyond all the wild surprises and exciting returns coming to the big screen for Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, TV fans also got something to get pumped about thanks to Sunday's panel for The Mandalorian, the franchise's first live-action series that'll debut on Disney+ later this year.

The Mandalorian's creator and executive producer Jon Favreau took the stage at Star Wars Celebration alongside his co-executive producer, and the premiere's director, Dave Filoni. Star Wars fans know Filoni best for his animated work on the series Star Wars Rebels and, before that, The Clone Wars. The two men amusingly revealed that they met back in 2007 while Favreau was working on the MCU jump-starter, Iron Man.

Favreau: Dave and I met each other up at [Skywalker Ranch]. I was mixing Iron Man.Filoni: I was making Clone Wars Season 1. Early days.Favreau: So I brought him into the Kurosawa Stage and showed him. He was the first person ever to see Iron Man. And I was the first person...Filoni: ...To see Clone Wars. You and your son. Very first test audience.Favreau: That's what's fun about it.Filoni: We traded.

I doubt I'm alone in saying that barely any of the friendships I've made in life have involved something as sweet as test screenings of Iron Man and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Perhaps one day, though, I can con, er, earn my way into being Dave Filoni's new BFF.

In any case, the two men very quickly bonded over their love and fascination with the Star Wars universe. And while it wasn't made clear if Dave Filoni ever attempted to secure himself a role in Iron Man 2 or any of the other MCU flicks, Jon Favreau was quick to try and insert himself into Filoni's world.

Here's what Favreau says went down after he got a peek at Clone Wars' first season.

Favreau: I said to him, 'This is awesome. If you ever need a voice, let me know.'Filoni: I just happened to need a voice. That day, George had created a character named Pre Vizsla. And I said, 'Would you like to be a Mandalorian?'Favreau: Mandalorians were my favorite characters. I mean, if you're gonna play anything.Filoni: Just for the helmet.

Indeed, Jon Favreau made his Star Wars: The Clone Wars debut in 2010 for Season 2's episode "The Mandalore Plot." He returned for another two Season 2 episodes, one Season 4 episode, and two back-to-back installments for Season 5. Pre Vizsla may not have shown up very often, but he was hugely important for building the canon up for Mandalore, the planet full of war-mongering warriors with cool helmets.

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It'd be interesting to know how things would have turned out had Jon Favreau not gotten to play Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars, cementing his ties to the world of Mandalore. He said during the panel that he'd been working on his Mandalorian idea for a long time, and that he'd always been interested in the timeline that took place after Return of the Jedi, to see what happened after Darth Vader and his Empire were defeated.

It was only natural for Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni to start working together again once it became clear that The Mandalorian would become an actual TV series for Disney's upcoming streaming service. Filoni's involvement was reported right when the project got its official title and synopsis, so one imagines that Favreau had more than a few conversations with the Clone Wars chief about series concepts and details. Oh to have been a fly on the wall for those.

The Star Wars Celebration panel offered up first looks for characters played by Carl Weathers and Gina Carano, and it also revealed both new a new trailer and some behind-the-scenes footage looking at the development of the show's story and effects. Expect to see star Pedro Pascal offering up his best Clint Eastwood when he shows up on our TVs.

The Mandalorian will make its big debut when Disney+ launches on Tuesday, November 12. Are you guys more pumped to see the live-action show, or to see Dave Filoni's return for more Clone Wars?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.