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Jon Favreau may be riding high on his box office win for The Lion King, but he has another high-profile project in The Mandalorian coming, and soon. He didn’t just jump into the Star Wars universe without some help, however. Instead he talked to Star Wars expert and creator George Lucas as the project was coming together.
In fact, while promoting the Disney theatrical release, Jon Favreau talked a little bit about Disney+’s The Mandalorian, revealing at the time one piece of advice the director gave him about creating a project in the Star Wars universe. The advice he got was pretty solid, and the showrunner kept it in mind while working on the new show. He noted:
We had a long talk with each other. One thing he said to me was, ’Remember, Jon, the real audience for all stories and all myths is the kids that are coming of age,’ because he’s really a Joseph Campbell adherent.
Jon Favreau is by no means the only person associated with Star Wars who has taken a meeting with George Lucas in the past. J.J. Abrams has already admitted he consulted with Lucas for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, although he was a bit cagier about what he took out of the meeting. Lucas also explained a Han Solo reaction that made it into Solo: A Star Wars Story, according to Ron Howard, who even noted the A New Hope director got into the character of Han Solo while explaining how he felt the character would behave!
Basically, George Lucas is a font of information, so it’s no real surprise Jon Favreau took the opportunity to talk to the Star Wars creator, who famously sold his brand to Disney about seven years ago. Plus, I'm sure just talking to Lucas was a cool opportunity for Favreau, who is a noted Star Wars fan.
While Jon Favreau is often known for his directing and acting, in the world of The Mandalorian, he’s actually signed on to write and produce the project and will be the showrunner on the new series.
Earlier this year at Star Wars Celebration, Favreau said he spent much of the holidays one year working on The Mandalorian, and even Dave Filoni was teasing him about getting a life. He also talked at Celebration about deciding to hire directors who already cared about the Star Wars universe to make sure they were the right fit. So, it’s clear he’s taking his myriad duties on the project seriously.
We’ve even reached the point where Jon Favreau has also admitted he’s already writing Season 2, if you needed further evidence regarding how much he seems to care.
Still, of his conversation with George Lucas, Jon Favreau also revealed in his interview with GQ what he feels storytelling generally accomplishes when done correctly, expanding a little on what George Lucas told him.
We enjoy the stories as adults, but really, storytelling is about imparting the wisdom of the previous generations on to the children who are becoming adults, and giving them a context for how to behave and how to learn the lessons of the past without making the mistakes on their own. That’s the hope, that you can teach them how to avoid all the hardship but garner all the wisdom.
The Mandalorian is in a unique position because it hits a fanbase both young and old, and will hit a wider swath of audiences than most programs, making this point of view and advice particularly interesting. Given Season 2 is already being developed, it will hopefully be a success when it hits Disney+. For now, you can see what all is headed to the upcoming streaming service with our full guide.