Phil Tippett, now 68, is a VFX master known for creature design, stop-motion, and computer-generated animation. His work is featured in all three original Star Wars movies, and he was part of the team that won a special achievement award Oscar for the visual effects in Return of the Jedi.
More on his contributions to the Star Wars galaxy below, but Phil Tippett is clearly a fan of Disney+'s breakout TV series, The Mandalorian. Here's what he wrote to Jon Favreau in January, with Favreau just replying yesterday, about a month later:
He has spoken! Jon Favreau is busy making The Mandalorian Season 2 right now for its October 2020 premiere on Disney+. But it sounds like he not only saw Phil Tippett's tweet, he talked to the rest of the crew about finding the right way to add him to the team. We'll have to see where that goes, but it's still another exciting way The Mandalorian has kept itself connected to the original trilogy.
George Lucas hired Phil Tippett for the first Star Wars movie, and Tippett helped create the stop-motion chess game for the iconic "Let the Wookiee win" scene:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought back "creature master" Phil Tippett for that holochess scene in the new trilogy, a great nod for fans of the original scene:
Phil Tippett also helped create the tauntauns in The Empire Strikes Back, and led the Lucasfilm makeup and creature design team for Return of the Jedi, working to develop the looks for characters like Jabba the Hutt and the Rancor:
Phil Tippett's career goes far beyond Star Wars, he also has an Oscar for Jurassic Park's Visual Effects. But since he was key to the original Star Wars trilogy, and also joined the team for The Force Awakens, it would make sense for him to bring his talents to The Mandalorian. It's the natural next step.
When Jon Favreau confirmed The Mandalorian Season 2's fall return, he shared an image of a Gammorean. Jabba the Hutt had several Gammorean guards working for him, so that tease gave fans a possible hint to more connections ahead in the Disney+ series set just a few years after the events of Return of the Jedi.