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Direct from Lucasfilm: Mandalorians, Favreau rock Clone Wars

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 29th 2010 1:02PM
The Jedi must once again face the Mandalorians in this Friday's Clone Wars episodes.Lovers of Star Wars: The Clone Wars look forward to any new episode of their favorite show. But, when you add a certain mask and armor mix into any Star Wars story, the fans woof like wookies.

That collective hooting and hollering has never been any louder now that the Mandalorians are finally getting Star Wars canon screen time in tonight's kick-off of a three-story arc, "The Mandalore Plot." Dave Filoni, Clone Wars supervising director, hears those empassioned tones and knows the responsibility he's facing.

"Ever since the first time we saw Boba Fett in 1980, the fans have known he had Mandalorian armor," Filoni said during an interview at Lucasfilm's HQ in San Francisco's Presidio. "Fans have been waiting a long time to see the Mandalorians in action."

"This is George Lucas' universe and he's very active in the show. So, it was George who suggested we bring the Mandalorians into the series."



I'll unpack that a little bit for the uninitiated. No character in all of Star Wars lore is considered inherently cooler than Boba Fett. Darth Vader is close -- and he's more iconic But the air of mystery around Boba lends him a special cache.

Strangely enough, he does almost nothing on film to earn that rep. Besides acting cool and threatening, Boba's entire list of achievements on screen in Star Wars is delivering a frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt in time for Return of the Jedi. That's about it. It's his look (designed by Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston) that sells him to fans.

George Lucas lore holds that the distinctive armor of Boba Fett -- and his father from Attack of the Clones, Jango Fett -- originated on the warrior planet of Mandalore. The heroic Jedi Knights have a long, violent history with the Mandalorians in the Star Wars movies' backstories. And, the Fetts adopted their signature Mandalorian armor from the ancient enemy of the Jedi to scare the "Banda Poo-doo" out of the victims they chase down as bounty hunters.

Tonight's Clone Wars episode finally brings the race of Mandalorians to the screen to face Obi-Wan Kenobi and his allies. While casual viewers might shrug their shoulders at that development as merely the introduction of some new villains, serious Star Wars folks have been waiting to see the Mandalorians in action for a while.

"We know how important (the introduction of the Mandalorians) is to the fans," Filoni said. "And we are all fans working on the show, so we wanted to make sure we did this the right way. The story had to work for the series and tell a compelling story. We would never do it just to bring something cool into the show."

To generate a little extra fan buzz for tonight's premiere, Lucasfilm invited fans from across the country to visit The Presidio for a special Monday night screening of the first episode in the trilogy. Fans -- costumed and otherwise attired -- wandered around the Lucasfilm lobby wide-eyed with wonder. The screening was fans-only. No press. No photographers. No industry questions. It was meant as "a thank you" for The Clone Wars' most dedicated supporters.

My unofficial count had about 150 smiling faces filing into the digitial screening room at Lucasfilm. I could venture no closer during the screening itself, but I was able to piece enough of the episode together with preview clips, still images and in-person discussions to compile juicy spoilers. Be warned.

The secret leader of the newly reborn race of Mandalorians is voiced by Iron Man director Jon Favreau. A long-time Star Wars fan, Favreau fell into the gig while mixing Iron Man at Skywalker Ranch.

And, Favreau's character comes packing a new Jedi-munching weapon that could be a Star Wars game changer. Stay tuned.

"The Mandalore Plot" airs tonight at 9 p.m., ET/PT on Cartoon Network.

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Josh

That wasn't the only thing wrong. The entire Mandalorian history and future has been changed with this arc.

March 10 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Josh

It's with heavy heart that I comment on this subject. I'm 37 years old and have had Star Wars as part of my life thru the movies and books since I was 5 years old. Now, with a three part story arc, George Lucas has not only destroyed 30 years of Mandalorian history in the books, games, and comics, but Star Wars itself. If this man can so abuse his own child, what can he do to mine? From this point on I can no longer enjoy the Star Wars Universe. If something as deeply engrained and fleshed as the existing history of the Mandalorians can simply be ignored and erased, then the rest of the story can, too. If you don't believe me on this, I simply close by saying this: Han shot first.

March 10 2010 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DarthRevan

one thing that i noticed was that he said "the race of Mandalorians" when really Mandalorians aren't a race. they're followers of a certain warrior code. they take any and all races

January 29 2010 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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