Robert Rodriguez, as a creator, seems a natural fit for Chapter 14 of The Mandalorian, which premiered this past Thursday on Disney Plus. After all, few people do high action and character work better than Rodriguez, and he’s more than a little experienced with big-budget filmmaking. And yet, apparently, it was sort of a random happenstance that he ended up directing at all.
As reported by GamesRadar, based on an interview from the print version of SFX, Rodriguez wasn’t actually the first choice to direct that episode. He was a ringer.
“I’m friends with Jon Favreau and he needed a last-minute replacement for a director,” Rodriguez told SFX. “And so I said, ‘Sure, I’ll come play in the Star Wars universe!’ What a dream. And it’s fulfilled all my... it’s beyond my expectations, I mean, it was SO fun, you can’t imagine what it’s like to walk on a set that has the classic look of The Empire Strikes Back feel and look. It’s right after that era, right after the Return of the Jedi. It’s that era. So you really feel like you just walked into your childhood.”
It’s clear from the episode itself that Rodriguez had a great time. It just has a really infectious propulsive energy, even as the events are rather harrowing. And behind the scenes, Rodriguez, like any of us in his place, was just constantly fanboying out.
“All of a sudden you go up and touch things and go, ‘That’s the thing that Han Solo talked into when he shot the machine and told the stormtroopers not to come up’. I was like, ‘Wow, I thought I recognised that!’ It’s just a really strange, exhilarating experience to be in your childhood sets for real,” he said. “And getting to make action! It’s really cool... The visual language is so embedded in our heads. So I have one of those [selfies] ‘Look, it’s me next to a control panel, isn’t that cool?’. It was so fun.”
May we all enjoy our work as much as Robert Rodriguez does. And, now that he has the connection, I’m thinking Favreau should definitely bring him back.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.