This Newest Mandalorian VFX Reel Is Genuinely Going to Shock You

It’s a bad day to be a stationary CG Tusken Raider model.
Gif: Disney

No, there’s no electricity-based pun here, my friend. It’s just that things I saw in the second season of The Mandalorian that I was certain were VFX are not, and some of the things I thought I knew for a fact were real were completely VFX. Spend an immensely enjoyable three and a half minutes and see how much you guessed right...and wrong.


Some of the things seen in Industrial Light and Magic’s newest VFX reel from The Mandalorian’s second season are gimmes, of course—the Krayt Dragon and his acid vomit, the massive Imperial bases, and practically anything that flies—but there are some real surprises. For instance, I’m delighted to find out that ILM built a real model of Moff Gideon’s Imperial cruiser to use in some space scenes, just as the original trilogy did. So, somehow, is the majority of the giant convoy vehicle that Mando (Pedro Pascal) and Migs (Bill Burr) hijacked and had a massive fight scene upon in “The Believer” episode.

Meanwhile, there’s a shot of the road the convoys take where ILM decided to add a real mountain from somewhere else to the background. A shot of Mando merely running somewhere is a CG character. The trash dump planet where Mando picks up Migs is mostly CG, of course, but it’s unbelievable how little is made up of a practical set—so little it’s bizarre they bothered. And while you knew that Ahsoka’s epic entrance into live-action required a lot of VFX, you don’t know how many effects it took until you give the video a watch, so just see for yourself.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see what (bad, weird) work into (poorly) plopping young Luke Skywalker’s noggin on whoever acted as his body double. Now that’s a VFX mystery I hope gets revealed someday (it won’t).

For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.



I do not mind one bit SW’s attempts to recreate actors from the 70s-80s now from a technical standpoint. One thing that has always been true about George Lucas was that he was always pushing the effects envelope with these movies. Of course it can end up looking dated later or not quite right at the time, but I love that they try!

Now the ethics of recreating Peter Cushing without his permission (quite difficult due to death) is another matter.

I will say this though: I strongly believe that a major reason the CGI looks off in these cases (more true for Rouge One than the less highly budgeted Mando) is that the audience KNOWS Peter Cushing is dead/Carrie FIsher Mark Hamill don’t/didn’t look like that now.

My mother, who did not make the connection between Rogue One and ANH Tarkin and had no reason to think he was a CG character, had no idea he was CG in Rogue One.