‘The Mandalorian’: Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni Tease Season 3 at Star Wars Celebration

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Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni appeared at Star Wars Celebration on Saturday to give cheering fans their first look at the third season of The Mandalorian.

The duo was joined by the cast of the popular Disney+ series, including stars Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers and Temuera Morrison, among others, to pull back the curtain on the show returning to the streamer in February 2023.

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“I’ve always loved Star Wars. I grew up watching Star Wars. The type of story that I wanted to tell really suited the small screen,” Favreau told the crowd. “And it was also an opportunity to bring new people in who might not be up on all the lore. What we were most proud of was people were not just watching our show, but all of the viewership was going up for the movies and the animated series.”

The upcoming Mandalorian season was set up via a few episodes of the spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett, which starred Temuera Morrison. The Mandalorian also lead to the upcoming spinoff series Ahsoka, starring Rosario Dawson as the fan-favorite Jedi Knight. Production of that series — written by Filoni and executive produced by Filoni and Favreau — began earlier this year.

“It’s the closest I’ve come to being a dad,” Pascal joked about his scene-stealing co-star Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, after he arrived on stage to a standing ovation. Added Favreau concerning Grogu’s decision to stay with Din Djarin (Pascal) rather than be trained as a Jedi by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), “Bonds and families form in interesting ways… it’s not always by blood.”

Said Esposito, “When you work with folks who allow you to extend yourself, that empowered me. And I thought, isn’t that what our show is about, being empowered?”

This week it was reported that Bryce Dallas Howard would return to direct at least one episode of season three. Howard directed the season one episode “Sanctuary” and the season two episode “The Heiress.” She also helmed one of the standout episodes of Book of Boba Fett, the Mando-centric episode “Return of the Mandalorian.”

During the panel, it was revealed that Weathers also directed one episode of season three. “It’s a wonderful sandbox to play in,” he said of the experience.

Fans lucky enough to make it into the convention center’s main hall Saturday for the panel were treated to the trailer for the third season. After the trailer played, the hall went into a frenzy, the enormous crowd yelling for the preview to be played again.

It is unclear when the trailer will drop online.

In addition to the Mandalorian, there was some Ahsoka news out of the panel. Natasha Liu Bordizzo was announced to play Sabine Wren. The actress entered the panel to enormous cheers and applause.

After the panel, THR caught up with some of the cast.

“To be a part of something of this size, and to have a safety net that is Jon and Dave Filoni’s love of Star Wars, with Kathleen Kennedy, has been an experience I couldn’t be more grateful for,” Pascal said. “It is very surreal for there to be an expanded universe for sure. And also amazing to usher in this medium for other ways of telling stories. Obi-Wan Kenobi started this weekend, and there’s Book of Boba Fett. We got a taste of Ahsoka, which I’m going to be the first one to see. So it is surreal. Surreal is the perfect word.”

Said Weathers, “Let me tell you, you know, the old bad line about, ‘I don’t want to be a part of any club that wants me as a member — the opposite here. I’m so happy to be a part of this club. Such a great group of people, and they’re so creative. And if you’re in the film business, or the television business, or in the entertainment business, it’s so nice to do things that you really enjoy doing, you know? We all enjoy getting paid for our work, but going to work and really wanting to be with those people and work with that material is such a —people say it all the time, — such a blessing, but it really is.”

Esposito shared a particularly enjoyable anecdote with THR. “I’ll tell you how all this happened. I was walking through the park with my daughter, one of whom is here, two of my daughters,” he said. “I think this one wasn’t even alive. She’s 18, with a friend of mine, who’s an anesthesiologist from Long Island. And his daughter had played my daughter in a play on Broadway that Debbie Allen had directed. And we were walking through Central Park, and he would ask me for books, and I sent him Purpose Driven Life. This book, that book, the other book. He stopped. He said, “You’ve been such a good friend, you’re a Jedi. I know you’re a Jedi.” He said, “One day, you’re going to be in Star Wars.” That was over 15 years ago. And the day that I got this call, I called him I said, ‘Guess what?’ He said, ‘I already know. You’re going to be in Star Wars.’ I said, ‘Yes.'”

Said Dawson of going the franchise as the fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, “It’s really, literally, thrilling. I love the range of the opportunity to play this character. You know, it’s it isn’t just sitting doing research behind the scenes or learning lines and playing off of these other characters and the themes. It’s literally working on the weekends and training all the time, and knowing a level of discipline. I recently got to meet Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter. And we were just talking about how you could just look at him and see his discipline. Just a glance let you know the hours upon hours upon hours of motivation, and discipline, and ambition, and then all of these different things. And so I feel like, this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a glean of that. And it’s been really powerful and really beautiful. And I could not have known that even when I first accepted taking on this role.”

Ryan Fish contributed to this report.

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