While the previous episode of “Disney Gallery: The Mandlalorian” approached the idea of “Technology” with The Volume, Episode 5 with “Practical” wants to talk about the ideas in a different mode while still maintaining that progression. It can be more adhered to more like a symphony since all of these elements work together in tandem. The first aspect obviously of inherent importance was the approach to the Baby which had to have the right look exactly to sell to the audience. Dave Filoni shows his initial sketches but how it had to evolve. They knew exactly when they got to the right look. Some of the earlier art didn’t look quite right. In addition they had to find the right puppets apparatus and operators. This of course could have failed miserably but Jon and Dave it seems were given adequate oversight and not micro-managed so they were able to bring it together correctly. This is the thought of contention because why could this work and yet there be issues on the feature side. The different might be as simple as film versus TV which is slowly but surely becoming muddled. As a result, the showrunners saw the reaction. While it was referred to in interviews, Filoni and Favreau said how Warner Herzog started directing the puppet almost forgetting that 4 people were controlling it. That is the power of practical.
The same thing could be said of the bounty hunter droid. It seems some of it was CG but the top part spinning round was in fact physical some of the time. One even gets a feeling that this was true in the final melting sequence but enhanced by CG. Favreau also acknowledges wanting to bring these focal points perhaps to characters that were in the original trilogy but were never quite brought to the forefront. The Ugnaut voiced by Nick Nolte is of course a specific example. Nolte it seems was never on set but his voice was pre-recorded. A little actor was able to interpret his voice and move to it which is an interesting but well known tradition. It is her acting that makes the performance work since operators are moving the servos of the face to match the voice. Deborah Chow mentions that in this way the slightly tilt of a head means something. This was inherently rue of the Ewoks back i he day. So much on “The Mandalorian” is intrinsic but it seems that such attention to detail was taken. It is just a matter of maintaining that focus without letting it become rote. If that means limiting the season before it can become stale, that might be an important consideration.
By Tim Wassberg
IR TV Review: STAR WARS – THE CLONE WARS – FINAL SEASON – EPISODE 12 (“Victory And Death”) [Lucasfilm/Disney+]
The ending of any series is about perspective but also about beginnings, however difficult they may be. The final episode of “The Clone Wars” is finite by design but also recognizes and understands the structure in play. It purposefully leaves perspectives of certain characters out which is important in the scheme both for the telling of later stories but also to let the audience add their two cents if need be. This is a hard process to portray simply because so much is known. Without giving anything away, Ahsoka Tano needs to find her way out of a particularly harrowing situation. Maul is in true form but what his life is to become later is still being written up to a point. Reflective areas on “Rebels” is still being formed which is why there is rumors (unsubstantiated at least right now) of David Filoni doing more “Rebels” The final battle here feels different and more subdued in terms of overarching cinematics while still having scale. Instead it has the texture of one of the films with an ending sequence worthy of the films. It doesn’t carry the emotional weight of the previous episode but that is because the damage has already been done.
This is an epilogue of sorts but still very important in the mythology because of what it shows and how characters see things. This is very deliberate and creates odes to different recent and older films. David Filoni, having been integrated into “The Mandalorian” has a vision, perhaps clearer than the films but under no less pressure at times. Lucas supposedly really thought these last episodes keyed into a certain aspect of “Star Wars” and what it was. And this indeed was Tano’s tome which hopefully we will see more of in some way shape or form heading forward.
By Tim Wassberg