Friday, November 22, 2019

Deborah Chow Talks About Directing 'The Mandalorian' And The Obi-Wan Series

By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars fans were introduced to Deborah Chow this week when the third episode of The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+.  The episode was directed by Chow, and is just the first of much more Star Wars content that she will directing in the next few years.  In addition to directing another episode from this season of The Mandalorian, Chow will also be the director of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series starring Ewan McGregor.

Chow, whose previous credits include Better Call Saul, Jessica Jones, and Mr. Robot, spoke about her experience working on The Mandalorian and her prep for the Kenobi series in a recent interview with The New York Times.

When asked about directing episode three of The Mandalorian, the director said,

"I had a great episode in that I get to show the character’s moral turning point — the moment when everything changes for him. It’s all been building up to that moment in the cockpit [when the Mandalorian decides to return for the baby]. Jon knew that was an incredibly pivotal scene — that’s the point of no return, once he makes that decision. Right there, he’s changing his entire life."

She also spoke about what it was like directing a series where the main character's face is hidden, saying,

"It’s definitely more challenging. A lot of the way we worked with Pedro [Pascal, the actor who plays the Mandalorian] — and that’s part of what Dave [Filoni, series executive producer and director of the first episode] and I were trying to get the hang of when we started shooting — is his physicality became incredibly important. We had to develop a language, a physicality. There’s a lot of stillness in the character. All his movement is intentional. There’s no fidgeting or relaxing, so that any time, even if he makes a small move or turns his head, it becomes meaningful. We couldn’t do it with his face or with his eyes. It also becomes critical, as a director, to use the camera to support that emotionally, to help convey what he’s feeling a lot of the times."

Chow also spoke taking the lessons she learned on The Mandalorian to directing the Kenobi series, saying,

"One of the biggest benefits is that I just spent the last year in the "Star Wars" universe and I had great mentors, coming in under Jon [Favreau, showrunner of "The Mandalorian"] and Dave. Absorbing that, I feel, was the best training I could have had to take on the next one. So much of it just feeling it and understanding it, on an instinctual level, to know what’s right and what’s wrong with it. And there’s so much knowledge — every prop, every costume is important. Every detail really matters."

The Mandalorian is set following the events of Return of the Jedi and follows the adventures of a "lone gunfighter", as he navigates the galaxy in the post-Empire/early days of the New Republic.  The first three episodes of the series is available now on Disney+, with episode four being released on Friday. You can check out the trailer for the series below,

The series is available now on Disney+, and stars Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian, Gina Carrano as Cara Dune, Carl Weathers as Greef Carga, Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon, Nick Nolte as Kuiil, Werner Herzog as "The Client", Emily Swallow as "The Armorer", and Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing.  The Mandalorian is executive produced by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, with episodes directed by Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Deborah Chow, and Rick Famuyiwa, and Taika Waititi.

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