With the second season of The Mandalorian inching past its midway point, the Art of Star Wars release: The Mandalorian (Season One) tie-in book is perfectly timed.
The Art of Star Wars books always provide a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes at the developmental processes involved with creating Star Wars, and Abrams Books’ newest release is a must-have.
The book opens with a compelling foreword by Doug Chiang, Lucasfilm’s executive creative director, discussing his work on The Mandalorian and how Jon Favreau’s pitch for the series made him smile. His sentiments about the series are a glowing reflection of his fifteen years of involvement in designing for the Star Wars universe. If there were any doubts in viewers' minds — The Mandalorian is made by fans of the franchise.
Within the first weeks of development I knew we were making something special. The Mandalorian channels more than forty-three years of Star Wars storytelling and designs to create something fresh while honoring what came before.Doug Chiang (pg. 11)
From there, The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian is written by Phil Szostak, who goes through the inception of the series, the pitch, and the creatives that bring it to life, burying tidbits of information among full spreads of gorgeous illustrations and concept art. He delves into the creative processes of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni and how the art informed the tone and style of the show.
The book features insightful quotes from Favreau, the executive producer, showrunner, writer, and Filoni, executive producer and director for The Mandalorian. Their passion and love for the franchise are apparent in what they have created with the Star Wars television series's first-ever live-action. Some are cheeky little comments that are sure to amuse fans of the creators and their past work.
We wanted some way of communicating that there were a bunch of Mandalorians. And here you see my early attempt to cross the mythologies of The Clone Wars-era Mandalorians and our Mandalorian. This is also a little riff on Simba from The Lion King for Jon.Dave Filoni (pg. 24)
Through the course of the 250-page book, Szostak takes readers through each episode. He starts each new chapter with several background information paragraphs, discussing the characters and creatures introduced during the episode. He even includes details about when each episode was filmed. One of the most interesting details revealed in these sections was that the series shot episodes out of order.
In fact, Chapter 5: The Gunslinger was the last episode filmed during the production of the first season of The Mandalorian. These are the kind of details that Star Wars fans love to find out.
Each illustration, sketch, storyboard, and sculpt is paired with detailed captions with quotes from the artists, reasons behind why specific versions were chosen, and details about their creation. Fans of “Baby Yoda” will enjoy seeing early concept art for the Child — some of which are downright terrifying, while others include top knots and adorable baby feet.
Some of the concept art will be familiar for those who follow Szostak on Twitter, but having all of it bound into one collection is truly remarkable. The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian is page-after-page of jaw-dropping art, some of which is so detailed you will find yourself wondering if you’re staring at a still from the series. Be sure to flip through every page — including the acknowledgments! You won't want to miss out on any of the art in this book.
Don’t miss out on never-before-seen concept art that brings the magic of The Mandalorian to life. Pick up your copy of Abrams Books’ The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian on December 1st.
Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.
In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.