Robert Rodriguez made his “Star Wars” debut as the director of “The Mandalorian” Season 2 episode “The Tragedy,” a franchise-defining installment thanks to the reintroduction of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison). Rodriguez is now in production on the Boba Fett standalone series set for next year, but where his “Star Wars” gig truly began is with a home video he directed that envisioned Boba’s action-packed “Mandalorian” introduction. The director used action figures, Halloween costumes, and two of his children to create a home movie that would show “Mandalorian” bosses Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni his intentions for the episode.
“I ended up turning a three-page battle scene into a 9-minute battle scene because I was just that excited to be bringing Boba back,” Rodriguez said in the Disney+ documentary about the making of “The Mandalorian” Season 2 (now streaming). “I told [Favreau], ‘I’ve been waiting to see this version of Boba Fett since I was a kid. Boba has to be different, he can’t just seem like another Mando. He has to move differently, feel different, occupy a completely different space and have a weight and gravitas to him that shows why he’s such a legend.’ I wanted him to live up to his name that we would whisper since we were kids [and] be that mysterious character with a past that makes you want to know more about him. If Mando is a gunslinger, then Boba needs to be a barbarian.”
“To illustrate what i was talking about, I took my Boba Fett and Stormtrooper Halloween costumes and put them on my sons and went into the backyard and filmed Boba’s arrival,” Rodriguez continued. “Since I didn’t have stuntmen at my disposal, I used my ‘Star Wars” action figures because a picture is worth 1,000 words and helped me communicate what I was going for with the crew.”
Footage of Rodriguez’s Boba Fett home video is included in the Disney+ documentary and shows how low-fi VFX were added so the DIY project could feature laser beams, explosions, and more. When Filoni saw the home movie, he asked Rodriguez, “Wait a minute, were those just action figures I saw?” Rodriguez responded, “Well, yeah, I didn’t have anything else on hand.” Filoni said, “No, you don’t understand, that makes it the coolest animatic ever.” That’s when Rodriguez knew he found a home at “Star Wars.”
Rodriguez’s “Mandalorian” episode is now streaming on Disney+. The upcoming Boba Fett series, officially titled “The Book of Boba Fett,” will begin streaming in December 2021.