Finally, some reason has appeared in the Star Wars camp. Unsurprisingly from Jon Favreau, who created ‘The Mandalorian’ and given fans more hope that someone finally “gets” Star Wars. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter Favreau explains his position and how loving the franchise makes a difference. (This article is going to be partially news and partially op-ed as a long-time Star Wars fan.)
In the interview that love is mentioned repeatedly. They even included the 501st Legion to help fill in as Stormtroopers when they didn’t have enough costumes, and let me tell you, some of their costumes are better than “official” ones.
I think his fandom comes across. With other Disney Star Wars projects it felt more like people were trying to repurpose or re-invent something. With The Mandalorian, it felt more like someone wanting to tell stories that fit into the world without wanting to change it just to write their name all over it.
The interview had photos with Taika Waititi holding the Baby Yoda puppet like a baby and Pedro Pascal talking about how it was as a fan working on Star Wars. “It was like being on sets and looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing the image of something that reflects so much of your childhood experience.”
Favreau has been a fan since he younger and the article even states:
“..Favreau, whose journey toward leading the first Star Wars live-action series draws from his days as a movie theater usher when Return of the Jedi was released in 1983.”
“The fact of the matter is, as much as we love working on Star Wars, we love even more making Star Wars for other people. And when other people are excited by it, dig what we’re doing and are appreciative, that’s as good as it gets for us.”
That is what makes the difference!
Favreau also talked about the importance of creators understanding that with an established franchise, like Star Wars, fans do matter. Sometimes you need to take expectations into consideration.
“You put something out in the world, and then it echoes back at you. You have to listen. It’s not a one-way street. It’s a two-way street. You have to feel the energy of the audience. But when you come from comedy — and when I was doing improv back in Chicago — that’s it: You have to read the room, you have to feel the room. You have to be in community with the audience. You have to be part of it.”
Of course this isn’t to say that you have to base all your decisions on the fans. The reality is that you can’t please everyone either, but you can try to be as authentic to the property as possible. If you have fans that have made a property what it was and kept it alive for decades, going out of your way to “subvert expectations” or change beloved characters or lore for your own “new” lore, is probably not going to go over very well. Be additive in your decisions not subtractive.
What I appreciate about what Favreau said is that creators need to understand that they can make changes, but they have to also understand that they have fans that they need to consider. As of late, Hollywood hasn’t been remembering this and it’s led to a lot of divisions within several fandoms, including Star Wars.
No you don’t have to make every choice by what the fans say, but as Favreau said you need to “read the room.”
It’s just refreshing to have someone respect an IP and respect the opinion of fans and not just call them names and try to discredit and dismiss them for not agreeing with their choices. I do think being a fan of a property should be a top consideration for being hired to create something within it. Their job is to be a caretaker and storyteller but as of late many forget the former whilst trying to be the later.
Of course you may disagree but this is my opinion.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Image source: Melinda Sue Gordon /Lucasfilm Ltd.