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Bryce Dallas Howard Talks The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda’s Soup [WATCH]

(Disney)

We recently sat down with Bryce Dallas Howard to chat about her new documentary, Dads—a film that highlights the joys and challenges of parenting through the eyes of six extraordinary fathers from across the globe as well as input from choice celebrity fathers.

It was Howard’s feature-length documentary directorial debut, but that doesn’t mean she is unfamiliar with sitting in the director’s chair. She also directed an episode of the wickedly popular Disney+ series, The Mandalorian – specifically, Chapter 4: Sanctuary.

Since dads (and plenty of non-dads) tend to be rather passionate about the galaxy far, far away, we didn’t feel right ending this interview without getting the inside scoop on her episode, Baby Yoda’s mysterious identity, and how it feels to be responsible for one of the most popular memes of 2019.

(Disney)

“I think it’s probably Baby Yoda who’s more responsible for that,” Howard corrected, humbly giving credit where it’s due. “Jon [Favreau] just really encouraged me to push the puppet and to see what the puppet could do and to have fun with Baby Yoda.”

Baby Yoda (aka, “The Child” to you sticklers out there) is one of the most popular characters from The Mandalorian and pop culture in general, and as it turns out, the showrunners totally anticipated that.

“Oh yeah, it matters where Baby Yoda is,” Howard remembers saying on set, anticipating audiences’ fascination with the pint-sized alien. “We can’t not have baby Yoda on camera and just assume people are going to be okay with that.”

“[Jon Favreau] is an improv guy,” she elaborated, describing how the famous soup scene came to be. “So he’s like, ‘What if Baby was there? What if Baby was drinking something? What if Baby took like a big, long sip?’ And then he’s like, ‘Do it with one hand, do it with two hands, do it…’ Just do it this way, that way.”

So, yes. That means, somewhere at Lucasfilm studios, there is an archive of dozens—if not hundreds—of clips of Baby Yoda sipping soup, each probably more adorable than the last. In fact, by taking that time to get the perfect shot, Howard set a new Star Wars record.

“Apparently, on my episode, there was a day where I shot more footage than any other film that Lucasfilm has ever done. There was one day on Rogue One with four units that came close. So there’s a lot of excess Baby Yoda footage.”

Howard claims she knows the mysterious green toddler’s identity, but when pressed, was less than forthcoming.

“Nope. I vowed that I was never going to use the name because if I use the name once on set, I would accidentally say it… Baby is ‘Baby.’ Baby is ‘Baby.'”

Looks like we’ll have to wait a few months for Season 2 of The Mandalorian just like everyone else before we get some answers.

You can watch our full Mandalorian interview with Bryce Dallas Howard below or check out the rest of our interview on fatherhood and Dads here.

Mark Hamill Had a Secret Role in “The Mandalorian”

Hamill's Secret Mandalorian Role Bartender
(Twitter/maka_gh Disney+)

The Mandalorian on Disney+ reignited fandom for Star Wars in a truly genuine way that we haven’t seen since…maybe the re-released masters of the original trilogy back in the 90s?

Granted, the fervor was at a peak pitch for the Phantom Menace, the first Star Wars movie in decades. But the prequel (and the entire trilogy) was derided by fans. The Force Awakens fared much better, with critics and fans alike, yet that excitement was quelled by the deeply divisive second movie (for the record, I enjoyed The Last Jedi).

The Mandalorian, though, quickly won over everyone. Fans, critics, even the internet, through the adorable, meme-able baby Yoda (yes, he is not really Yoda, he is “The Child”, please do not activate the lightsaber mob). And now, Disney+’s documentary about the show, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, is finding its own audience. Each episode features a different part of the hit series and the season finale covers all the Easter Eggs in the show that ties into the whole Star Wars history.

The biggest? Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, had a secret role in The Mandalorian. His secret cameo was unlisted but the Jedi master himself voiced a droid character in episode 5.

In the episode, titled “The Gunslinger”, the action comes to Tattoine, the home planet of Luke Skywalker, and the place where the entire story begins. The episode even returns to a popular cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi first met Han Solo and Chewbacca. The cantina is a lot less lively this time around, and while it didn’t allow droids years earlier when Luke first entered, that rule has clearly changed as droids are everywhere now. There’s even one behind the bar, voiced by…Luke Skywalker himself.

The secret role as a droid bartender is just one of the surprises in the episode. Another pretty badass reveal is that dozens of the stormtroopers in the season finale were actually a group of super fans who maintain their own stormtrooper outfits and appear at events around the country.

For his part, Hamill revealed in the reveal, even announcing he’s “appeared” in several other Star Wars movies as well. Hamill is no stranger to voice work, thanks to a long run as a voice actor for numerous animated shows.

The Mandalorian is available on Disney+ and the second season of the smash hit is coming this fall.

Hamill, for his part, is a great follow on Twitter for the occasional killer Star Wars behind-the-scenes tidbit.

Boba Fett and Darth Maul May Appear In The Mandalorian Season 2

Boba Fett and Darth Maul in Mandalorian
(Disney)

There are a ton of characters in the Star Wars universe, and everyone has their favorites. Obviously, the main characters get a lot of attention, but when a franchise has been around for 40 years and has iterations across movies, television, books, and video games, there is plenty of room for other, less prominent characters to emerge and attract a following.

One of the best examples is Boba Fett, an intergalactic bounty hunter who attracted a lot of attention after appearing in The Empire Strikes Back and only delivering less than a handful of lines. In Return of the Jedi, the ultimate space bad-ass returns, only to be reduced to comic relief and have a jet pack mishap and get sucked into the Sarlacc pit to discover a new definition of pain and suffering.

Or did he?

After resurfacing in the prequels, and further sullying an incredibly evocative bit part with over-explanation (a George Lucas trademark!), it appears Boba Fett will now be coming to streaming, as news recently broke that the character will appear in season 2 of Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

Temuera Morrison, the New Zealand actor who played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones and appeared as Khal Drogo’s father in the DC’s Aquaman, will now be playing his original character’s son. Comicbook.com reports that The Mandalorian has already hinted at an appearance from Boba Fett, at the end of The Gunslinger episode, when a shadowy figure shuffles onto the screen, accompanied by the sound of his spurs jingling and jangling.

It’s somehow less surprising that Boba Fett would appear on a show about a character who wears armor he made famous than it is that he survived the Sarlacc pit. If he does appear, one would hope we get an explanation for his escape from the sand monster’s legendary thousand-year digestion. Darth Maul – another supposedly dead character, previously revealed as less-than-cut-in-half in both Clone Wars and Solo: A Star Wars Story – is now also rumored to be appearing.

Backstory aside, we have no clue how Boba or Maul might factor into The Mandalorian, but after a relatively subdued first season, the Disney+ show seems to be loading up with fan-favorite characters, with Rosario Dawson set to play Ahsoka Tano in the next season as well.

What other characters (dead or alive) do you want to see on the show? Please don’t say the Emperor. That didn’t go so well the last time.

Giancarlo Esposito Talks About His Darksaber in The Mandalorian Season 2

Darksaber in Mandalorian Season 2
(Disney)

The Mandalorian, the Disney+ series about a bounty hunter and his quest to protect Baby Yoda, was a hit, and a pop culture sensation when it arrived on the streaming service last fall. It wasn’t long before season 2 was announced, after a rollicking series finale, but then the quarantine hit.

The status of most productions is up in the air, with many major movies having to be delayed. But The Mandalorian was lucky. They wrapped production on season 2 just before COVID-19 took over our lives, so it will be ready to roll onto Disney+ in October. Until then we’ll have to settle for the behind-the-scenes documentary series that lands in May, on Star Wars Day. Or this parody trailer for season 2 featuring Teen Yoda.

According to Variety, showrunner Jon Favreau has been “writing season 3 for a while,” and their sources say that the show “just started pre-production and are looking into further adventures for the Mandalorian in Season 3.”

It’s obviously impossible to speculate about what season 3 will entail, without having seen season 2, so let’s discuss what’s in store for Mando and his adorable companion this fall.

The end of season 2 featured the baddie Moff Gideon wielding the darksaber, Mando (Pablo Pascal) receiving his sigil, and the bounty hunter committing to help Baby Yoda, aka the Child, find his home planet. Season 2 has already cast Rosario Dawson as fan-favorite character Ashoka Tano, introduced in the Clone Wars animated series as Anakin’s apprentice who eventually leaves the Jedi order. On top of that, the show will presumably still have room for Carl Weathers and Gina Carano as the Mandalorian’s allies.

That’s about all we know, aside from the fact that there will be plenty more darksaber-rattling, at least according to Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Moff Gideon.

“I’ve gone through two, three? Three and a half, I think I’ve broken already. But I go at it. Like, I go at it. I’ve broken a few of them to the point where the [prop] guys, they love me,” Esposito told Variety while discussing the end of Better Call Saul. “‘Just so you know,’ they whisper to me, ‘we only have one more.’”

And we already know how expensive the Baby Yoda prop is, so he’d better be careful if he wants season 3 to come to pass!

The Mandalorian Struggles With Teen Yoda in Parody Trailer for Season 2

Mando Parents Teen Yoda
(YouTube/IGN)

Even with all the content we have at our fingertips, people are starved for more. Especially when it comes to Star Wars.

Last week we shared the news that Disney+ would be putting out an 8-part documentary about the making of The Mandalorian, which was initially slated to debut season 2 this fall. The Coronavirus may slow that schedule down, but that hasn’t calmed any of the enthusiasm that sprung up around the show, and around its breakout star, Baby Yoda.

Earlier this week, on 4/20, a teaser for season 2 arrived on the web. Unfortunately, it was a fake, fan-made trailer, specifically released on 4/20, aka “Weed Day,” as a gag, which you’ll understand better once you watch it.

The trailer starts legitimately enough, with actual clips from the first season of the show, before we hear Mando complain about how Baby Yoda has changed and he can no longer deal with him. It seems Yoda is no longer a baby, but a teenager, and he enjoys a bit of the old sensimilla!

That’s right, Teenage Yoda is a pothead, complete with munchies, a tattoo, and a bad attitude. There’s even a Teenage Groot statue, which makes sense as this is pretty much the same joke Guardians of the Galaxy did with their tree creature in their second movie. But that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable!

Take a hit:

Disney+ Is Launching a Mandalorian Documentary Series on Star Wars Day

Mandalorian Doc
(Disney+)

I’m no fan of Star Wars Day.

Which isn’t to say I’m not a fan of Star Wars. I grew up on the original trilogy, I suffered through the prequels, I was pleasantly surprised by the new trilogy – until I wasn’t – and I really liked The Mandalorian. I introduced my kids to the universe and even watch Mando alongside my 9yo. We are all in for season 2.

I refuse to play the “May the Fourth be with you” game. But I will be celebrating something on that day: a new Star Wars documentary!

Thankfully, it’s not a relitigation of The Last Jedi or some more retconning of the Emperor’s secret machinations over the past 30 years. Instead, it’s a behind the scenes doc about the Disney+ series that brought Baby Yoda into our lives.

Not only will the documentary premiere on May 4th – less than a month from now, it’s also an eight-episode series, with each new episode arriving on the Disney streaming platform on Fridays.

Executive producer Jon Favreau explained what the show will be about.

“Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is an opportunity for fans of the show to take a look inside and get to see a different perspective, and perhaps a greater understanding, of how The Mandalorian came together and some of the incredibly talented contributors throughout Season 1. We had a great experience making the show and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you.”

Besides Favreau, no other cast or crew members have been announced, but it’s hard to imagine Pedro Pascal, who plays the titular bounty hunter, won’t appear. And surely Baby Yoda will get a fair amount of screen time, being that the puppet was one of 2019’s breakout stars.

Also premiering on Star Wars Day is the finale of Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, adding to the celebration, whether you say “May the Fourth be with you” or not!

The Mandalorian Approves of the LEGO Mandalorian Trailer

The Mandalorian LEGO trailer
(Youtube/Joebor1777)

The launch of Disney+ last year generated a lot of excitement, especially among Star Wars fans, with the news of The Mandalorian, a TV show set in the world of our favorite space saga. Often when shows are built up with big expectations they fall short, but The Mandalorian was so satisfying and fun, we can’t wait to see the second season. The good news is that it was recently announced that production has wrapped! The unfortunate news: we won’t see it until October.

Until then we must fill the gap. Enter Legendary YouTuber Joebor1777. He’s well known for expertly recreating trailers and famous scenes just with LEGO pieces. It is a genuine labor of love that is evident in all of his videos; they are detailed, accurate, and hugely enjoyable.

He recreated The Mandalorian trailer in his usual iconic way, and it is a triumph. It’s so good that The Mandalorian himself, actor Pedro Pascal shared it on Twitter and we think it’s safe to say he likes it.

Of course, as this is a faithful recreation of the official trailer, it does sadly mean there is no Baby Yoda – but you can always just build your own LEGO Baby Yoda.

We also highly recommend checking out Joebor1777’s other LEGO youtube videos, including Justice League, The Avengers, and John Wick! As Pedro would say, Oh wow. Wow wow wow.

Mandalorian Season 2 Coming in October, Spin-Offs to Follow?

Mandalorian Season 2
(Disney+)

During the Super Bowl, Disney+ made a bit of a splash with a commercial for their upcoming Marvel shows. The 30-second spot featured the first footage from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki, as the MCU expands onto television (or whatever we call it these days).

Disney+ has already had success translation a big-budget movie franchise onto the small screen with The Mandalorian, which has only just wrapped up its first season before immediately announcing that season 2 was coming, and soon. Well, now we know exactly how soon it will be for Baby Yoda to return, as Disney+ announced premiere dates for both the second season of the live-action Star Wars show and the debuts of those aforementioned Marvel shows.

According to Variety, per Disney CEO Bob Iger’s comments to stockholders on an earnings call, Mando will return in October of 2020, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming a few months before that in August, and WandaVision landing in December (no word yet on Loki).

It also sounds like Mando might be bringing some friends along from is a galaxy far far away, as with Iger hinting at the possibility of a Mandalorian Expanded Universe, including many new characters and potential spin-offs. Iger told those on the call that there will be “more coming from The Mandalorian hereafter, including the possibility of infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own directions in terms of series.”

Exactly who could that be? We’ve met Cara Dune, Gina Carano’s rebel-turned-mercenary, and unfortunately, killer droid-turned-killer babysitter IG-11 is toast. But we already know that the next season will tie more directly into the Star Wars movies, with rumors about the Emperor abounding, and there have been hints that more characters from the Skywalker saga will be turning up. Perhaps one or two of them will warrant their own series, like Obi-Wan.

Given that season one ended with the reveal of the Dark Saber and the promise of Mando and Baby Yoda gallivanting around the universe looking for The Child’s home planet and people, there are countless possibilities to run into old friends. Maybe a Wookie, or a couple of droids, maybe even a triumphant Jedi celebrating victory over the Empire and training a new generation of Jedi nights, including a powerful young nephew who is tempted by the dark side.

Would any of them interest you in a spin-off? Like you wouldn’t watch a Knights of Ren spin-off.

Obi-Wan Series on Hold, McGregor Watched The Mandalorian in Preparation

Obi-Wan on Hold
(Twitter/starwarsstuff)

Bad news for Star Wars fans, after the hotly anticipated Obi-Wan series for Disney+ has been put on hold. Disney and Lucasfilm had begun development on a series which would star Ewan McGregor in a return to his iconic role (one of the only good things about the prequels). McGregor has long pined to return to the role and the show even had a director, Deborah Chow, who directed an episode of The Mandalorian.

The show was put on hold after the story became an issue. The scripts for the first two episodes were…not great, in the eyes of its creators. Those have been jettisoned, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And now the series is in limbo as they try to find a new writer. “Sources” indicate Chow is still going to direct, and McGregor is going to star, but fans are left in a little bit of a lurch until that’s solidified.

Anticipation for the new series had spiked after the wild success of The Mandalorian. Once Star Wars fans saw what could be done, even on the family-friendly streaming service, they were excited to see where the Kenobi story could go. McGregor’s work was also one of the few things most Star Wars fans enjoyed about the prequels.

A reporter from IGN asked McGregor about the delay, but he insisted it wouldn’t change the release date (which has never been publicized) and that the scripts were “really good.” He did say there was some delay in production that would push shooting for the series into 2021. Then in a recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon, he revealed he’s been watching the Mandalorian and keeping up to date on all things Star Wars.

In the meantime, fans need to hold on to any positivity possible, as the reported series length has been cut from six to four and the crew has been sent home while production seems to be in a holding pattern until a new story/scripts can be brought into the fold.

This $15 Mandalorian LEGO Set Will Tide You Over Until Season 2

LEGO Mandolorian Battle Pack
(Amazon)

The Mandalorian was a big deal. Not only did it launch Disney+, not only did it ended up being the most satisfying piece of Star Wars to be released in 2019 (Yes, I’m including The Rise of Skywalker), it introduced the world to Baby Yoda.

Nobody does merchandising like Star Wars and yet, somehow, Baby Yoda has only recently become available. Mandalorian fans are instead forced to reckon with nightmare fuel like the bootleg versions floating around the internet. He arrived at Build-a-Bear, sold out, and hopes to return soon.

Thankfully, Star Wars didn’t drop the ball on everything Mandalorian-related, so I can get my Star Wars-loving, LEGO-obsessed son something to sink his teeth into.

LEGO’s Star Wars Mandalorian Battle Pack 75267 is available at Amazon for only $15.

Here’s the description:

“Limitless adventures await youngsters as they build their own army with this Mandalorian Battle Pack (75267)! This compact construction playset includes 4 LEGO® Star Wars™ Mandalorian warrior minifigures with stud-shooting blasters, a buildable defense fort and a Mandalorian speeder bike with 2 stud shooters to spark children’s imaginations. Another dimension! The printed building instructions that come with all LEGO sets are easy to follow, but interactive Instructions PLUS, available within the free LEGO Life app, add another dimension. Even younger kids can simply zoom in on, rotate and view the construction model as they build the real-life version. Awesome! Star Wars action in LEGO style!”

There are 102 pieces, which is just the right amount to occupy your kid for a few yours, intricately assembling the complicated toy. Then you can take a picture when it’s done, and you’d better, because once your kids start playing with it it’s going to start falling apart, and within a week you’ll be threatening to vacuum up all 102 of those pieces if they don’t put the damn thing away!

According to Comicbook.com, the Mandalorian set (which is only loosely based on the show and is more of a generic Mandalorian theme) is part of a new wave of Star Wars LEGO sets hitting shelves – and Amazon – in 2020, including the nearly 5000 piece, $700 Imperial Star Destroyer that my son will have to talk to his spouse about purchasing in a good 20 years because there ain’t no way that’s coming anywhere near my house!

If you want to grab the LEGO Mandolorian Battle Pack do so here.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.