The Mandalorian season 2, episode 6 was one of the best episodes of the Star Wars show so far. However, the man behind the camera, Robert Rodriguez, was initially not meant to direct the stunning half-hour of television.
“I’m friends with Jon Favreau and he needed a last-minute replacement for a director," Rodriguez tells SFX while promoting his new Netflix movie, We Can Be Heroes. "And so I said, ‘Sure, I'll come play in the Star Wars universe!’ What a dream. And it's fulfilled all my... it’s beyond my expectations, I mean, it was SO fun, you can’t imagine what it's like to walk on a set that has the classic look of The Empire Strikes Back feel and look. It’s right after that era, right after the Return of the Jedi. It's that era. So you really feel like you just walked into your childhood.
"All of a sudden you go up and touch things and go, ‘That's the thing that Han Solo talked into when he shot the machine and told the stormtroopers not to come up’. I was like, ‘Wow, I thought I recognised that!’ It's just a really strange, exhilarating experience to be in your childhood sets for real. And getting to make action! It's really cool... The visual language is so embedded in our heads. So I have one of those [selfies] ‘Look, it’s me next to a control panel, isn’t that cool?’. It was so fun."
The episode featured more than just a handful of nods to The Empire Strikes Back, though we won't spoil them here. Rodriguez also went on to discuss working with Pedro Pascal, who leads The Mandalorian alongside Baby Yoda, and who appears in We Can Be Heroes.
"I actually filmed this movie before I worked with him on Mandalorian," the director says. "So I was surprised to go to the set, ‘Hey, you’re here too!’ So it’s fun working with him. He was terrific in the movie, fun to work with."
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Rodriguez talks at length about We Can Be Heroes in the next issue of SFX – available on December 30. Subscribe through that link to get the issue direct to your door! We Can Be Heroes is streaming on Netflix from 1 January.
Meanwhile, The Mandalorian continues on Disney Plus – here's the full The Mandalorian season 2 release schedule so you know when to expect the next episode.