Star Wars: Rian Johnson Reveals Why He Still Hasn't Directed The Mandalorian Episode

By Andrew Gilman Posted:
Rian Johnson, The Mandalorian

The name Rian Johnson is as familiar to Star Wars fans as any.

Johnson wrote and directed the highly divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi , a film that's still the subject of heated discussion. Prior to the release of the project, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Johnson would pen a Star Wars trilogy of his own and direct at least the first movie , though little forward ground has been made since its initial reveal.

With the mass popularity of Disney+'s The Mandalorian , Johnson's name has been thrown around many times as a contender to direct an episode. Though he visited the set of the series during Season 1's production, Johnson wasn't part of the team that brought the thrilling second season to life. As it turns out, he's discussed the possibility of doing an episode, and his absence has a very legitimate reason.


Mandalorian no helmet
Star Wars

In an interview with author Sariah Wilson , director Rian Johnson revealed that he had discussions with Dave Filoni about directing an episode of The Mandalorian , but his scheduling for Netflix's Knives Out 2 has conflicted with the opportunity. The director also revealed that he was in on the Baby Yoda secret well before the series dropped, and he emphasized his fascination with The Volume's digital effects.

Wilson shared the following on Twitter :

"I asked Rian if he'd ever consider doing an episode of The Mandalorian. He said he was dying to, but that for him it's all about scheduling. He's been writing KO2 and now he's going to go directly into filming it. So it would be a matter of finding time to break away and do it. He said he has spoken to Dave Filoni about it. He had gone and visited the set during Season 1. He said it was so cool and I told him I was very jealous. He had seen "Baby Yoda" months before the reveal.

He said it was fascinating seeing the way that they're shooting the show. He asked if I'd seen BTS stuff (of course I have).

He said when he was standing there in that space and they did the thing where they moved the camera and the perspective on the screen shifted he said he almost fell over. You get vertigo. That it's almost like virtual reality. That it's fascinating and feels so real when you're standing there. It's really interesting to see how it translates onscreen."


With filming set to commence for the Knives Out sequel in June, it's highly unlikely that Johnson will have the availability to get behind the camera for an episode of The Mandalorian's Season 3. The third season of the hit series is set to begin filming immediately after The Book of Boba Fett wraps, which should be any time now, leaving the productions of Mando and Knives Out 2 to occur concurrently.

However, if Lucasfilm returns to their previously established schedule, The Mandalorian's fourth season could begin rolling cameras later this Fall, which would be around the timeframe when Johnson's Knives Out production should be concluded. Whether Johnson would be able to juggle the editing for Knives Out 2 while working on a collaborative production for The Mandalorian is an entirely different story.

It's equally possible that The Mandalorian Season 4 won't roll cameras until this time next year, as both Dave Filoni's Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic are in the pre-production phase and could begin shooting towards the end of 2021. If this is the case, that would give Johnson time to complete work on his Knives Out sequel and then join The Mandalorian's directorial family before returning for the third installment in his mystery series.

Nothing is set in stone, but Rian Johnson fans can rest assured that the director is very interested in working in Jon Favreau's world. Given that Johnson had actual discussions with Filoni about working on the series, there's a good chance these prospects could come to fruition. While excitement for Johnson's Star Wars trilogy is mixed in the fandom, doing an episode for The Mandalorian would give the filmmaker a good taste of how The Volume works in the event that he implements that technology into his own productions.

With The Mandalorian's storyline reportedly running through 2027 , there will be more than enough time for Johnson to get into the mix.

- About The Author: Andrew Gilman