Throughout the years, Star Wars has been best known for its impressive visual effects and unique filming approach during production. In conjunction with that, The Mandalorian pushed the boundaries to greater heights by using a groundbreaking virtual production technique during its first two seasons.
The technique, also known as The Volume, is used by the crew to render environments on a soundstage. As a result, it effectively transforms the set into any kind of location, ranging from the desert-like atmosphere of Tatooine to the snowy conditions of Hoth.
This new approach was revolutionary for The Mandalorian, and other films and TV shows have been confirmed to adopt The Volume for future productions, such as Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder, Robert Pattinson's The Batman, and the much-anticipated Kenobi series on Disney+.
Despite the presence of The Volume, the use of practical effects is still being used on the set of The Mandalorian, and a new image provides a glimpse of how the crew managed to maximize the aforementioned shooting model.
In a tweet, ILM confirmed that they used a “practical shooting model” to film scenes involving Moff Gideon's Light Cruiser 5. An official still of the model from Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian can be seen below:
Another image from Disney Gallery provides a much better look at the miniature model of the Imperial Light Cruiser.
The fine detail of the Imperial Light Cruiser is showcased in this image from the much-talked-about documentary series.
Lastly, the actual shot of the Imperial Cruiser during one of the episodes of The Mandalorian shows the realistic result of the practical effects that ILM used while filming.
Many fans would agree that any production involving Star Wars would not be complete without the use of practical effects, and it's good to know that the tradition lives on during the filming of The Mandalorian Season 2. If anything, it's impressive that ILM is still using shooting models for large-scale ships like the Imperial Light Cruiser 5 given the advanced technology that the Disney+ series already has.
Admittedly, the presence of miniature models on the set of The Mandalorian is essential due to the fact that it preserves the Star Wars feel of the films and series. This is the same with the iconic wipe transition that is still being used on every project from the galaxy far, far away.
Given that there are a plethora of Star Wars films and series on the way in the next few years, there's a strong chance that practical effects will be utilized even more. While it's true that filming in The Volume is beneficial for the cast and crew, the proven and tested method of using practical effects shouldn't be ignored since this approach pushed Star Wars to the forefront of movie-making supremacy.