The Mandalorian Used Star Wars: A New Hope Footage For Some Scenes


The VFX supervisor for The Mandalorian has recently revealed that the show utilized footage from A New Hope to save budget for some of the bigger moments.

While it’s true that we’re currently in the golden age of television and advancements in special effects technology has made it easier for creators to work on a budget, TV shows still have a long way to catch up with blockbuster films in terms of production values. And as strange as it might sound, this is also the case with a juggernaut such as Disney and The Mandalorian, which was exclusively produced as a launch title for their streaming platform.

That’s why, in an attempt to save money on some of the bigger moments in Jon Favreau’s new show, the crew utilized footage from A New Hope to create some of the locations that the lonesome bounty hunter travels to in the series. As VFX supervisor Richard Bluff explained in a new interview, instead of wasting the budget on creature effects for a background shot, ILM just repurposed footage from A New Hope in a seamless manner.

“For example, there’s a scene in episode five when Mando sees two Banthas off in the distance. I was adamant we shouldn’t build a fully animated and rigged furry Bantha for just two shots and suggested we pull out the plates from A New Hope’s dailies. I knew I could come up with a shot design to leverage the Banthas from that.”

Another moment taken from Episode IV is when Din Djarin flies to Tatooine. The shot, as depicted in the show, uses the original painting by Ralph McQuarrie. Also, for the scene in Mos Eisley, a photographer visited the exact spot that George Lucas used to take a hi-res quality frame for the shot. As Bluff explains:

“When Mando flies toward Tatooine, we are actually seeing the [Ralph McQuarrie] matte painting seen early in the original film. We reused another painting of Mos Eisley for a fly-in; in that case, I sent a photographer out to the exact spot George [Lucas] shot his original plate, capturing high-res elements so we could up-res as necessary.”

Of course, the Mouse House has already proved that they’re willing to spend an insane amount of money to make sure that the show is a hit with viewers, and if the overwhelming popularity and acclaim of The Mandalorian is anything to go by, their gamble has paid off.