Breaking down the directors list for The Mandalorian season 2

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Episode 1 "Directing" - Dave Filoni on the set of THE MANDALORIAN. Image Courtesy Disney+
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Episode 1 "Directing" - Dave Filoni on the set of THE MANDALORIAN. Image Courtesy Disney+ /

The directors list for The Mandalorian season 2 features familiar names and newcomers to the show, as well as some notable departures.

Hype for The Mandalorian season 2 has been renewed after the teaser trailer for the hit Disney+ show was released on Tuesday. Besides the impressive trailer and the questions it raised, Disney and Lucasfilm also announced some information pertaining to season 2.

Notably among that information? The directors list for this upcoming season.

The Mandalorian season 1 featured Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow as show directors, with Filoni (“Chapters 1 and 5”), Famuyiwa (“Chapters 2 and 6”) and Chow (“Chapters 3 and 7”) helming multiple episodes.

Let’s dive into how season 2’s director lineup is similar and different than season 1.

Returning directors for The Mandalorian season 2

Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard and Rick Famuyiwa will all be returning for more episodes of the Disney+ centerpiece.

Filoni handled The Mandalorian‘s all-important debut chapter beautifully last season, setting the stage for the show as a whole with dramatic shootouts, interesting side characters, and, yes, The Child. With Ahsoka Tano rumored to be appearing in season 2 of The Mandalorian, it’d be surprising if Filoni isn’t helming the episode where she makes her live-action debut given his extensive history with the character on The Clone Wars.

Howard was tasked with what Jon Favreau called the “hardest” episode of season 1, as the show took a one-chapter detour to the forest planet of Sorgan. Howard’s episode tapped into the emotional vulnerabilities of Mando and conveyed the constant threats that surround The Child.

Famuyiwa’s episodes were among the weirdest of season 1 in the best way possible. He made Jawas a focal point of “Chapter 2” — utilizing their mischief to contrast with the always-so-serious lead character — then pushed Star Wars in a new direction with a jailbreak in “Chapter 6.”

Season 2’s trailer promises an even more ambitious story, so it’s comforting to know these three proven directors will be back to help guide the show.

New directors for The Mandalorian season 2

This is where things get interesting. The new directors for season 2 are Peyton Reed, Robert Rodriguez, series co-star Carl Weathers, and series creator Jon Favreau.

Reed has a handful of movie credits to his name, but he’s most recently known for helming both Ant-Man movies for Marvel, as well as the upcoming sequel. Rodriguez’s filmography is extensive, from the Spy Kids franchise to Sin City, to the 2019 release Alita: Battle Angel.

Weathers directing an episode is an exciting thought. He currently co-stars on the show as Greef Karga, the leader of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild on Nevarro who plays an important role in Mando’s season 1 adventures and confrontations. Taika Waititi pulled double-duty as both star and director in last season’s finale, which was arguably the best episode of the series so far. Hopefully Weathers can have a similar directorial debut given his experience on the other side of the camera.

Finally, there’s series creator Jon Favreau, the man who helped bring the show to life will now be in the director’s chair for at least one episode of the upcoming season. Favreau’s history on The Clone Wars (where he voiced Mandalorian warrior Pre Vizsla) could be reason to guess that he’ll be involved in a Mandalorian-heavy episode of season 2 — perhaps an episode where fans learn more about how Moff Gideon acquired the Darksaber or where Bo-Katan Kryze makes her rumored live-action debut.

It’s encouraging that the team behind The Mandalorian is confident enough to take risks by bringing in new directors, rather than sticking to what worked in season 1. One of the strengths of the first season was that each creator got to put their own spin on the series, making each episode a refreshing experience.

Directors not returning for The Mandalorian season 2

It will no doubt be a benefit to the show to bring in new directing perspectives, but we can still mourn the departure of two notable directors. Those directors, of course, are Deborah Chow and Taika Waititi.

The aforementioned Waititi not only voiced bounty-hunter-turned-ally IG-11, but he also delivered a powerhouse episode as director of the final episode of season 1. Waititi’s masterful blend of action and comedy will be missed, although he has another Star Wars project to devote his time to anyways.

Likewise, Chow is busy with the Ewan McGregor-led spinoff about Obi-Wan Kenobi. The highly anticipated show will help round out Disney+’s Star Wars content aside from The Mandalorian, so it’s understandable if her attention is being focused there. However, Chow’s episodes were among the most impressive of season 1, with “Chapter 3” in particular as a highlight. Hopefully her eye for thrilling action sequences will be carried on in season 2.

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The Mandalorian season 2 is set to debut on Oct. 30 on Disney+.