Jon Favreau has deep ties with Star Wars that you may not know about.
Since bursting onto the scene with 2008’s Iron Man and all the way up to The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau has been a fan favorite. Many will recognize his big projects, but Favreau has been involved in the galaxy far far away for a long long time.
Here are a few little-known facts about Jon Favreau and Star Wars.
1. Favreau was a Mandalorian before leading his own show.
Prior to landing the role as The Mandalorian showrunner, Favreau was a part of the Star Wars universe — as a voice that is. After a chance encounter at Skywalker Ranch with Dave Filoni, who was beginning work on season 1 of The Clone Wars while Favreau directed Iron Man, the two struck up a conversation and became friends. Favreau was quick to drop his name into the hat if Filoni were to need a voice for the Clone Wars’ large cast of characters. And what do you know, Filoni happened to need one.
Favreau claimed the voice of Mandalorian leader Pre Vizsla, perhaps a sign of things to come. Vizsla did not have an immense amount of screen time but became an important figure in the Clone Wars universe, with his dark saber making an appearance to conclude Favreau’s own season 1 storyline in The Mandalorian.
2. He has popped up in other Star Wars projects too, including his own.
Pre Vizsla is not the only character Favreau has voiced, either. In 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Favreau lent his voice to the Ardennian pilot Rio Durant who, despite his early death, was one of mine and many’s favorite characters in the film.
Favreau did not forget about his own show, either, handing himself the role of Paz Vizsla. A Mandalorian heavy gunner, he can be remembered for budding heads with Din Djarin before ultimately helping escape the Bounty Hunter’s Guild on Nevarro. He even got an action figure for that appearance, adding yet another one to his repertoire.
3. Some familiar Star Wars faces were involved in his other Disney projects.
Before The Mandalorian, Favreau had an established relationship with Disney. Over the years, Favreau worked with Hollywood’s biggest stars, many of which appeared in past and present Star Wars projects.
In 2016’s The Jungle Book, Moff Gideon actor Giancarlo Esposito voiced Akela, while Clone Wars and voice acting legend Dee Bradley Baker was featured as various animal voices well. 2019’s The Lion King saw Donald Glover fill Simba’s shoes on the heels of Solo: A Star Wars Story while James Earl Jones returned to play Mufasa.
And we all know of Samuel L. Jackson’s involvement in the MCU, where Favreau both directed the Iron Man films and plays Happy Hogan. So, Favreau has been surrounded by the Star Wars family ever since joining it himself.
4. The idea of the Mandalorian has been brewing for a long time.
Despite only releasing a year ago, the idea for The Mandalorian has been inside Favreau’s mind for many years. In a conversation with D23, Favreau dates the first inklings of the story back to 2012 upon hearing of the Disney/Star Wars merger. With his Disney connection set in place, it is no surprise he became a leading candidate for future projects.
At the time, rumors said he wanted the Episode VII job, but the advent of Disney+ brought a live-action series into focus. In 2017, Favreau’s official pitch came, perhaps influenced by his initial stint with Pre Vizsla, and the rest is history.
5. He holds a close relationship with George Lucas, both in-person and as an inspiration.
Another interesting element of Favreau’s relationship with Star Wars is that with George Lucas. For one, Favreau routinely cites Episode IV and Lucas’ mixture of samurai and Western styling as the primary inspiration for his show.
In addition, Lucas visited The Mandalorian set, gifting us with the iconic photo of him holding the child. He influenced things too, with Favreau comparing Lucas to a coach in the corner as he surveyed Filoni’s work behind the camera. Despite that, Lucas has enjoyed his time away from the set, getting to experience the show as a fan like the rest of us.
Favreau and Lucas also spoke a bit about The Mandalorian, with Lucas giving the simple advice of keeping the focus where it is meant to be on the younger audience. The importance of the fans continues to define so much of Favreau’s perspective on the galaxy today.
6. Favreau may have a long future with Star Wars.
The biggest conversation swirling around Favreau is his future with the franchise. Undeniably, The Mandalorian is Disney’s biggest success since purchasing the Star Wars license, and Favreau is the leading cause of it.
Now, with rumors circulating surrounding the leadership in Disney, Favreau has emerged as a potential figure to lead the franchise forward. That could come through The Mandalorian, with numerous seasons ahead, films, or, as many fans want to see, a leadership role within the franchise.
Time will tell what ultimately happens, but no matter what, the Star Wars galaxy is very lucky to have Jon Favreau as a part of it.