How The Mandalorian used visual tech to show Ahsoka duel, Boba Fett’s ship

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in The Mandalorian season 2. Photo courtesy of Disney+.
The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in The Mandalorian season 2. Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

It’s no secret The Mandalorian uses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to shoot its first two seasons.

Disney+ even latched on to fans’ desire for more behind-the-scenes looks at how creator Jon Favreau and his crew brought the worlds of Din Djarin and Grogu/Baby Yoda to life by launching Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. also featured exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the sets and in-depth interviews with Favreau and the creators at Industrial Light and Magic in May 2020.

More recently,, a home for behind-the-camera content on movies, shows, games and more, caught up with The Mandalorian‘s production visual effects supervisor Richard Bluff. In the feature, Bluff talked about the bigger LED stage created to shoot season 2 and the new innovative techniques used to shoot pivotal scenes.

One of the key filmmaking aspects that has made the show so successful is the use of StageCraft, a massive wraparound LED screen that lets the cast and crew be immersed in a hyper-realistic CG environment. The use of these screens makes it appear like the crew is shooting on location when in reality they’re bringing that custom location to them on a huge soundstage.

The Mandalorian
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Episode 4 “Technology” – On the set of THE MANDALORIAN /

How The Mandalorian set comes to life

Bluff told that in season 2, stages were even bigger and they experimented with different shapes for the StageCraft setups. One of the episodes he breaks down is “The Jedi,” specifically the scene where Mandalorian Din Djarin is trying to track down Ahsoka Tano outside Calodan on the planet Corvus. With this episode, the crew had the physical set begin outside the Volume — the wide, half-circle LED screen — allowing for the camera to track longer walks by the cast.

Bluff explained to

"With the success we were having, we felt as though this season we could be less conservative and we could try different things, different shapes. So, one of the things that we wanted to do was, was to have a different shape and bigger stage such that we can have a longer walk and talks."

The Mandalorian concept art
The Mandalorian concept art by Erik Tiemens. Photo: Disney+. /

The article also points to the use of StageCraft combined with the physical set of the interior of Boba Fett’s ship to show for the first time how the Slave I was able to fly vertically but land horizontally.

In the Disney Gallery special, Favreau said:

"Nobody’s ever seen what goes on inside that ship when it rotates. We’ve only seen the outside, so that was one of the inspirations for doing it on the stage; taking advantage of what the stage can do."

Diana Lee Inosanto - The Mandalorian
Diana Lee Inosanto is the Magistrate in Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian, season two, exclusively on Disney+. Photo: Disney+. /

Another scene where the StageCraft technology really got to “sing” was during The Jedi episode when Ahsoka duels with Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, who rules Calodan. In the article, Bluff explained how the crew was hesitant about shooting scenes where there was a body of water inside the volume of the LED screen. In that episode, however, director Dave Filoni wanted the duel to be reflected in the pond underneath Ahsoka and Morgan Elsbeth:

"Dave had written it into his episode, and we found that if there is ever a condition within the physical (LED) space that can bring the lighting and wrap it further around the actors, it cements them in that world."

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For more behind-the-scenes features on The Mandalorian, check out Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: The Making of Season 2 on Disney+.