The Mandalorian’s Emmy Win Means Another Amazing VFX Reel for You

The Mandalorian’s Emmy Win Means Another Amazing VFX Reel for You
Banthas are much creepier when they're only severed faces. (Screenshot: Lucasfilm)

While the nerds were told they couldn’t sit at the cool kids’ table at this past weekend’s Emmy Awards, they had a grand old time at the Creative Emmy Awards the week prior. There, The Mandalorian’s second season received, understandably, the Emmy for “Outstanding Special Effects in a Series or a Movie.” Now, in celebration, we’ve gotten another peek behind the CG… and in front of it, and off to the side, too, I guess.

What does it take to make a season of The Mandalorian? Oh, hunks of practical sets, bunches of bluescreens, some robotics, some puppets, that insane LED rig called the Volume that allows actors to be on virtual sets themselves while they film, and, oh yeah, an old-school spaceship model, just like the Star Wars crew did for A New Hope 44 years ago:

That’s the show’s Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Bluff giving the tour. While VFX reels like this can be hit or miss, The Mandalorian’s videos never disappoint. There’s always something that surprises me, whether things I assumed were CG turned out to be real, or things that looked real were CG, or things that were physically made and then scanned into CG anyway. But I mostly love that the Trash-ATs are stop-motion puppets for what seems to be no discernable reason. The show’s ability to work with all these processes and VFX, rather than just designing everything on a computer as the prequel movies did, is a huge part of the reason why The Mandalorian looks so good and feels so authentically Star Wars.

The Mandalorian also won 2021 Emmys for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup, Outstanding Musical Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama (One-Hour), Outstanding Stunt Coordination, Outstanding Stunt Performance, and Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour), for a total of seven.