The Mandalorian Props, VFX, and Costumes That Make the Show Come to Life

Inside the Star Wars props, visual effects, and costumes that make The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett possible.

Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and The Child on The Mandalorian
Photo: Disney/Lucasfilm

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, the modern maestros of Star Wars, brought a bantha-sized batch of bounty to Star Wars Anaheim 2022 in the form of The Mandalorian Experience, an expansive display of props, costumes, and set pieces spanning the first two seasons of the popular Disney+ series, as well as The Book of Boba Fett

During the Lucasfilm Studio Showcase panel, Favreau said he wanted to assemble the Mando exhibit as a thank you to fans who supported the show. It was also a way to celebrate the return of SWC after years of delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It had been a long time since Star Wars fans and talent could celebrate the galaxy far, far away together.

The exhibition was only available to those inside the convention center during SWC weekend, but even if you weren’t able to be there in May, Den of Geek has assembled a video giving you an inside look at what was on display to bring you as close to the action as possible:

Indeed, The Mandalorian Experience by Fairview Portals felt special. The display was not only the hottest ticket at Celebration (and brought long lines), it was also intimate, allowing attendees to get up close with a wide array of screen-used items — both miniatures of the Razor Crest and a full-sized cockpit, Din Djarin’s bounty frozen in carbonite, the throne room inside Boba’s palace — without the separation of glass cases. 

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Although some models (the Hutt Twins) and props (Ahsoka’s lightsabers, Mando’s blaster) were kept behind glass, the experience was so immersive one could almost smell the large animatronic, grunting bantha on the Tusken Raider set from Tatooine, or feel the heat coming from the Nikto Sand Riders’ speeder bikes. The arrangement of bloodied, battered stormtrooper helmets on pikes, as we saw in The Mandalorian season one, added a creepy, foreboding vibe to the room as well.

The experience likewise allowed attendees a peek behind the wizard’s curtain to see how certain effects were achieved. For instance, Mos Espa’s Ithorian mayor Mok Shaiz, from Boba Fett sat in his own throne flanked by his lackeys, and across the way was his own skinned, animatronic head that showed the various robotic controls used to animate him. A display of bounty hunter Cad Bane was similarly accompanied by an incredible “exploded view” model of the prosthetic head worn by actor Dorian Kingi, which showed off how the character’s teeth, eyes, and headpiece all fit together (which appeared to render Kingi blind during his performance).

Since nothing in modern Star Wars can really upstage him, however, the real star of the show was Grogu, aka Baby Yoda. Located in the center of the room, he was hanging out in the tricked-out astromech droid bubble of Mando’s full-sized N-1 Naboo starfighter. Presumably controlled by a puppeteer, the little guy would react to people, spinning around, cooing, and waving to the fans who came to see him. 

Along with Grogu, the photo op highlights of the exhibit appeared to be the bantha, and the (presumably) actual-sized rancor head bidding farewell to visitors as they exited the main gallery room. Among the final items one would see as they departed the event were the costumes of Mandalorian warrior Paz Vizsla and X-wing pilot Trapper Wolf — characters respectively voiced by Favreau and played by Filoni in The Mandalorian.

Overall, The Mandalorian Experience had a unique feeling to it, as if this collection of props and memorabilia from the Disney+ shows won’t be assembled again in the near future. Fortunately, we’ll get to see what new things Favreau and Filoni are working on when The Mandalorian season 3 hits the streaming service next February.