The Way

The Biggest New Star Wars Movie Just Broke a Crucial Lucasfilm Tradition

Should we be worried?


Star Wars may be set in a galaxy far, far away, but its filming locations are very terrestrial. Tatooine is in Tunisia, Padme and Anakin discuss sand while overlooking Lake Como in Italy, and Rey first meets Luke on a tiny crag off the coast of Ireland. But aside from those exceptions, most of Star Wars is filmed in studios, and the upcoming spinoff movie The Mandalorian and Grogu won’t be an exception. However, its filming location breaks a long-standing Star Wars pattern — and casts doubt on the movie itself.

Variety reports that The Mandalorian and Grogu is the biggest budget movie to qualify for California’s state tax program, meaning it will be filmed mainly within the state. This isn’t a departure for The Mandalorian, which according to the Los Angeles Daily News was filmed “almost entirely” at Manhattan Beach Studios in Manhattan Beach, California.

However, it is a big risk for Star Wars movies. Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, every Star Wars movie was filmed at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. Even the Disney+ series Andor and The Acolyte were filmed there, while The Mandalorian and its spinoffs stayed on this side of the pond.

The Mandalorian utilizes the 360 LCD screen known as The Volume at its California-based studio.


The Mandalorian and Grogu may be the first Star Wars movie in over a decade not to film at Pinewood, but it’s by no means the first Star Wars movie to film in California. Death Valley was used as a filming location for Tatooine and the Californian Redwood forests famously served as the forest moon of Endor.

Still, The Mandalorian and Grogu filming domestically is a big diversion for current-day Star Wars and may not be a good sign for the movie. The choice of location likely means this movie will be filmed in the same way as the streaming series The Mandalorian, and while that may look good on TV, it may not translate to the silver screen — especially if the film is as reliant on The Volume as The Mandalorian has been.

The Mandalorian and Grogu does not have a release date.

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