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Howard is especially good at delivering satisfying homage. With “Sanctuary,” Howard gave us Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai on an alien planet. Written by Favreau, the episode has sturdy characterization and stakes for Din Djarin, with the peaceable city and the villager Omera symbolizing a life he might have if he gave up bounty looking. The chemistry between Omera and Din, the scene-setting, and the motion (this episode additionally introduces MMA fighter Gina Carano as Cara Dune) make it a powerful displaying. It’s not fairly unique, because it pulls from traditional samurai movies, Star Wars itself, and a bunch of different tales to create a battle of underdogs in opposition to a extra extremely mechanized enemy, however Howard’s route — particularly of the climactic nighttime battle, with its AT-STs, brights lights and fiery sparks, and thick shadows — makes the episode pop. “Sanctuary” stays one of essentially the most memorable episodes of the present’s first season
Her season two episode “The Heiress” (additionally written by Favreau) handles Star Wars influences differently: by immediately connecting the appear and feel of the episode to a different half of the sprawling saga. Howard ushers within the first live-action look of animated character Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian warrior from The Clone Wars, and directs the motion on the display in a method that nods to the animated collection: Mandalorians zooming by means of the sky with jet packs, the trade of blaster fireplace throughout lengthy hallways, extremely coordinated gravity-defying maneuvers to board an enemy ship. The episode totally embraces the fantasy of being an armored warrior in opposition to overwhelming numbers, a setup discovered very often within the animated collection.
Howard has had rather a lot of time to find out how Star Wars works, of course. She’s the daughter of Ron Howard, a longtime collaborator of Lucas’ who additionally directed Solo: A Star Wars Story. In the behind-the-scenes interviews in Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, she tells a narrative about having dinner along with her father, Lucas, and Kurosawa when she was 5 – 6 years previous.
Just like Filoni, Howard realized immediately from Lucas as an grownup, too. She shadowed her father on Solo and noticed the significance of collaboration on Lucas’ Willow.
“The people are just all in, give everything, own it, own the process themselves, and then are like, ‘Your turn,’” she advised Variety in 2019 about directing The Mandalorian. “It is so exhilarating and grounding and it doesn’t ever get about the ego, because it’s all about Star Wars, which it needs to be.”