Ever since The Mandalorian was released last year, it has become a true worldwide phenomenon.
Set five years after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi and 25 years before The Force Awakens, the show introduces us to a new set of heroes we’ve come to love: a badass bounty hunter… and of course, everyone’s favourite, Baby Yoda!
But have you ever wondered where Seasons 1 and 2 were filmed, and where specifically Mando was collecting his bounties? Wonder no further, because we’ve tirelessly researched the web for all the prime locations in order for you to use this as your ultimate cheat sheet!
So throw on your Mando helmet, cuddle your Baby Yoda* plushie, blast this amazing Mando-esque music, and get ready to explore some epic locations from The Mandalorian below!
*You should know this by now, but we’re adding this disclaimer to prevent tomatoes from being flung at us: the actual name of Baby Yoda is “the Child.”
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Note: For the best resource on all things behind-the-scenes Mando, we highly suggest you watch the Disney+ eight-episode documentary series that was released earlier this year. Click here for more info on “Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian.”
Where was The Mandalorian Filmed? A General Overview
Unlike many of the Star Wars films which shot significant portions on location, half of the first season of The Mandalorian was actually filmed on a soundstage in sunny SoCal (source: ILM).
What’s even crazier? This was the first time in Star Wars history in which a studio in London wasn’t used for any portion of filming.
Did you catch that? In the first episode when the bounty hunter is looking through carbonite bounties, one of them is actually George Lucas himself!
Instead, Season 1 was filmed almost exclusively in California. That’s a lot of moolah saved on airfare for cast and crew, especially when SW productions are notorious for using multiple locations around the world!
According to The Cinemaholic, filming and principal photography for the The Mandalorian‘s first season was said to have begun in October 2018 under the pseudonym “Huckleberry.”
Fun fact: This is director Jon Favreau’s third time working on Star Wars. He also voiced Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars and Rio Durant in Solo: A Star Wars Story!
George Lucas was even photographed paying a visit to the set in California (via director Jon Favreau’s Instagram). It was later revealed that Lucas had a heavy level of involvement in the show’s creation.
While camera crews for The Mandalorian were sent to shoot exotic locations like Iceland and Chile, this footage was integrated into virtual sets built with Unreal Engines from Epic Games through advanced technology called StageCraft.
This is a groundbreaking technique in which real-time 3D projections are shown on ultra-HD resolution screens in the background of the performing actors. As the character moves, the background moves along with it, simulating a different location (source: Quartz).
In the Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian docuseries, Executive Producer Dave Filoni described their advanced combos of VFX as, “It’s like being in the battle of Hoth, but the battle is all around you, immersing you.”
Taika Waititi, the director of Chapter 8 (Season 1) and the voice of IG-11, also described it as the idea of their sets as phenomenal. “You wouldn’t be able to figure out where the practical stuff ended and where the LED screens began. Even to the human eye, it was believable.”
For an in-depth look at the in-camera VFX used for Mando filming, check out this video below:
Thus, actors never left California to film the show. Instead, the location was brought to them, which also significantly reduced production costs.
If you want a closer look, check out this amazing Reddit post which shows the combination of Unreal Engine’s real-time capabilities along with immersive LED screens, allowing for endless creative filming possibilities.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Props from Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo have been spotted throughout Season 1, as well as designs and concepts from other media.
For more information on the virtual production technology used in The Mandalorian, watch this video below:
Also, check out this exclusive look at how the ILM team developed Mando’s Razor Crest:
Now what about the Mandalorian Season 2? Well, pre-production and planning for the second season began in July 2019, and official filming began on October 7, 2019 (sources: Collider and Cinema Blend). According to Screenrant, Season 2 wrapped filming on March 9, 2020… just five days before lockdown.
Much like other Star Wars-related productions, security is no joke when it comes to confidentiality. To prevent any spoiler leaks, actors apparently travel to set in black cloaks and are only given scripts for the episodes they appear in.
Season 3 is expected to commence filming before 2020 ends, so we can only hope that we continue getting all our Mando goodness. Strap yourselves in as we send you jet speeding across the galaxy through all the film locations!
The Mandalorian Film Locations: A Full List!
No need to hitch a ride off a Blurrg – almost everything for Season 1 of The Mandalorian was shot exclusively in California (and possibly NYC). Read on for more details!
Various (highly confidential) locations throughout California were used to film Seasons 1 & 2, but we did the digging so you don’t have to plow every Reddit thread just for some BTS goodies! Here are the main areas in California that filming was completed in:
Manhattan Beach Studios (MBS)
1600 Rosecrans Ave., Bldg 7, Ste 101, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Ah, alas, this isn’t the Manhattan Beach you were expecting to see on this list (sand, sun, hot bods, and – well, the beach).
Nearly everything from the first eight episodes of Season 1 was shot indoors at Manhattan Beach Studios (MBS) using ILM’s StageCraft technology.
According to IndieWire, actors in this studio performed in a large 20’-high, 270° semi-circular LED video wall and ceiling with a 75’-diameter performance space.
As noted before, this is where all practical set pieces were combined with all the digital FX on the screens that brought Mando to life so seamlessly (and believably!)
Here’s a behind-the-scenes GIF of Pedro Pascal on set (and gasp! – no helmet on), courtesy of Star Wars Holocron’s tweet.
Also, check out some screencaps here from a user’s tweet, via a recent VIEW Conference that detailed more VFX techniques from Mando.
Bonus: Director Jon Favreau shared exclusive set photos from The Mandalorian on his Instagram account, like the photo here.
Another spot cited as a key location for Mandalorian exterior scenes is El Segundo.
But before you run to El Segundo in search of Mando sets to peruse, you should know that most exterior filming was done on temporary sets built specifically for the show, like for instance the 100,000 sq. ft. backlot that was built a mile north of the MBS studios (source: IMDB).
Did you catch that? Many voice actors from Clone Wars and Rebels make appearances in season one. For a full list, check out this article from IGN.
Due to the top-secret nature of filming, there isn’t much photo evidence of the film sets in El Segundo, except for both of these lucky Reddit users (here and here) who happened to sneak glimpses of the set.
Fun fact: While Baby Yoda was an internet sensation once the show debuted, merch wasn’t actually sold until early 2020. This was to avoid spoilers ahead of the show’s premiere, which was actually an incredibly smart marketing strategy!
Also, here’s a behind-the-scenes photo from Star Wars Holocron’s tweet that shows Matt Lanter and Rick Famuyiwa filming Chapter 6 of Season 1.
For some exclusive footage from Season 1’s filming, check out the video below:
Looking for more Mandalorian goodness? Check out our roundup of iconic lines from season one here!
Death Valley National Park
Finally, an iconic filming location that most of us should be familiar with!
Some of the exterior shots in Mando Season 1 and 2 were filmed in Death Valley National Park.
Technically straddling the border of California and Nevada, Death Valley National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the U.S., with approximately 1.3 million visitors per year (as of 2019; source: NPS).
With a staggering size of 3.4 million acres, this national park is roughly the size of the entire state of Connecticut!
It’s best known for rugged landscapes and being North America’s driest and hottest spot.
Where do we see Death Valley in the Mandalorian? Well, this park’s picturesque sandy palette stands in for the planet Arvala-7 in the first episode, and you can see it clearly as Mando’s spacecraft flies in for the first time.
Also, who can forget the iconic moment we meet Kuiil for the first time in Chapter 1? Besides giving us one of the best quotes from the entire series (“I have spoken!”), this lovable Ugnaught vapor farmer also introduces us to some of the prettiest landscapes seen in Mando.
SPOILER ALERT: The following two paragraphs involve info from Season 2, so scroll past if you haven’t seen Season 2 yet!
In Chapter 9 of Season 2, Death Valley is clearly the backdrop for 98% of the episode. All the beautiful, sweeping shots of desert lands were absolutely shot in the national park (as you’ll recognize instantly).
We won’t reveal too much but, Mando travels to Tatooine, which showcases extremely high mountains and stunning vistas that will make you want to drop everything and take a road trip to Death Valley this instant. And remember, almost everything you see onscreen in the episode is practical effects – even those lovable Banthas!
The best part is (unlike the studio sets), these are landscapes you can actually visit in real life!
Did you know? One of the people in the Mando suit is Brendan Wayne, the grandson of legendary actor John Wayne!
And no, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – this was also one of the locations for an additional Tatooine scene in A New Hope! (Source: IMDB)
While there’s no official record of which scenes were filmed here, based on the landscapes alone, we can likely infer that it was parts of Chapter 1, 2, and 5, when panning shots of Arvala-7 are used.
Fun fact: Werner Herzog (the Client) had never seen a single Star Wars movie prior to this role! He later praised the practical FX, saying, “it’s cinema at its best.“
While you’re at the national park, look for notable filming locations such as Manly Beacon and Red Cathedral at Zabriskie Point, which most likely were home to more shots of Arvala-7 throughout the seasons.
The burnt, sandy color palette of the entire national park will make you feel as if every step you take is actually within the world of Mando!
Did you catch that? In the first episode, a Kowakian monkey lizard is briefly seen roasting on a spit. It’s the same species as Salacious Crumb, who was with Jabba The Hutt on his throne!
Simi Valley covers an expansive area in California, which made it another ideal (and secretive) filming location for the Mandalorian.
Check out this Reddit thread where a viral TikTok was posted (find the actual video here, from @starwarsfansecrets). A fan recorded a hike somewhere in Simi Valley and surprisingly stumbled upon *gasp* possible Mando Season 2 filming footage.
We’ll have to wait until the Mandalorian’s second season is released before we can confirm this as an actual filming location, but can you imagine seeing that while on a casual hike?!
For all-inclusive purposes, we’re including NY on this list. Nothing has been clearly confirmed or denied, but read on:
Lastly, there are several sources that cite New York as another filming location for The Mandalorian, although which exact scenes are still unclear. Given that many cast interviews have said that the show filmed entirely in California, we’re not 100% sure whether reports of filming in New York are correct.
However, in the name of comprehensiveness, we’ve included it anyway! Let us know in the comments if you know what scenes might have filmed in New York (or if they did at all).
We Hope You Enjoyed this Ultimate Guide to Mandalorian Filming Locations!
Did we miss any or get anything misconstrued? Let us know in the comments below! We hope this article gives you inspo to get out there and start hunting for your fave Bounty Hunter, with your Beb Yodz plush in tow!