Lucasfilm broke new ground with The Mandalorian, and not just because it wasn’t the first Star Wars story to focus on something besides the Jedi. The Disney+ series introduced new film-making technology that went on to revolutionize the entire industry, but the latest leaks from the set of The Mandalorian Season 3 suggest the show could be shifting away from its greatest strength: The Volume.
The Mandalorian Season 3 leak explained
The latest Mando leak comes to us from MakingStarWars, a website run by Jason Ward that accurately leaked most of the plot of The Rise of Skywalker. On October 11, Ward shared a new photo from the set of The Mandalorian Season 3 on his YouTube show.
The image doesn’t reveal much, but it shows several physical structures covered in bluescreens where digital backgrounds can be inserted later. There’s also some sort of structure, which looks a bit like the foot of an AT-AT.
On the surface, this doesn’t reveal much, but when you think about what that bluescreen represents, it could signal a shift away from one of The Mandalorian’s defining features.
The Mandalorian Season 3 and the Volume
Ever since The Mandalorian premiered in 2019, it’s been known for two things: Baby Yoda and the Volume. The Volume is essentially a giant 360-degree greenscreen that actors stand inside. But unlike normal greenscreens, which are blank during production and get added in later, this one works in real-time. That means the background is constantly shifting as each scene is shot.
For co-showrunner Jon Favreau, the Volume (which is powered by the same software used to create Fortnite) represents the perfect blending of cinema and video games.
“We’ve been experimenting with these technologies on my past projects and were finally able to bring a group together with different perspectives to synergize film and gaming advances and test the limits of real-time, in-camera rendering,” Favreau said in an official statement.
So what does it mean that The Mandalorian Season 3 isn’t using the Volume? Well, it could suggest the show is shifting away from this technology in general, though we’re not sure why that would be the case. (Maybe Disney only has so many Volumes and they’re all being used for movies at the moment.) It’s difficult to say how this would affect the show, but considering how instrumental the technology has been so far, it’s probably not a good change.
Then again, this leak could also reveal a totally different shift for The Mandalorian Season 3. While the show has relied heavily on the Volume, it’s also featured plenty of hand-made sets to depict the interiors of buildings and even entire towns. All this bluescreen suggests the show could be shifting away from those practical effects. The next time Mando goes to a cantina, it might be entirely CGI.
Then again, it’s likely too soon to say anything for sure. At this point, the team behind The Mandalorian hasn’t given us any reason to think Season 3 will be any different that what we’ve already seen in terms of visual quality. But if anyone sees Jar Jar Binks on set, it might be time to panic.
The Mandalorian Season 3 is expected to premiere in late 2022.