‘Star Wars’: 5 Movies that Prove ‘The Mandalorian’ Director Robert Rodriguez Deserves His Own Movie
There’s not a whole lot Star Wars fans can agree on these days. For example, not everyone is probably pleased Taika Waititi will co-write and direct his own Star Wars movie. But at least for the first time in years, fans know what the saga’s big-screen future holds.
Moreover, Waititi’s hiring could indicate Lucasfilm will look to its Disney+ directors for upcoming movies. After all, Waititi first entered Star Wars by voicing IG-11 on The Mandalorian and directing the show’s season 1 finale. Likewise, The Mandalorian offers a lot of worthy talent for future movies.
However, few are more qualified than Robert Rodriguez. The filmmaker took to his Twitter account to confirm he directed an episode of The Mandalorian Season 2. And judging by the Waititi news, Rodriguez could be in line for a Star Wars movie too. If that’s the case, Rodriguez has already made plenty of movies that prove he’s worthy.
‘El Mariachi’ (1992)
At first glance, Rodriguez’s ultra-low-budget crime thriller might not have any direct bearing on Star Wars. The film is grimy, violent, and most certainly not set in a “galaxy far, far away.” But it also proves Rodriguez shares a creative spirit with Star Wars creator George Lucas. No wonder he was brought on to The Mandalorian.
In his film debut, Rodriguez served as writer, director, producer, editor, and cinematographer. El Mariachi, in many ways, set the tone for his do-it-yourself mentality. This resourcefulness carried over throughout his career and into the creation of his own studio. Like Lucas, he’s created a world from the ground up and can bring that creative experience to Star Wars.
‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ (1996)
Star Wars is often lumped into the sci-fi category with other stories featuring robots and spaceships. But really, the saga is much more complex than that. Its creation of a universe unlike our own and its setting “a long time ago” actually places it more closely as a fantasy than anything else. So a Star Wars director needs to be able to expertly balance a variety of tones.
Beyond that, Star Wars features broad comedy, swashbuckling adventure, grand romance, Shakespearan drama, and political intrigue. Likewise, From Dusk Till Dawn represents a genre mash-up that took audiences by surprise. Rodriguez didn’t write the crime thriller/vampire horror film — that would be Quentin Tarantino — but he did craft it into an undeniable cult classic.
‘Spy Kids’ (2001)
Here’s where we get to the Disney side of Star Wars. The only kid-friendly movie on our list, Spy Kids proves Rodriguez can translate his frenetic energy to a family-friendly audience. In telling the story of two children who discover their parents are spies, Rodriguez brings the same enthusiasm and imagination he does to 1995’s far more visceral Desperado.
Especially in the Disney-owned era, Star Wars needs to find a way to appeal to fans who grew up with the original trilogy. But it also needs to inspire today’s children to become invested in the future of the franchise. Rodriguez’s family films haven’t always worked — commercially or critically — but he’s certainly capable of applying his A-game to a movie for everyone.
‘Sin City’ (2005)
Because Star Wars relies so heavily on visual effects, any incoming director needs to be comfortable in that arena too. Rodriguez certainly has that covered as well. Way back in the early 2000s, he worked exclusively on a green-screen set to bring Sin City to life. The movie’s visually arresting style helped make the film one of his biggest box office hits.
Between El Mariachi and Sin City, Rodriguez has worked on both spectrums of filmmaking. For the former, he counted on his ingenuity and resourcefulness to realize his vision. And then in adapting Frank Miller’s graphic novels, he applied the latest technology for Sin City. The perfect Star Wars director should be able to master both and adapt as necessary.
‘Alita: Battle Angel’ (2019)
This 2019 sci-fi thriller is probably the closest to a Star Wars production Rodriguez has worked on. For instance, the $170 million production budget of Alita: Battle Angel is in the realm of what a Star Wars movie would cost. It’s certainly the biggest budget Rodriguez has worked with. And the movie combines next-level CG effects and motion-capture, both Star Wars staples.
Yet, there’s another element that is perhaps even more important than the requisite effects mastery. With Alita: Battle Angel, Rodriguez worked closely with James Cameron, who originally intended to direct. But he chose Rodriguez to step in and help execute and expand his vision. In this regard, Rodriguez is ideal to similarly play within the established Star Wars canon.