By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- American film director Lee Issac Chung said Friday he was honored to join the production team for Disney+ sci-fi space adventure series "Mandalorian" as he has long been a fan of the "Star Wars" saga.
Chung, known for the Golden Globe-winning film "Minari" (2020), is one of the six directors behind the eight-episode "Mandalorian" Season 3, taking the helm of Episode 3 released Wednesday.
Set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, "Mandalorian" is the story of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. It stars Pedro Pascal as the titular character, a lone bounty hunter who goes on the run to protect the Force-sensitive child Grogu.
Chung said he enjoyed watching the first season of the TV show while he was editing "Minari" in 2019 and wished to be part of the live-action series of "Star Wars."
"Even though what I was editing and making was very different, I kept feeling that if I could direct an episode of the 'Mandalorian,' I'd feel very happy," Chung said in an online press conference.
"I just find that working on a show that has reached people of all different ages and all different backgrounds is a really special thing and I just feel honored to have been able to be part of that," he added.
The 44-year-old Korean American, who grew up on a small farm in Arkansas, said he had empathized with Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the original film "Star Wars" franchise created by George Lucas.
"When I was a child, I felt like I was Luke Skywalker, living in the countryside and dreaming of going to a bigger galaxy somewhere," he said. "And oftentimes, while I was working on the show, I kept wondering how in the world did I get here?"
Chung said he thought Episode 3 was interesting and fit his genre because it highlights the performances of the actors and tried to pay homage to legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock by using some of his cinematic techniques.
The most challenging yet rewarding part of the project, he said, was working with top-notch Hollywood cinematographers, visual effects (VFX) teams and production designers.
"One of the difficulties in filming 'Mandalorian' was that it was my first time getting used to so much VFX work that was new to me. So I had to learn quite a lot for that," he said. "But I'd say that was also the thing that I enjoyed the most."