The third episode of The Mandalorian had several concept arts from Brian Matyas. Among others, he designed the heavy infantry Mando character called Paz Vizla. Our Editor-in-Chief realized, Matyas surely had Hungarian relatives, and I had the opportunity to ask him some questions. Interview!
“When Doug Chiang asked me to join the Lucasfilm art department to design characters for The Mandalorian, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. It was also an incredible challenge to design them for an entire series of content (I’ll have lots of character designs to post in the future). I also did many keyframe illustrations for the show. (…) More to come!”
Brian Matyas shared these words on his Instagram profile with his most famous concept art, what is the opening picture of our article as well. He created the heavy infantry Mando, but we met the design way before the third episode of The Mandalorian when Hasbro shared a figure of the character. I contacted Brian Matyas at that time, but he asked us to wait until he can officially share his artwork on this particular Mando. So I asked a couple of questions after the premiere of the third episode of The Mandalorian.
– Hello! Your work is amazing! Do you have a Hungarian origin?
– Hi! Thanks! Yes, my dad’s grandparents. Have a few Hungarian friends, though! Corrected me on my last name pronunciation (which I still pronounce incorrectly, hehe).
– Have you ever been to Hungary?
– I have not! I want to, though. I have a friend from Budapest, but he recently moved back to California, so I never got a chance to visit him
– Ah, I see. It is funny that your heavy infantry Mando character’s name is Vizla (or Vizsla), like Pre Vizsla before. Did you know that the word “vizsla” is a Hungarian dog breed? Kind of a hound.
– That’s pretty cool didn’t know Vizsla is Hungarian hound!
– As I saw you at your Artstation portfolio, you designed Mando or bounty hunter concepts earlier as well. So I presume you like these characters too. Were you a Mando fan, or Star Wars fan when you got this dream job?
– Yeah, the designs on Artstation were from a game called Star Wars: Uprising. Always liked Star Wars and the bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back as a kid. It’s a really fun sandbox to design in!
– Oh, I played Uprising on my phone a few years ago, it had a so great and well-detailed story. That was your first job at Lucasfilm? How did they find you for the project?
– Yeah, that game was fun to work on, but it wasn’t Lucasfilm that made that one, it was a game company called Kabam. When I started working for Lucasfilm, Doug Chiang saw my current portfolio and hired me to work on costumes and creatures for the Galaxy’s Edge theme park in 2017. I worked for Doug in my first industry job for another Disney company called ImageMovers Digital back 2007, so it’s all come full circle now.
– Oh, I assume it is ultimately exciting to work with Doug Chiang, he is a living legend. These are a lot of Star Wars project you mentioned. What are you planning next? Are you working on the second season of The Mandalorian, or would you like to take part in other projects, like the Cassian Andor or the Kenobi series?
– The second season is already in full production so us pre-production designers have wrapped on it for the most part. As for other projects, I can’t publicly disclose what I am involved in, unfortunately. But I am, for the most part, have dedicated my time to The Mandalorian.
– Wow, it’s exciting. One last question: what is your favourite character or design in The Mandalorian or the whole Star Wars saga?
– Definitely Vader. It’s such an iconic villainous design. A death incarnate techno-samurai with a splash of Waffen-SS. Nothing will ever top his presence in Star Wars, in my opinion.
After we published the article, Phil Szostak (Creative Art Manager at Lucasfilm) shared it on Twitter. He says, Matyas is the designer behind the Mando’s, Greef Carga, Cara Dune and many others.
Enjoy this exclusive interview with concept artist Brian Matyas, the designer behind the eponymous Mandalorian, Armorer, Heavy Infantry Mando, Greef Carga, Cara Dune and many others from #TheMandalorian. #StarWars #IHaveSpoken https://t.co/T6U944bXm8