Disney + began with one new series on its slate, The Mandalorian. That’s quite a lot of pressure on a fledgling show. The Mandalorian, though, proves ready for the task.
SPOILER LEVEL: Medium to High
I had held out hope that “the Mandalorian” would be Boba Fett, no matter what the showrunners were saying ahead of time. It isn’t Boba. However, the character, played by Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones and Narcos fame, is essentially the same character as Boba. Initially, I was slightly annoyed by this. Why give Star Wars fandom a show about someone JUST like Boba Fett and not simply make it about Boba! However, I gave the show a chance. The plot is actually really cool and is set presumably in the more modern era of the Star Wars universe. So, it can’t be Boba. If the series is set sometime after Return of the Jedi, he’s dead after all.
The show follows a Mandalorian bounty hunter as he goes after his various targets. The effects of this show have more of a big budget theater level feel to them, which bodes well for this and any other series coming to Disney’s new streaming platform. The characters and set designs have the true essence of Star Wars, even more so than the recent movie entries.
When the episode starts, the Mandalorian snags a quarry he’s after and, when the guy proves to be trouble during transport, the Mandalorian quickly freezes his prisoner in carbonite. This freezing shows the audience two things. First, it proves the Mandalorian is shrewd and tenacious in his job. The quickness and portability of the carbon-freezing also proves the bounty hunter is using more advanced technology than what was used to freeze Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back, setting this new show farther in the future. The Mandalorian then gets sent on a mysterious mission to bring back some unknown “fifty-year-old being”. Nothing more than that, apparently, can be revealed to him before he goes to vaguely defined coordinates. What he finds is very surprising and likely sets up the plot of the show for a while to come.
The Mandalorian’s release will likely dominate Star Wars news this week, but Disney also quietly released an announcement this week that Rian Johnson’s untitled non-Skywalker Star Wars trilogy isn’t going to happen after all. The Last Jedi may have been successful, but to date there hasn’t been as divisive a Star Wars entry. Many longtime fans despised Episodes VIII’s treatment of the original characters, specifically Luke. Therefore, I am not at all surprised Rian’s future in Star Wars was quietly canceled. That being said, if there are to be no Star Wars films in the theater for a while, and fans are instead expected to watch Disney + shows the level of The Mandalorian? I think it’ll be as if a million voices cried out in delight. The Mandalorian, upon viewing the first episode, promises an amazing new entry of the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars, at its core, has always had a Western feel to it. After all, Han Solo is essentially a cowboy with lax morals. The Mandalorian is no exception. The sets look like a fusion of Sci-Fi and Western. Everything is dirty, as it should be. Star Wars has always been rough, messy, and dirt-covered. That’s one issue with the prequels, everything was too pristine. It wasn’t “Old West” enough. The Mandalorian, thankfully, gets it right. As Pascal approaches the small desert compound where his mysterious quarry is being kept, the atmosphere screams Spaghetti Western. The whole episode depicts the titular bounty hunter as a futuristic gun fighter. He’s quick with his guns. He’s brief with his words. He also portrays the mysterious “man with no name” lone gunfighter type very well, reminiscent of Clint Eastwood. He never gives his name and never even takes his mask off. I’d expect that last part to change, though, since Pedro Pascal is a known entity and would be wasted if the mask remains ever-present.
The Mandalorian starts with an intensity and mysteriousness that fans can only pray it maintains throughout its entire run. This is the next entry of Star Wars we’ve all been waiting for.
The Mandalorian First Episode: A Fantastic Way to Start a Series and a Streaming Platform
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Acting - 9.8/109.8/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 10/1010/10