My thoughts about The Mandalorian Chapter One
“I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.”
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE DISNEY PLUS SERIES, THE MANDALORIAN. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
November 12th, 2019 was a historical day for Star Wars. The first ever live-action series (of many) was released this week, and man, has it been a long time coming! Not only have we waited almost a year after finding out what the show was about, but we've waited even longer than that. Before Disney purchased Lucasfilm, it was always rumored and talked about of a series called Star Wars: Underworld, which of course had been scrapped. But NOW, we actually have a Star Wars series on Disney Plus, and there's a ton more to come.
At the launch of Disney Plus on November 12th, we were given the first 7 Episodic Films on the Skywalker Saga, as well as Rogue One, all in 4K ULTRA-HD exclusively on the streaming service, all three of the animated series', and of course The Mandalorian. Now, personally I will say that I was not very hyped for The Mandalorian, at least not as much as everyone else was. Something about the trailers didn't click for me. But the idea of the first ever Star Wars series gave me all the hype I needed. Well, let me tell you, was I wrong about not being hyped for this series...
Picture this. It was 3 o'clock in the morning. I had no plans of waking up to watch it early, and was going to wait until I got home from the day to watch the series, but, I woke up 2 hours earlier than usual NATURALLY, as if my body was telling me "WATCH THIS NOW". So, as anyone would do, I got my ass up and watched it! Again, my expectations we're pretty low, but as soon as that BRAND-NEW Star Wars TV Intro popped up, and we got our first shot of Pedro Pascal's character, "The Mandalorian", walking through the snow, it felt right. I was sold. We get into that little bar, with all them aliens and Mos-Eisley Cantina vibes from A New Hope, I was glued to that 55 inch rectangle that I was watching the series on. I mean, just from the starting scene, the humor was perfect, great graphics, the aliens looked so real, and that total bad-ass fight The Mandalorian put on to obtain his Mythrol bounty was AWESOME! First 5 minutes in, I was convinced that this, is indeed, Star Wars.
One thing I want to say about this show is that it has the perfect balance of Fan Service and new content. For example, The Mandalorian asks for a ride from none other than a member of the Kubaz species, first seen in A New Hope as a spy named Garindan, and of course is presented with a speeder. This speeder was the perfect example of the new and old, it gave off that same vibe and look as Luke Skywalker's speeder in A New Hope, but at the same time, had a completely new model. We see so much of just straight up Star Wars in this series, and man, I love it.
This show is also FANTASTIC at showing us the time period that we're in. This show takes place FIVE YEARS after Return of the Jedi, the beginning of the destruction of the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE, and ONE YEAR after The Battle of Jakku, the official end of the Empire. As we already knew from previously established canon, most people involved with The Empire fell with it, but, of course you can't get everyone. All over the galaxy, people associated with The Empire desperately hold on to what is left of it, and as we know these people later helped form The First Order, the successor of The Empire, and this show is definitely a product of that time period. We have broken down Stormtroopers, we have some of the last remaining Imperial Credits, we've even got the scientist that looks an awful lot like Star Wars Podcast star Michael from The Rexin' Around Show. We still have Imperial Bounties going on (we'll mention that later in this article) and A TON of weaponry from this era. So props to Dave Filoni (Director of Ep. 1) and Jon Favreau (Creator & Writer) for making sure that we were seeing the right time era.
If there's one thing this show did well, it's setting up the future SEVEN episodes and getting us hyped for it. I can't wait to see more Bounty Hunting from The Mandalorian, I can't wait to see his character grow more. It is clear that this character is very much 'The Bad Guy with the Heart of Gold', but I know that his character will surprise us as we find out more and more, and follow his adventures behind that Beskar Iron armor with his little green friend. As for The Mandalorian, we know virtually nothing but his voice, and that his family was involved in an attack on Mandalore, yet I already love him more than Boba Fett and Jango Fett combined. There's just something that is so interesting about this character, I mean, the way he does what he does is awesome. Making that poor Mythrol think he could play him by being nice, staying completely silent. And then just when he thinks he may have a chance at getting home to the family for Life-Day, BOOM, into carbonite you go. He doesn't play games, but he will let you believe he does.
IG-11 was cool, I hope we see more from him in the series and that his "ending" wasn't actually the end. The Mandalorian and IG-11 play off of each other great, and I could never hate a performance by the extremely talented Taika Waititi. His CGI was a little off, specifically when they knock down that door and he walks over it, but that's a nit-pick, and it's a TV show, with a budget of 10 million each episode. The CGI was fantastic otherwise, ILM artists did a fantastic job! I love the exterior shots of the ship in space because they used the same model technique as the original trilogy! The scenes on the snow planet were extrodinary!
When The Mandalorian got to the planet with all the other Mandalorian, you could see someone who looked like Boba Fett, but probably isn't. Still a cool little Easter Egg! That planet and location gives off a ton of A New Hope vibes. We all collectively agree that it's Tatooine, right? Or am I wrong? I don't know, someone will correct me ;)
Oh, and of course that thing that made me jump out of my bed at 3:45 AM. The "Yoda" baby. Of course this isn't Yoda, but a 50 year old member of his unknown species. The only other person of Yoda's species was Yaddle in The Prequel Trilogy. This hyped me up a lot, just because we all wonder what Yoda looked like young, and now we have somewhat of an idea, even though he probably looked slightly different, being a different person and all. You know that this baby is important. I mean, it's an Imperial Bounty, he's got to be Force Sensitive. Because what else could it be? It's an unarmed baby. He was ordered to be killed. I think that The Mandalorian will keep this baby as his own, and protect him. He will drop the whole Bounty Hunter thing probably, and go through the typical Hero's Journey in Star Wars. Or, Jon could throw a total curve ball at us, which would actually be more likely. Oh, and this confirms that Yoda's species ages slower than humans, which makes sense, but also I never thought of it that way before. Still cool!
All in all, I loved this episode. I can not wait for more episodes. Friday, November 15th, I will probably wake up at 3 AM again to watch it, haha. I'd give the pilot episode a 9.5/10. It was damn near perfect. Dave Filoni knocked it out of the park at his first time directing live-action! It was cool to see his animation skills transfer to live-action.
What did you think of The Mandalorian? Love it? Hate it? Haven't watched it yet? (WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE IF SO!?) Let me know!
May the force be with you,
Star Wars Editor