The Mandalorian is one of my favorite shows right now.
So far, I’ve really liked everything they’ve done with the character. When I first heard they were going to do a live-action Star Wars show I wasn’t that excited since I wasn’t crazy about many of the showings after the Disney takeover.
But, I saw the trailer and figured I would give it a chance.
The first episode wasn’t perfect, but I was in. This felt more like Star Wars than anything I’d seen in a long time.
So I thought about what made it so good.
Favreau is the head writer and showrunner and his fingerprints are all over this. While now he’s best known for playing Happy Hogan in the MCU, he’s also the director of the first and second Iron Man movies. This is what The Mandalorian reminds me of the most. The first Iron Man movie was maybe my favorite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was also the most grounded of that movie series. The effects were very well done and many of them were practical.
There was also a tactile feel to the whole film. This was before they used an entirely digital Iron Man costume and it showed. He felt like a real object because he was. The suit had weight to it and you could hear it move. I love that robotic noise he makes when he walks in the first movie. YOu could just hear it walking by you.
It’s much the same with The Mandalorian. It’s the same tactile sense that creates a real feeling. It doesn’t feel like a soundstage. The universe feels lived in. Everything is dirty and grimy which used to be the hallmark of a Star Wars film and it’s returned to its roots.
Dave Filoni is the other showrunner and another reason the show is so good. Dave Filoni, between Rebels and The Clone Wars, has demonstrated that he understands the Star Wars universe.
The Clone Wars has some of the best Star Wars moments. There’s the Mortis arc, Fleshing out Obi-Wan and Anakin’s friendship, and the entire Darth Maul saga. It’s all great to watch.
He’s brought the same feeling to The Mandalorian. Filoni is adept at figuring out what people want to see, and he creates interesting stories. He’s also worked closely with George Lucas and you can tell.
This is probably the most self-explanatory part of the whole article. But, suffice to say, if the Mandalorian is good, The Mandalorian won’t be good.
But “Mando” is great. He starts as straight Clint Eastwood type, the man with no name, but slowly reveals to have a lot of personalities.
He’s also not a good guy in the traditional sense. He’s mostly watching out for himself, and he’s not above getting his hands dirty, but then shows a softer side when caring for the Baby Yoda character.
He also has a bit of Indiana Jones in him. Harrison Ford once said that he wanted Indy to be a mortal hero, and the reason that people resonate with the character is that he’s not indestructible. We see him get hurt throughout the films.
It’s much the same with the Mandalorian. He’s hurt. He fails. He doesn’t always win. He’s competent but he’s not a superhero. And, he gets by on his skills. He’s not a space wizard that can develop new powers every time the story calls for it. Like, ahem, other people do in this universe.
The tone affects everything mentioned above. But, it’s what I’ve wanted to see. We get to see the seedy underbelly of Star Wars. It’s grounded. It’s violent. It’s like a great western but with blasters.
The music helps cement the tone. The Mandalorian ‘s theme has a high noon drifter vibe that works perfectly with the show.
Last, but not least, Baby Yoda. Yes, he captured the Internet’s heart but he works in the show.
If you would have told me the show would have been essentially an escort mission I might not have watched it. But he’s adorable and the little guy has personality. And he creates some intrigue as well as creating a reason to have a show in the first place.
Also, they made the right call to use a puppet. It makes a huge difference. It adds to the tactile/grounded vibe I mentioned earlier, and it’s a nice call back to using a puppet for Yoda back in the day.
Reportedly, Favreau wanted to go with a digital version but Werner Herzog made a rather compelling case not to.
So there you have it.
Five reasons this show is great.
Now go watch it.
Originally published at https://vocal.media.