‘The Mandalorian’ is Fantastic

The first live action Star Wars Show delivers.

Image via starwars.com

The Mandalorian is fantastic.

I shouldn’t have waited to watch.

I won’t lie.

I thought the trailer looked great, and I was fairly confident this would be good. John Favreau is a solid director and Dave Filoni’s Star Wars bona fides are unmatched.

So I knew it would be decent.

And there was a fair chance it would be better than…let’s say other facets of the Star Wars story currently going on.

I was also excited to see the first live-action Star Wars show. I’ve wanted a Star Wars show since I was 6 and first saw the movies.

So, The Mandalorian.

There are some really great elements.

It feels like a lived-in inverse, a Star Wars staple. Pedro Pascal is great and brings The Mandalorian to life. The story is small and intimate but intriguing. The characters are new, and it takes place in worlds we haven’t seen yet, but it very much works.

It feels like Star Wars.

It features the Mandalorians which was one of my favorite parts of The Clone Wars. Actually, it resembles a live-action version of The Clone Wars. This is understandable as the man behind that show, Dave Filoni, is one of the creative drives of this show.

It feels like an extension of the movies I loved as a kid. It ostensibly takes place after Return of the Jedi and it definitely looks like it.

If you love Star Wars you will like The Mandalorian.

Spoilers for The Mandalorian

The Setting

This is something I’ve wanted to see for a long time: the underbelly, the things we saw and heard about in Mos Eisley.

It’s also an interesting time to watch. The Empire has just fallen and the wars are over but the galaxy is still in a transition period. We get to see more about how the bounty hunters function and are exposed to The Guild.

And this really does feel lived in. In fact, it feels grimy. We see former Storm Troopers in dirty armor now working as muscle for criminal underground Empire elements.

We get hints of bigger things here and there and larger forces at play but it’s largely a small story. Just a man trying to get his bounties.

It also works like a western mixed with a space opera. Especially in the first episode, it has a very “The Man With No Name Vibe.” If you plunked down a young Clint Eastwood in the opening scene it wouldn’t be much different.

The Mandalorian

This is easily my favorite part. Pedro Pascal does a fantastic job. Even though you can see his face, you can tell what the character is thinking purely through physical acting.

He looks dope too. Like a lovechild of a Medieval knight and Iron Man.

Pascal brings personality, too. Slowly as you get to know the character he’s different than you think. He starts as silent Clint Eastwood, dirty harry/lone gunfighter but he’s much closer to the early Die Hard John McClane, just a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like John McClane, similar to Indiana Jones too, he gets hurt. He’s a mortal hero. His armor takes damage and we see him tending to his wounds. He’s competent, but he’s not invincible.

There’s also some hint at a backstory that weaves into the Mandalorian lore…Manda-lore? Mandalorian history. So that looks intriguing, too.

Pascal brings the tough guy but secret heart of gold, too. He goes against his Guild and exposes his order to save the kid.

Speaking of which…

Baby Yoda

That little guy is adorable and I would take out an underground criminal element to rescue him, too. At first, when I realized that the little guy would be in far more of the show I thought this would be a little annoying and drag things down. Basically watching an escort mission in live-action. But he’s endearing and you get attached to him pretty quickly. Kind of like the Mandalorian did.

The latest episode is another reason to watch if you aren’t on board.

Yes, it is a time tested staple. The lone gunslinger (in this case two) shows up to protect a town under siege, but it was fun to watch, and it showed just how horrifying those AT-ST’s would be in real life. It looked like a monster coming out of the darkness. And like the rest of the show, gave a glimpse at what regular people would have to deal with.

Gina Carano joins this episode as a former rebellion soldier turned mercenary. Carano is a fighter in real life and it shows. She looks the part and goes toe to toe with the Mandalorian, and she garners his and the audiences’ respect. Carano isn’t the great actor in the role, but she’d gotten better, and she makes up for it by owning the role and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing it.

And to keep with the theme of the show, the Mandalorian can’t catch a break. He thinks he’s finally found a home for the kid and looks to consider staying there permanently.

I liked Carano and Pascal together and I hope she returns for more episodes.

The Mandalorian is a great Star Wars show and a great show in general. I highly recommend it.

Random Thoughts

  • The Mandalorian’s theme is fantastic. It also reminds me of Cell’s music from Dragonball Z.
  • I can’t get over how cool the armor looks. Bobo Fett looked cool, and the Madalorian takes it up a notch.
  • I wonder if the Dark Saber will make an appearance at all?
  • Even though Luke would be the only Jedi left at this point. I commend them for not having yet another old Jedi show up at some point. I thought for sure this would happen in the first episode. Yes, the baby Yoda is forces sensitive but that doesn’t count
  • Some of the action scenes are really cool. When the Mandalorian breaks baby Yoda out the Stormtroopers flicked on light on their pistols and looked liem Zero Dark Thirty by way of Star Wars. I heartily endorse this.
  • I definitely want to hear more about Cara Dune’s time as a shock trooper for the rebellion.

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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