Rating: 4/5 Stars
Well it finally happened, the first live-action Star Wars TV series finally came out and Disney wasn’t kidding when they said they spared no expense. Released hot off the launch date of Disney’s streaming service “Disney+”, Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and recent live-action remakes of “The Jungle Book” and “The Lion King”, has created a truly unique Star Wars experience that is unlike any of the movies or animated TV series that has come before it. “The Mandalorian” is an expensive gamble as it is Disney’s first and spotlight centered original programming to spearhead the launch of Disney+ and with the TV series focusing on a completely new character with a movie-level budget, the show has a lot to live up to.
The story is set after the events of “Return of the Jedi” and before the events of “The Force Awakens” and follows a nameless bounty hunter wearing Boba-Fett styled armor (known as Mandalorian armor) and is known simply as the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal). He lives his life through the code of the hunt and takes whatever job he needs to and always gets it done, no matter who has to die in the process. As he continues to expand his armor’s completion, he comes across a mysterious package/client that changes his life forever…and has, unfortunately, put a target on both their backs no matter where they go in the galaxy.
I’ll admit, I was very curious when I first heard about this series and wondered just how radically different it would be from everything else Star Wars related, turns out it can be VERY different indeed. “The Mandalorian” plays out like a western film being set entirely within the realm and lore of the Star Wars universe. You see plenty of familiar alien faces like Jawas, droids, and Stormtroopers. But for the most part, who you see and who you follow is a great big mystery as he is never given a name, never reveals his face and only bits and pieces about his past become apparent. The first episode starts out pretty slow, it drags a lot, not much really is explained and it’s not until the very ending that things start to get genuinely interesting.
Like most westerns, “Mandalorian” is a slow burn; taking it’s time to build a sense of enigmatic mystery about this character and slowly but surely getting to know what kind of world he’s working into and how it ties into the Star Wars lore/universe. It definitely doesn’t grab you from the start but it does keep you invested once you reach the end of the first episode; then everything just keeps on getting better from there. One thing that sets this truly apart from other Star Wars shows is its visual quality and budget. This show barely feels that different than the big-budget movies, all the aliens, effects, weapons and ships look just as high quality as they do in the films.
The Mandalorian is an interesting character. Very little is understood about him and he shows/says even less than your typical main lead would…but it works for him. So far, he’s grown from a dime-a-dozen hunter-killer to a growing individual; experiencing genuine depth, development, and changes that continue to improve the quality of the characters as well as the writing. The show is only 3 episodes in at this current review’s completion time but already I can say after finishing the 3rd episode that this show has me 100% hooked and I cannot wait until next week when the next episode airs.
“The Mandalorian” is a unique experience, a unique TV show and a unique Star Wars product that has and will continue to keep people talking for days on end about where it’s going next and what more secrets will we learn. At this time, this writer is identical to the monstrous Sarlacc of Tatooine: forever hungry for more.