The Mandalorian, also known as Star Wars: The Mandalorian, is a science fiction series streaming exclusively on Disney Plus. Jon Favreau is the series creator, showrunner, and executive produces it with Dave Filoni, Colin Wilson, and LucasFilm’s current leader Kathleen Kennedy. The show is unique in that, while it exists as a “space opera,” it takes many of its cues from a lot of Westerns.
Taking place after Return of the Jedi, Mando (Pedro Pascal) is a bounty hunter who is part of the Mandalorians and works for a bounty hunter guild. He gets a bounty from Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) to procure a fifty-year-old person for The Client (Werner Herzog), a former Imperial officer who wants to use the bounty to help the remnants of the Empire. He travels to the planet where he works with a farmer named Kuiil (Nick Nolte) to find it. Turns out, the bounty is a child who is from the same species as Jedi Master Yoda. After destroying a bounty hunter droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) to procure it, he decides he cannot turn the Child over to the Client, forcing him to go on the run.
Twitch streamer Neontaster said it best, and I’m paraphrasing a bit, but he pointed out that the series treats “Star Wars as a setting and not a genre.” This gave the writers and episode directors more freedom to work in stories that match the overall story-arc. Favreau did a good job of crafting the series in the eight-episode run.
Pascal also does an excellent job with the character. Since he is wearing a helmet, he had to do some major acting to keep your interest and he does a good job. Instead of facial expressions, he uses body language, head-tilts, hand motions, and inflections through his voice when he speaks. It adds to the mystery surrounding the Mando as a mysterious bounty hunter who is protecting his charge. Watching him grow from a cold hunter to a father figure is an evolution that is somewhat muted, but also enduring.
Dave Filoni (episode one and five), Rick Famuyiwa (episode two), Deborah Chow (episode three and seven), Bryce Dallas Howard (episode four), and Taika Waititi (episode eight) all do a fine job bringing their respective episodes to life, with Favreau’s guidance I am sure. Everything from the sets to the character designs to the special effects are done with a special skill that made it feel like a Star Wars story while maintaining its uniqueness.
Episode four “Chapter 4: Sanctuary,” was the weakest of season. Each episode plays homage to a Western or several Western films, but this one was obviously a carbon copy of the Clint Eastwood film Pale Rider. It was a little too obvious and it made it feel a bit unoriginal compared to the other episodes.
I will say, it does introduce Carasynthia “Cara” Dune, played brilliantly by Gina Carano. The character is a former Rebel shock trooper who has became a mercenary after the formation of the New Republic. Carano, as a former MMA fighter, does a great job bringing this character to life in this episode and her subsequent appearances.
I would be remiss if I did not mention The Child, known on social media as “Baby Yoda.” Though it has been confirmed by Favreau that is NOT, in fact, Baby Yoda, the nickname has caught on. The Child is not played by a person, but several puppeteers. This makes him more lifelike and his scenes are incredibly memorable. A few viewers have stated he is the only thing good about the show. I strongly disagree with this. He is an interesting and enduring addition, but not the exclusive strength.
Usually, Disney has a pretty good business sense, but they underestimated the impact this character has had with fans and decided to postpone merchandise until after January, costing them millions of dollars. Perhaps they will learn from this mistake in the future.
The Mandalorian delivers on every level. It has action, moving scenes, it is technically brilliant, well scored, and is well-acted and well-cast. Even the guest appearances are well-done. The conclusion leaves you wanting more and it definitely revived my interest in the Star Wars universe after being let down by The Last Jedi.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Rogue One. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.