The Mandalorian, wow! (Spoilers, ahoy!)
When I saw the first images and heard about the show, I was kept an open mind, but wasn’t overly optimistic. Let’s face it, Star Wars’ track record hasn’t been the best since Disney took the reins. But with Dave Filoni and John Favreau in charge…there was hope.
I watched the first episode with sci fi greats Josh Hayes, Josh Dalzelle and Dave Chesson (props to Dalzelle for not spoiling anything) and something remarkable happened during our watch…silence. We were all so engaged in the story that none of us piped up with pithy comments or gripes. And at the end of the episode we all wanted to watch more.
Success! A baby yoda? How is this possible? Tell me more, Disney+, tell it to me now!
From there, the show felt and played out like a Lone Wolf and Cub type western, and I was A-OK with that. But there were a few moments where I realized that this show loves Star Wars. Seems like a low bar to clear, but when Kathleen Kennedy says that Star Wars ‘didn’t have a deep lore to draw from’ I have to wonder about the people in charge.
It was a tiny little detail in episode 3 where the Imperial task master pays off Mando with Beskar steel. Werner Herzog put Mando’s payment in a curious looking case. I was shocked to realize it was Wilrow Hood’s ice cream maker! (Would you like to know more?)
This, my friends, is some deep fandom lore. The Star Wars Celebration convention will hold ‘Running of the Hoods’ where fans dress up like someone on Cloud City and run around with their favorite ice cream maker.
This sold me on the entire series. It was a little love letter to fans and I appreciated it. Bravo.
The Mandalorian was a great character, and we could see him change during the course of the series, even though we only see his face for a brief moment. He’s not a quintessential tough guy oozing savoir faire, he’s still working through being a Mandalorian and he needs help from time to time. He’s got more of an arc to go through! Character development! If only every lead in a Star Wars feature could have that. Cough Rey cough.
The supporting cast was great, for the most part. Gina Carano as Cara Dune was a believable bad ass and she was fun to have in the series. Werner Herzog…cannot act. I don’t understand what he was doing there because his line delivery was like listening to fingernail down a chalk board for those of you old enough to know that pain. Carl Weathers? Thumbs up. The baddie from Breaking Bad as Moff Gideon? I wanted more of him, but there’s always season 2.
Minor gripes were that the Storm Troopers were pretty useless as a threat. Seriously. Is Mando supposed to be afraid of them? These same troops took out most of Mando’s small community of fellow Mandalorians, but dozens of Bucket Heads and Death Troopers (Death Troopers!) can’t deal with one IG-11 and Mando? Come on…
And only 8 episodes! Each ~40 minutes long? Come on, Disney+!
The Dark Saber at the very end of the season was a pleasant surprise, and it gives me hope for future plot wrinkles.
But the big take away for me is that this is Star Wars. This is the Star Wars I want to see more of and this is the Star Wars that fans deserve.
This is the way.
Also, how can you not love this?
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