The Mandalorian is going to save Star Wars. Actually, before I get ahead of myself, let’s put this into some context. For some time now, the Fandom Menace has caused a fission in the community of fans that enjoy Star Wars. Many people have expressed extreme hate for various films in the franchise. The most vocal of these fans on the internet use the word “hate” to describe their feelings about Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Coincidentally, these people often appear to love the prequel series which was universally panned in the years they were released. There are also fans that love the original trilogy and hold it to a high standard that no other movie has been able to live up to. Several groupings have emotions about the TV shows (Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance… not a lot of love for the last one.) And then you have some random nerds that keep holding a candle for the Expanded Universe which Disney destroyed after buying the rights from George Lucas. And then, in a small sliver of the internet, you have people like me that just love Star Wars and legitimately has enjoyed everything they have done and are doing. I can say with certainty that The Mandalorian could be the show that brings peace to the Fandom Menace once and for all; something of a “chosen one” if you will.
After watching the first episode, I was captivated. For being the first Disney+ original show, they had to go all out and justify the streaming service’s existence. The main character is exactly what I had envisioned. He is the badass lone rider in a universe of lawlessness. The introduction for The Mandalorian is simple and sets the tone for the entire show. He comes in, he takes no shit, he fucks up anyone in his way, he gets his bounty, and gets paid doing it. The rest of the story, settings, and characters are built around this concept. What I also appreciated is how the character isn’t immortal; there are a few scenes that show some vulnerability. We get glimpses into his past that open him up to the audience. The acting is surprisingly great as well. Pedro Pascal can express humility from behind the cold and emotionless mask. This shows the audience the high quality television created by Jon Favreau. Without getting into spoilers, the final scene of the first episode will hook you into watching the rest if the show. Unfortunately it will be a short run.
Now, the first episode was amazing. I assumed this was going to be the newest Game of Thrones and I wanted to tell everyone I know to watch it. But I also wanted to wait to write a review until I had seen the second episode, and I’m glad I did. Plainly, I wasn’t as impressed with it. There is more world building, references to the franchise, and funny yet heartwarming moments with the Nick Nolte puppet. But there is also no need for the events. Essentially, thi is a filler episode. It actually reminded me of the animated TV shows; which makes sense with Dave Filoni being so embedded in the creation. This could be just seen as a fun episode with some great action, but it actually worries me. The run time for The Mandalorian is ~30 minutes an episode. There are only going to be eight episodes total. It doesn’t seem that the four hours of content can be that planned out when the second episode has no contribution to the story. That being said, it’s not like I’m getting off the ride. If the worst part about the show was that they gave me more action, it doesn’t knock off too many point.
As I mentioned before, I think this show will “save” Star Wars. Personally I don’t think it needs saving but according to internet comments sections, the franchise is dead. Solo: A Star Wars Story was a great film but no one saw it in theaters. I theorize that it came out on Disney+, I think it would have had a more welcoming response. People are more forgiving of TV than theatrical films. The Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor mini series are also coming on the streaming platform and it is proof in my eyes that this is the future. This venue shit will make more people willing to forgive any flaws the show might have. The Mandolorian highlights the best parts of the first universe (minus the lightsabers) and has something for all fans. You take that and the easy access of a streaming service and the audience will calm down and stop the unneeded hatred for a franchise they are supposed to love. Soon Episode 9, Rise of the Skywalker will be put and the original story will have its ending. The finale in a trilogy of trilogies will be done and the Star Wars universe won’t have an anchor or any real direction. There will be lawlessness to the continuity, and a bounty hunter with no name is the best order we could hope for.
First two episodes watched and review written by: Troy Smith