Review of: The Mandalorian
Product by:
Jon Favreau
Version:
Season 1
Price:
Included with Disney+

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On December 5, 2019
Last modified:December 4, 2019

Summary:

A great start to a series that is more character study than adventure. Proves that the Star Wars univerise is large and had plenty of stories to tell.

Review: The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian…Since the acquisition of the Star Wars Universe by Disney, the studio’s storytellers latched on to a fact that genre competitor Star Trek is just beginning to grasp: universes are full of characters with stories that have nothing to do with the stories or characters who first populated the universe.

So far The Mandalorian feels like a master class in restraint in a world usually viewed only through the lens of crisis.

In the real world, films cover everything from the seedy to the aspirational and everything in between. Ancient mythologies continue to inspire allegory and fiction. The ultimate creative leap for world-building, or in the case of Star Wars, galaxy-building, is to look beyond the initial story by continuing to build and bounce off the framework of the fictional galaxy.

So far The Mandalorian feels like a master class in restraint in a world usually viewed only through the lens of crisis.

They have done this with all of their animated properties from Clone Wars, Rebels and Resistance. But perhaps the most important turn comes in The Mandalorian, which stretches boundaries, weaves through the known but manages to create new aspects of the Star Wars universe.

No canon-complete Star Wars fan can ignore The Mandalorian. And those who live Star Wars adjacent must also embrace this innovative drama.

For those not familiar, The Mandalorian follows the exploits of a Mandalorian bounty hunter who, as we watch him take on his second job, finds the need to protect his target, thus jeopardizing his standing in the guild of bounty hunters and among other Mandalorians.

That target happens to be one of the cutest CGI creations of all time: a tiny “baby” of the Yoda species. I put baby in quotes because this child either uses The Force like it poops (meaning it is very good at something instinctual), or it’s older and smarter than it appears. Yoda was always a bit of a tease, so perhaps this “child” is just playing with The Mandalorian and the audience.

While The Mandalorian does not require familiarly with the entire sweep of Star Wars films and television, it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the basics, especially films III and V/VI.

The Mandalorian: Overall impression

There is more than a hint of nostalgia in the direction of The Mandalorian so far through 4 episodes. The pace is slower than most modern television, with longer shots and stretches with little or no action.

Eventually, there is plenty of action, but the show approaches from a slow pace throughout so viewers can get to know the characters and just appreciate the scope and grandeur of the visual investment.

The Mandalorian is beautiful. It is probably the most realistically shot Sci-Fi show in this peak-television era. There is little to betray that magic in the story (it will be interesting to see how the effects on Amazon’s The Expanse compare).

The pace of the show takes some patience at the onset, but that patience pays off in thoughtful characters that don’t need to talk to communicate.

The Mandalorian Vision

Jon Favreau created the vision, his own pocket universe so to speak. He shares that vision with a pretty eclectic set of directors which include Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi. So far personal style has performed in service to the vision, The Mandalorian feels consistent across early episodes.

The starkness, the realism rough edges and hard surfaces, along with the humor connect viewers to Favreau’s vision of this side story cuddled up alongside the Skywalker saga.

I hope Favreau stays centered on character and atmosphere, refraining from the exuberance his clearly large budget might allow for.

Going Forward

We are only four episodes in, but I’m impressed. Favreau can be a little over the top at times. The Mandalorian, thankfully, is more Chef than giant Orangutan in The Jungle Book, or Jeff Bridges at the end of Iron Man. Star Wars needs a character study with just enough adventure to move the plot along. So far The Mandalorian feels like a master class in restraint in a world usually viewed only through the lens of crisis.


The Mandalorian Air Dates:

#101- November 12 (season premiere) #102- November 15
#103- November 22
#104- November 29
#105- December 6
#106- December 13
#107- December 18
#108 – December 27 (season finale)

For more on Disney click here.

All images courtesy Disney.

A great start to a series that is more character study than adventure. Proves that the Star Wars univerise is large and had plenty of stories to tell.

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