I donít normally write reviews for TV shows, but I thought being The Mandalorian had itís first episode debut today on the new Disney+ streaming service, I would give it a go. This is the first time weíve ever gotten a live-action Star Wars series and I feel like a lot of fans are hoping this will mark the beginning of a new great era for the franchise that takes place in a Galaxy Far Far Away.
Be warned, this review does contain MINOR SPOILERS
for the first episode which seems to be titled simply Chapter 1.
The show focuses on a character we only know right now as The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal ), and takes place sometime between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. From what I can tell this takes place closer to the events of Return of the Jedi, as we still see remnants of the Empire in the first episode. If an exact date for when this series takes in Star Wars lore has been given, I am not aware of it nor was it revealed in the first episode.
The series has a lot of good people behind it including Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Avengers, Clone Wars Animated Series), Dave Filoni (Star Wars Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels) and even George Lucas himself had some input on this.
The Mandalorian is a bounty hunter in the same tradition that we saw with Boba Fett in the original trilogy. I do find that kinda of funny, and maybe even a little bit unoriginal. The main reason being that while Boba Fett wore Mandalorian armor, he wasnít actually a Mandalorian. The actual Mandalorians that we have seen in the Star Wars universe come from the animated shows, and they werenít really known for being bounty hunters. So now we have this new mysterious Mandalorian who does appear to be an actual Mandalorian, that is seemingly a carbon copy of the Boba Fett character who wasnít a Mandalorian. Confusing right?
This first episode doesnít spend much time giving any kind of real background on the characters, which is fine. This is only the first episode and I wouldnít expect a lot of those details to be revealed right off the bat. The series opens with The Mandalorian trying to collect a bounty in some seedy bar on some Hoth like ice planet. We get a fairly cliche bar fight scene, that of course are star character wins with ease, showing right out of the gate what a badass he is.
The Mandalorian then proceeds to take his bounty in so he can collect his just reward. Unlike in Empire Strikes Back where carbon freezing people was not something normally done, and could even be life threatening, it now seems to have become a common practice of restraining prisoners. We see The Mandalorian perform this action on his bounties easily in his ship, almost like taking a shower.
We are soon introduced to other new characters like Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) who appears to be the leader, or one of the leaders in the Bounty Hunters Guild, the place one goes for a job if youíre a Bounty Hunter. Carga gives The Mandalorian a new dangerous job and that sets us on the course for the rest of the episode.
I wonít go into specifics, but indications are made that despite the Empire having fallen, the galaxy doesnít seem to have become a very prosperous place.
The episode is chalked with a lot of familiar things weíve seen previously in Star Wars, such as land speeders, astromech droids, droids that answer doors by sticking their eyeball out a hole, salacious crumb creatures, squid face aliens, Garindan type aliens, Ugnaughts (Nick Nolte), Stormtroopers, and even a IG-88 copy who is also a bounty hunter and goes by the name of IG-11 (Taika Waititi ). Yeah as far as originality, this show get low marks so far, but it definitely gives you the feel of being in the Star Wars Universe, which isnít really a bad thing. While having another IG bounty hunter in the show did come off a bit unoriginal, it was definitely cool to see him in action, something we never really saw with the original IG-88.
Being we are only one episode in, itís hard to say at this point how good this series will be overall, but I believe it does show promise and will definitely have me tuning in next week for the next one.