I can’t remember when I first heard that there could be a Star Wars television show, I’m guessing it was early to mid-nineties? Actually, after looking it up, it was 2010 and that show was called Star Wars Underworld. The idea of an actual Star Wars TV show was pretty big news to me and I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, the whole project quickly disappeared and the anticipation of a live-action television project had to wait. I think the point I’m trying to make is, to be writing about The Mandalorian season one, a year after its release still feels unreal somehow. At least George Lucas had got the ball rolling and the early test footage of Underworld isn’t that far removed from the technology used today.
In 2017, it was announced The Mandalorian would be the first Star Wars live-action tv show and John Favreau would be the showrunner. You have the man who started the MCU, and I think Lucasfilm has made the right decision bringing him into this universe. Dave Filoni is an executive producer, his work on The Clone Wars and Rebels can only add George’s vision and reality of Star Wars to the show. The directors used for this series is pretty spectacular as well, Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bruce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow all getting behind the camera. If you are a Star Wars fan like me, you already know all this, and after watching the behind-the-scenes series on Disney+ you realise, The Mandalorian is full of talented individuals and not just the big names above. If you haven’t watched The Gallery series on The Mandalorian, it’s worth watching and certainly makes you excited for the future.
The Mandalorian is set five years after Return of the Jedi. The Empire we once knew is shattered and is unable to dominate the galaxy the way it once did. Desperate times call for desperate measures as a small group of Imperial dignitaries adapt to a new way of operating. On the planet Nevarro, a client for the Empire is looking for a bounty hunter to acquire a target. The most successful bounty hunter is a Mandalorian, and it’s not too long before he meets the client, and the bounty is agreed.
I started to review this show, one episode at a time but three thousand words in and only up to episode three, I thought it was getting a bit long! I watched The Mandalorian when it first came out, and it’s only recently that I have watched it all for a second time. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but I always think a bit of time between viewings makes a difference somehow, especially for Star Wars. The Mandalorian looks pretty spectacular for a television show, and some of the scenes that made me a little weary the first-time became less jarring. Well, it was one episode, and it was the first time we visit the cantina in Chapter 6, The Gunslinger. I don’t know, Toro Calican Jake Cannavale had the leg up on the table, and it all felt a bit uncomfortable and felt a bit pantomime. Second time around was less cringy, and I realised this is for everyone and I could see a lot of fans enjoying that moment. So pretty much, one moment didn’t work for me! I guess I loved the first season.
Well, what did I love? Well, pretty much every scene is a visual delight and filled love affection for the Star Wars universe. I enjoyed Chapter 4, The Sanctuary, the first introduction of Cara Dune Gina Carano. It was just a fun episode as we watch Cara and the Mandalorian fight it out outside the local watering hole until the child is watching, chilling and drinking his soup. It is pretty epic that Cara and the Mandalorian help a village fight an enemy that is stealing their food. Pretty simple, but that is when Star Wars is at its best. Another favourite is Chapter 2, The Child, as we get to see more of the Jawas. Okay, its fan service but those little shits have been around since 1976, and we hardly know anything about them. I find it difficult to point out everything I love about this series because I love it all. I find it interesting that the Razor Crest is a model, filmed the same way that the original saga crew would do their effect shots! It’s getting back to basics that helps build this shows popularity. I don’t think I need to talk about Easter Eggs as YouTube is saturated with those videos.
It doesn’t matter how many amazing creatures you have or how much fan service you give the viewer, if you have a terrible story, you have nothing. The Mandalorian on the other hand has an amazing story. The Mandalorian, also known as Din Djarin has a familiar backstory in this universe but it’s the similarity he shares with the child that makes it unique. Din Djarin Pedro Pascal was saved by the Mandalorian after his parents were killed during the Clone Wars. The child, who is the same species as Yoda, is now an orphan and looks to Din for protection and its pretty sweet. Actually, Din and the child protect each other. I love how Din took back the Beskar stell that Empire stole from Mandalore during the Great Purge. Learning about the Mandalorian history and finally watching the Creed come to Din’s help in Chapter 3, The Sin was a spectacular and emotional rollercoaster. The final Chapter, Redemption, everything feels lost for a while. Kuiil, Nick Nolte, an ugnought who has helped Din Immensely through the series is killed but his reprogramming of IG-11 Taika Waitiiti is the reason the Mandalorian and the child survive. I guess I Should mention Moff Gideon Giancarlo Esposito, all I can say is brilliant. That final battle as Din brings down the Tie Fighter is so wonderfully satisfying. And when the Moff finally cuts himself out of the wreckage and reveals the Darksaber, nerd overload!!!
Anyway, there are a few of my thoughts on season one and I needed to go back and watch it again as season two of The Mandalorian has started so strong. There is a wealth of other interesting moments and characters in this first season I have missed but I just want to keep it simple and keep it brief. What are your favourite moments from season one of The Mandalorian? Please let me know in the comments below and have a great day, May the Force be with you, always.