Let’s start off by saying this review will be COMPLETELY SPOILER FREE. Also a tiny spoiler, if you have been one of those jaded, hateful, self-loathing, other issues outside of Star Wars, kind of fans that just really wants to see Rian Johnson get punched in the face, this show will bring back your hope and childhood wonder. The Mandalorian is the type of show that we all look for in the Star Wars universe. It’s no coincidence that Jon Favreau was at the helm of this. The show is truly breathtaking from the first shot to the very last, impactful scene.
What Goes Into The Mandalorian?
If you haven’t been reading this wonderful website, or others like it, you might not be up to speed on the show. Pedro Pascal stars as our titular character. Carl Weathers, Nick Nolte, Taika Waititi, Werner Herzog, and Horatio Sanz also star in the first episode. I won’t give away their roles for people who want to be completely surprised by everything. I can say that the casting and acting in this first episode is perfection. Pascal exudes the same cool and calm demeanor that Boba Fett and other Mandalorian armor wearing badasses have before. Herzog is the right amount of elder statesmen with a secret. Nolte has a small performance that speaks loudly in the few minutes he’s given.
The writing and directing of the pilot episode is also fool-proof. Jon Favreau has one of the tightest and condensed pilot episodes of any show here. It doesn’t feel short and to the point, but it does that without robbing you of any of the small details that make Star Wars great. It’s a quick almost 40 minutes of runtime, but you never find yourself looking at the clock. Dave Filoni, of animated Star Wars fame, directs the pilot. He’s showing himself to be a steward of Star Wars that, we fans, have never seen. If this is any indication, you should be screaming from the rooftops for Filoni to get the next shot at Star Wars.
The Basic Plot/Themes/Influences
The Mandalorian takes a lot of queues from other Star Wars material, but it also branches out on what we’ve seen a bit from other Star Wars properties. With a heavy Western influence, it bleeds John Wayne, Gary Cooper, High Noon, and The Wild Bunch. This is a masterclass on how to blend genres perfectly. It also feels very much like it’s own thing. By thing, I mean, it doesn’t rely on the old of Star Wars by giving people in their face easter eggs left and right. It uses the source material while doling out small details. It keeps itself original and fresh, while borrowing the best parts of the overall feel of Star Wars.
The Mandalorian is what will draw back in those hateful bunch of fans that have sworn off everything Star Wars. Whether that’s because of actual criticism such as poor writing, editing, or bullcrap like complaining about someone with purple hair or “fan service”. This show contains none of what made The Last Jedi lackluster and contains all of what made A New Hope awesome. My judge for anything involving comic books, or a fandom like Star Wars is: Would this work without all the Star Wars or X Fandom material? Could this show be something I’d watch without knowing it was a Star Wars property?
The Mandalorian Will Warm Your Cold, Cold Heart
The answer is ONE HUNDRED FIFTY percent yes. Movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, Rogue One, and this show work so well because they could be their own universe. If this show was made in 1976, this is what Star Wars would have been. It contains the same intrigue, wonder, and fun that we all know from being little kids watching. It’s worth your price of admission to Disney+ alone and I cannot wait to see where we go from here.
I’d give this pilot a 10/10, it’s perfect in almost every way. There are some things I could nitpick about, such as the editing in certain spots, but what good would that do? Go watch it for yourself and see how amazing the future is with Disney+ and all these new shows. If they have people who care about the property working on it, the sky is the limit.
All images are courtesy of Disney.