Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

The Mandalorian, created by Jon Favreau, based on the world created by George Lucas: a Television Review

Note: I am currently still watching this show. Season 2 review will come soon.

Synopsis:

Five years have passed since the Empire has fallen.  The republic is broken in more ways than it was before, and the Rebellion hasn’t had the chance to completely pick up the pieces and reinstate the governing bodies of the original Republic.

In the Outer Rim, a bounty hunter seeks out a new bounty.  The Mandalorian finds himself face to face with something that so many have sought before…yet none have been able to capture.  A 50-year-old being…with untold powers.

General Information:

-Genre: Space Western

-Creator: Jon Favreau, based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 2 seasons, 16 total episodes (32-55 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate violence and gore, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Pedro Pascal, The Child

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

11 minutes in and there is so much that we have learned about the lore and the universe after the fall of the empire.  From the currency of the Empire no longer being acceptable currency to the way that bounty hunters find their next bounty.  That there is a Guild for bounty hunters which I find interesting…like it is an acceptable profession in the new world. It also seems like the Empire may not be as dead as we once thought.

The Fringe is alive and well as we see with The Mandalorian entering their territory.  Beskar has been offered to The Mandalorian as payment for his latest bounty.  So much information is being presented but not in the condescending and forced way that we saw with Episodes 1-3.  The Beskar is obviously highly valuable.  The children in the hands of the bounty hunters are often foundlings. 

And The Mandalorian has a reputation as the best and most expensive bounty hunter.

Its really interesting how they have done the character development visually.  Our bounty hunter only has a Beskar helmet to start with and the rest of his armor is haphazardly put together (probably cobbled from pieces he has found or won).  His entire outfit, including the new piece of Beskar armor, tells a story.

The bounty is so stinking CUTE.

Chapter 2: The Child

I just can’t with how cute they made The Child.  I am so glad that Favreau insisted that it be done as a Muppet type of creature just like the original Yoda.  There are just so many cases where the practical effects hold up so much better in the long run than any sort of CGI effects.  However, the Unreal Engine technology that is coming into play and is used throughout the filming of this series.

“Weapons are part of my religion.” That is a fascinating statement.  I am really interested in how that is going out play out in the long run.

Oh…that feels like a side quest.  Yep…. this is defiantly a side quest.  Did we step into a RPG? Its basically just a fetch quest episode.  His ship gets stripped, so he needs to get the parts.  To get the parts he needs to trade.  To trade he needs to get an egg to trade…and of course there is a boss battle to get it.  It is really cool that they have pulled from creatures that we already have seen in the greater universe.  This creature looks like one that we saw in Episode 2 that gets thrown into the ring to attack Anakin, Padme and Obi-wan.

But I will say he’s being such a good dad to The Child in this episode.

I am really enjoying how they are introducing and expanding the world that is just known in the Skywalker Saga.  For fans like myself who have only ever watched the movies and maybe played a video game or two it is so wonderful to get to see the extended universe and not feel like we are being talked down to for not knowing something.  From the Jawas valuing something more than trade to the details of the Ugnaught’s skills.  We are continuing to learn more and more about the world in a way that feels conducive to the story and not contrived.

But honestly…did we end up in an RPG?

Chaper 3: The Sin

Once again so much new information.  Only one Mandalorian allowed out at a time? That is a LOT of Beskar that Mando ended up with…and its crazy that there is so much left over after making his armor….

And I knew I didn’t feel good about the guy who wanted The Child found.  I’m so glad that Mando went back for him. His weapons are awesome.

I really am interested into the whole dynamic of the Guild (who do they really serve? Themselves or the fallen Empire?) and the Mandalorians.  I find it incredible that they would step out of hiding to help one of their own commits a crime.  No matter that it was a rescue of a foundling. 

He’s going to be a great dad to the little guy.  I’m so interested to see how the relationship between the two of them builds.

Its also really fascinating to see that after only about 30 years somehow the Force is just a myth…and no longer something that is so well known that people knew who the Jedi were instantly.  It truly shows just how short term our shared history and memories are.  Or how people just don’t want to get involved with what isn’t their business.

Chapter 4: Sanctuary

I love getting to see new planets.  There is just so much of the galaxy in Star Wars that we don’t get to see in the films.  Shows like this allow us to expand our view.  That was a fun intro to a whole new race of peoples we’ve never seen on screen before.

Don’t trust him to do what you want him to do…he’s a kid.  He’s not good at that.  Mando is trying so hard to be a good dad.  Its kind of adorable.

That is some nice tech.  I wonder what else Mando has up his sleeve.

Man.  She basically took down Mando with out any other equipment.  Its astonishing that someone is able to punch that hard into a Beskar helmet.  It was really impressive.

Cool so we get introduced to a new group of people.  They seem like a pretty calm people, farmers, brewers.  And we got to learn a little bit about what it was like after the war.  This is such a nice little planet.  Too bad there are pesky raiders around.

Mandalorian lore.  I really like how they give it to us in bits and pieces.  Its not overwhelming like other shows can be with their mythos.  The little drips and drabs of what the Mandalorians are…how they function.  How they live.  Its going to be so important as we build on the characters. But it’s a relief to not get the information piled on all at once.

The new character, Cara Dune, is interesting as well.  It’s different to see someone who fought for the Rebellion but in a different way than we have seen up until now.

That was a great way to introduce the AT-ST.  its kind of a terrifying piece of machinery.  And Mando handed over one of his weapons.  Those are so important to Mandalorians.  That is a huge show of faith in her.

I mean…you’re not wrong.  I love that Cara just called him out.  If the penalty for taking off the helmet is that you just can’t’ put it back on then that isn’t the worst thing in the world.  It’s a way to retire.  Be done with that life.  There’s are beautiful lady.  A safe home for the Child.  It’s a great offer.

Oof.  Cara smoked that bounty hunter.

The Child gets cuter every single episode.  The writers have done an incredible job with this show.  Its only a single episode with some of these characters and you just feel for them.

Chapter 5: The Gunslinger

And that is how you do it.  Mando is great at his job.  The other bounty hunters just don’t have the same skills.

Never expected Tatooine again.  Its really starting to feel like a western. Between the shoot out and the double cross this episode really felt like a true old western film.

That was all impressive.  But seems way too easy.  I’m not sure I trust either this new guy or how easily our elite assassin went down.  Its great to see Ming-Na Wen.  She’s a great actress…too bad we don’t get to see her for long.

Something big is coming I can feel it.  And as always, the concept art for the episode at the end is beautiful.

Chapter 6: The Prisoner

Hmmm…. what is going on here?  This feels very Firefly “The Bank Job” to me and its not even five minutes in.  I like that we find out the name of Mando’s ship finally.

Oh its so good to see Clancy Brown in this show.  He’s such a great guy and a joy to work with.

That guy is going to lose a hand if he hurts The Child.  And I don’t trust the four of these guys.  There is something more going on here.

The set looks so good.  This ship looks exactly like the inside of other Republic ships that we have been on in the past like Princess Leia’s transport in a New Hope.  The cockpit is so well done with all of the buttons and things that they had in the 1980s when George Lucas and his team designed everything.  They have done a fantastic job with keeping everything consistent with the time period this show is supposed to fall under.  Wonderful settings.  Familiar enough to feel that you are in the correct space in the world but not so off putting that they feel old or outdated.

I was waiting for that double cross.  I don’t trust anything when it gets to drive the ship.  There is too much information that a droid can get from your ship.  And with The Child on the ship that is going to be a big problem for Mando. This isn’t going to end well for the five of them.

I love The Child more and more every episode.  It has such incredible little parts to play that just enhance the episodes.  The little game of hide and seek that The Child is playing with Zero is absolutely brilliant.

Oh, good job Mando.  Nice to see some Rebel X-Wings around.  Putting the tracking beacon on Qin was a great idea. And to not have actually killed any of the team but the people who deserved it was great.  Its lots of little moments like this that give us bits and pieces of the Code that Mando lives by.

Chapter 7: The Reckoning

Mmmm.  I’m not sure I trust this whole situation with the Guild.  That sounds quite suspicious to me.

Cara is back.  Of course, Mando would go back to get her.  He knows he can trust her with The Child and his own lively hood.  Looks like we have to gather up the crew.  Mando, The Child, Cara, Kuiil, and IG-11…. That’s an interesting team.  Mando doesn’t trust Droids at all.

More use of the Force by The Child.  He doesn’t understand that Cara is a friend and she and Mando were just having fun.

This plan doesn’t seem super sound.  I really don’t trust this AT ALL.

What the hell?  How strong is The Child in the Force if he can not only heal himself but heal OTHERS?  That is bonkers.

Now that seems like a better plan.  And that was not a shock that they were supposed to kill Mando and take The Child.  I saw that coming from the start of the episode.  I don’t trust this guy as far as I can throw him.

So Mandalore is a planet?  I know I’m showing how little I know about the expanded universe when I ask these things.  I know they is so much more I just don’t know.

Oh no.  Oh no.  This is NOT good.

Moff Gideon.  Oh my god.  It is awesome to see him in this show!!!  I couldn’t ask for a better actor to play a better villain.  A ton of new Stormtroopers and Darktroopers.  This is not going to end well at all.

NO!

Chapter 8: Redemption

That trooper is the most hated man in the universe.  I can’t believe that he hit The Child twice.  At least IG-11 got ahold of the little guy before too much damage was done.

Cara is Alderaani?  And now we get some more of Mando’s background.  Man, the Moff knows a LOT about all of them. 

So much more information.  Between Mando’s name and background and the fact that Mandalorian is a Creed (which was kind of apparent if you were paying attention to everything that was happening before this).

The IG unit is impressive, and I love the way he moves.  It’s so different than other droids and how I personally expected him to move.

Oh no.  Mando is in big trouble.  I don’t like this at all.

Firetroopers.  This isn’t good.  So much untapped power in The Child.  He’s got such a raw and powerful use of the Force.

Little loopholes.  I am so surprised they let us see his face!  I know it’s been 8 episodes, but I was seriously expecting to never see his face the whole show.

Oh no.  the Mandalorians have been destroyed.  At least the ones here.  Or the majority of them.

Now we get some of the story of Mandalore the Great and the war with the Jedi.  Also some more of the Creed of the Mandalorians.  A foundling is the responsibility of the Mandalorian that finds them until which time they can be trained and eventually take the Creed, or they can be retuned to their family or own kind.

Wow.  The Armorer is an incredible character. 

That was some ending to the season.  The Darksaber.  Just so much.

One thought on “The Mandalorian, created by Jon Favreau, based on the world created by George Lucas: a Television Review

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