Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

It’s a Trap!, a Family Guy Special: a Television Special Review

Synopsis:

The power goes out again!  What are the Griffins to do with no other entertainment?  Go back to the Star Wars universe and finish telling the story of Return of the Jedi…though perhaps a bit reluctantly this time…

General Information:

-Genre: Parody Animation

-Creator: Family Guy Special (done with the approval of Lucasfilm – Pre-Disney Acquisition)

-Length: Season 9, Episode 18 (57 minutes)

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate sexual innuendos, severe cartoon violence, moderate profanity, mild alcohol use and smoking)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter, Lois, Chris, Mort, Glenn, Cleveland, Brian, Carter, Herbert, Carl, Stewie, Joe, Ernie the Giant Chicken, Meg

-Page of Reference in RP1: Not explicitly mentioned…but I was reviewing everything Star Wars anyway… haha…

Review (contains spoilers):

In typical Family Guy fashion, the parody is great but absolutely ridiculous.  There are tons of inappropriate jokes.  The gags are beaten into your head.  And like they said in the beginning…they kind of phoned this one in.  but not in a bad way.

Defiantly worth watching to finish out the trilogy.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Something, Something, Something Dark Side, a Family Guy Special: a TV Special Review

Synopsis:

The Griffins are once again sitting down to watch television for the evening when the power goes out!  At a loss for entertainment Peter tells the story of Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.

General Information:

-Genre: Parody Animation

-Creator: Family Guy Special (done with the approval of Lucasfilm – Pre-Disney Acquisition)

-Length: Season 8, Episode 20 (54 minutes)

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual innuendo, crude humor, moderate cartoon violence, moderate profanity)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter, Lois, Brian, Chris, Stewie, Herbert, Joe, Dr. Hartman, Quagmire, Cleveland, Carter, Meg, Carl, Mort

-Page of Reference in RP1: Not explicitly mentioned…but I was reviewing everything Star Wars anyway… haha…

Review (contains spoilers):

Once again, they did a great job.  Great parody.  Excellent jokes.  Great moments. Calls out some of the ridiculous things that are in the actual films.

Parts are super inappropriate and some of the jokes are really out of date. But its Family Guy so that was expected.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Blue Harvest, a Family Guy Special: a TV Special Review

Synopsis:

As the Griffins are watching their nightly dose of television the power goes out leaving them without any other forms of entertainment.  While they wait for the power to come back on, Peter decides to retell the story of Star Wars beginning with “Part IV”.

General Information:

-Genre: Parody Animation

-Creator: Family Guy Special (done with the approval of Lucasfilm – Pre-Disney Acquisition)

-Length: Season 6, Episode 1 (48 minutes)

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual innuendos, mild cartoon violence, moderate profanity use, mild use of weed)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter, Lois, Quagmire, Cleveland, Stewie, Chris, Hubert, Brian, Meg, Adam West, Joe

-Page of Reference in RP1: Not explicitly mentioned…but I was reviewing everything Star Wars anyway… haha…

Review (contains spoilers):

I mean its about what you would expect.  The story is condensed into about an hour but with all the twists and turns of Peter telling the story.

The character replacements for the characters in the film are pretty funny. Some are incredibly accurate like Stewie as Darth Vader. And, of course, Peter and Lois are Han and Leia due to the story line of the other films. 

The parody was actually really hilarious.  A great parody version of the first movie.  And it did what all great parodies do… makes fun of the whole film, itself, the format of the show that is doing the parody…and basically everything else they could make fun of.

Worth the watch if you enjoy parody versions of popular films.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

The Muppet Show: STARRING the Cast of STAR WARS, created by Jim Henson: a TV Episode Review

Synopsis:

When prepping the night’s guest star, Angus McGonagle the gargling argyle gargoyle (say that ten times fast) something goes wrong and Luke Skywalker (accompanied by C-3PO and R2-D2) comes crashing into the dressing room looking for Chewbacca.  Scooter decides they would be much better guest stars for the evening and bumps Angus McGonagle.

As the opening number commences Kermit introduces the guests from Star Wars who would be joining them this week.  McGonagle comes on stage and is upset that he doesn’t get to do his act “gargling Gershwin” to which Kermit is grateful and as a condolence lets the shepherd, shepherdess and sheep perform their number.

As Luke Skywalker is backstage he gets mistaken by Fozzie as Mark Hamill, who Luke says is his cousin and just outside…and commences one of the weeks running gag that both Mark Hamill AND Luke Skywalker are both guest starring on the week’s show.

Mark and Angus gargle together followed by Scooter getting to try out his new skill on his new guitar (accompanied by the Electric Mayhem in his mind).  He’s a bit clumsy with the song but he’s still learning!

Robin races to tell Kermit that Luke has taken over the Swinetrek! To which he tries to find them…but is thwarted by the fact that the ship is already off on it’s mission…to save Chewbacca.  Which they do. Much to the distain of Darth Nadir.

The whole crew gets together to sing and dance to a few songs, wrapping up the show with both Luke Skywalker and Mark Hamill making an appearance side by side to say good night.

General Information:

-Genre: Family Sketch Comedy Special

-Creator: Jim Henson

-Length: 25 minutes

-Rating: PG (while it has some of the same reasoning as The Muppet Show overall, this one does have lots of door kicking and Star Wars characters…so…)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Angus McGonagle, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Gonzo, Scooter, Chewbacca, Mark Hamill, The Newsman, The Electric Mayhem, Animal, Robin, Captain Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Darth Nadir

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22 (for information on why this was included look here)

Review (contains spoilers):

Such a fun episode.  Some great songs, some great bits with the Star Wars characters.  I love that Miss Piggy dresses up as Leia and throws herself at Luke (this episode came out JUST before Episode 5 so that makes the whole thing even funnier).

Mark Hamill looks like he had SO MUCH FUN as himself on the show being goofy and just a general riot.  Between his impressions, and his gargling, he just looks like he was having a blast hanging out with the Muppets, as I hope any of us would.

The Star Trek/Star Wars Crossover is hilarious and you can never be upset at Gonzo playing Darth Nadir.

The “tailor” gag is great too since the outfit Luke Skywalker wears isn’t seen in Episode 4 but is instead an outfit from Episode 5 that he wears on Bespin I believe.  And that movie wouldn’t come out for a few months into 1980…this episode aired in January.

Overall a really silly and fun episode with some great songs and great comedy as the Muppets always bring to the table.  And who doesn’t love seeing stars being silly and goofy and having a great time being themselves and enjoying their time.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts, Star Wars

The Music of Star Wars- John Williams: a Composer’s review

General Information:

-Album Title: varies by soundtrack, score, and media type

-Artist: Composed by John Williams

-Release Year: varies by soundtrack and score from 1977 to the present

-Song/Album Length: varies by soundtrack and score

-Genre: Soundtracks and Scores

-How to Listen: Spotify (with subscription), Apple Music (with subscription), iTunes (for purchase), CD, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: not explicitly listed but Star Wars and George Lucas are mentioned throughout the book

Lyrics:

TYPICALLY, NONE

MOST Star Wars Soundtracks and Scores are instrumental compositions created by John Williams

Some contain a chorus of around 10-120 voices but most of his music is orchestral for around 80 to 120 players

Review:

Film scores and soundtracks are so essential to the production of movies.  The same can be said of other media such as video games but most of my experience comes from the world of film.

John Williams is one of the most prolific and well-known composers in the industry.  His name is synonymous with Star Wars and Lucasfilm in general.  He has composed for the Star Wars universe since the first film in 1977 and to this day creates compositions for the latest television shows like The Clone Wars animated series and The Mandalorian as well as for the newest video games that are coming out centered around the universe of Star Wars.

His scores pull from a variety of different inspirations.  From the romantic leanings of Richard Strauss to the big band and full orchestral sounds of old Hollywood Williams ability to weave the fantasy elements of Star Wars with the epic narratives of the writing and action are unmatched by anyone else.

Williams and Lucas focused on the swelling orchestral score for the first film Star Wars: A New Hope.  They drew inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The ups and downs of the music composed for that film are often considered one of the first of its kind…music that enhanced the actions of the film rather than just accompanied it.

When the pair were figuring out how the film should be approached it was Williams who brought up the idea that the score should be a series of repeating themes that built upon each other.  As you listen to the soundtrack as a whole you can hear this throughout the music.  Often times the score is the same music repeated, overlaid with other music, with instruments added or subtracted to enhance the action on screen. It is a unique way of creating depth to a world that takes place mostly in the vast reached of the vacuum of space.

Williams played on these ideas throughout the movies and games he has scored.  You will find so often the same ideas played in different ways from single instruments joined by others to huge orchestral renditions of the same pieces.  The ups and downs, orchestrations as well as the swells and falls of the music is just astounding on its own.  Yet when paired with the visuals of the film you feel completely emersed in the entire world.

And while this review is for the Star Wars Franchise Williams is famous for so many other scores that you may be familiar with (and many that will be reviewed on this blog) such as E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park I & II, Schindler’s List, Jaws and even some of the Harry Potter films.

He works closely with George Lucas and Lucasfilms and Steven Spielberg, in addition to making appearances amongst some of the most epically scored movies of all time.  He has won Academy Awards, BAFTA nominations, Golden Globes, and even Grammys for his work.  And it is all well-deserved in my opinion.

My favorite place to experience his music for the Star Wars Universe is out in nature.  When Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney World brought the planet of Batuu to life Williams was brought in to compose the main theme to the world.  As you wander amongst the people, shop in the small stores, dodge Stormtoopers, eat at Oga’s or anywhere else…even wait in line to help the resistance (and the smugglers) fight the Imperial forces… you are emersed in the musical score of the great John Williams.

He is a legend in his own right but his hand in building the world of Star Wars not only added depth to the story but a heart and soul to the galaxy far, far away.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in 1UP, Blog Posts, Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, based off of Star Wars Episode 7, created by George Lucas: a Video Game Review

What are we playing:

Explore the planets you’ve heard of in Star Wars but now in LEGO form! Relive Episode 7 and explore extended worlds from planet to planet as you play through the film all the while destroying everything in sight!

This set of LEGO game walks through the worlds and planets of Star Wars Episode 7, in playable levels which you can go back after completing in Story Mode and play again to collect everything.

General Information:

-Genre: Collectathon

-Creator: Traveller’s Tales in partnership with LEGO and Lucasfilm

-Number of Levels:

-Collectables:

-Rating: E10+ (mild cartoon nudity, moderate violence but cartoony and in LEGO, several scenes in bars, smuggling)

-How to Play: local game stores (explore your area and support local!), used game stores, online or in box stores, or look for it at your local library (many libraries now have video games and even tabletop games for checkout)

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62-64

Review (contains spoilers):

Just like all other LEGO games these are your fairly standard collectathon style game and it is achievable to get a 100% completion, you just have to return after Story Mode to get everything.

I love a good LEGO game! And this one did not disappoint. It took a page out of the Lord of the Rings LEGO games and went with a more open world concept vs. the more enclosed worlds/levels in the previous games. I also love that the included some of the offshoot stories as side quests for you to discover as you explore all of the planets in Episode 7. It’s wonderful.

Like always LEGO games are some of my favorite games to play. Since the majority of the game is just beating everything in sight to actually figure out what has stuff in it and what doesn’t it makes for awesome stress relief and I absolutely love that you can’t really die. You just burst into bits…aka LEGO currency.

These are super fun and are great to play with kids but challenging enough for adult players to really enjoy.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker, based on the universe created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Little time has passed since the death of Luke Skywalker at the Battle of Crait.  The Resistance has found another home base.  Currently off on a variety of missions they rush to find intelligence that could help their cause in the long run.

As the Resistance retrieves information from a First Order spy, Kylo Ren seeks out information from a Sith Wayfinder he acquires.  The new Supreme Leader makes his way to the uncharted Sith home world of Exegol, only to discover that everything he had been told his whole life was a lie.  The voice in his head was not Snoke, nor his grandfather Darth Vader, but it was the dreaded Emperor Palpatine who has managed to be revived by his servants.

When Rey and her friends discover that Palpatine is alive they set off on what may be their last mission ever.  To find the second Sith Wayfarer and make it to Exegol in order to defeat him and the rest of the First Order.

With the help of new allies, old friends, and the Force, will the Resistance be successful at saving the universe or will Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and the First Order finally find complete control of the old Republic?

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 142 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Sutoamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

There are so many characters in this that I love.  Zorii is a great character from her fighting skills to her sarcasm.  Babu Frik, the little guy who wipes C-3PO.  The new little droid friend that BB-8 makes.

I don’t really enjoy a few parts of this film.  The majority of it is really good but I do think there were some misses when it comes to the overall movie.  The first is to make Rey a Palpatine.  She didn’t need to be related to that monster.  Honestly, I found the fact that she was so strong in the force and having been a nobody and a slave a much better parallel for the Skywalker storyline than her being a part of the Palpatine line.

And while the confirmation has happened that Palpatine also “fathered” Anakin Skywalker I find that information incomplete and feel that Palpatine is more of a creator than a father in that situation which still makes Anakin a nobody and a slave.  Go ahead and fight me about semantics but I don’t think that using the Force to create life makes you a father if you haven’t provided the DNA only the manipulation to create the life.

The second part that I don’t think was a great choice was killing Ben at the end.  By the time we get to the point of his ultimate death and him becoming gone with the Force he as been through so much.  From the manipulations of Palpatine since he was an infant (or perhaps even in the womb…this is unclear in the extended universe).  His desire to rid himself of the voices and the darkness to the ultimate Sith Lord and the Supreme Leader of the First Order as well as the Master of the Knights of Ren to his return to the Light with the help of Rey… he has been through so much and his reward is to what? Die?

I know that not everything is fair in stories or in the world…but this just felt like a cop out in my opinion.  It felt like they decided that he just had to die because they didn’t know how to handle his characters reception in the greater universe if he had actually turned from everything he had been.  It felt like such a waste of the character.

I do also wonder, as do many other fans, what the movie would have been like had Carie Fisher not passed away during the filming.  We would have obviously gotten more of Rose and her story as she stayed on base with the General.  And this movie was supposed to feature Leia heavily and as a major player in the whole plot like Han did in the first of the sequel trilogy.

While the movie doesn’t feel forced like Episodes 1-3 it does make for an uneven trilogy.

But that all being said there are so many little details that are fantastic in the film from the new passing characters that we meet to the way that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber flickers due to the broken (and unfixed) Kyber crystal.  The details are beautiful.

Though I do think that it is odd that they can kill planets so easily.  And that they do it.  Wouldn’t the full death of a planet, blown out of the sky, and scattered as asteroids change so much about the particular solar system that those planets are in?

Whatever. I guess that is semantics and neither here nor there. But its just something I never understood about the Star Wars world in general.

Overall, this is a good end to the Skywalker Saga.  There is a bunch of loose ends tied up.  We get to see that Leia had a saber too, her story was told in its entirety.  We see the return of Luke’s X-Wing.  The end of the Skywalker line, and it also being picked back up.  The end of the name of Palpatine as well as his person.  The end of the Sith. And the end of the Jedi as we have known it until now.  The destruction of Exegol.  The destruction of the First Order.  The Resistance finally does what the Republic and then the Rebellion tried so hard to do.  The Galaxy is safe once again.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, based on the Universe created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The battle of Starkiller Base has passed.  The Resistance is evacuating their base lead by General Leia Organa when the First Order arrive.  Against her orders, Poe Dameron leads a successful but ultimately costly attack on the dreadnoughts that allowed for the rest of the Resistance fleet to escape into hyperspace.

The First Order finds them quickly, tracking them into and out of hyperspace.  As they continue to flee just out of reach of the dreadnought blasters the situation looks bleak.  They are running low on fuel.  They have been attacked. And their beloved General is lying in a coma.  Vice-Admiral Holdo assumes command of the Resistance.

Rey attempts to recruit Luke Skywalker back into the Resistance, trying to drag him from his self-imposed exile.  He refuses to help and speaks of the ways of the Jedi needing to end.  After some prodding from R2-D2 Luke agrees to give Rey three lessons in the Force but is terrified when she is drawn immediately to the Dark Side without trying to resist the pull.  Though she is not pulled to the Dark Side a strange connection with Kylo Ren has them baffled.

Poe, Finn, mechanic Rose and BB-8 rush off on a secret mission to help the Resistance fleet as it runs low on fuel.  They have discovered a way to prevent the further tracking of the fleet, but it will take an act of the Force to pull it off. 

The balance of the Galaxy is in the hands of the Force as each of the groups race to put a stop to the First Order in their own way.

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 152 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Carie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio de Toro

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Its an interesting game of cat and mouse that gets played in this on several levels. 

You have the issue with the Resistance and the First Order. 

You have Kylo Ren looking for both Rey and for General Leia.

You have Rey chasing Luke.  And Luke running from his past.

Finn running from basically everything.

Everyone has their stories to tell.

The whole film is just an endless game of chase.  It’s an intriguing method of getting the story in.  And one of the movies that doesn’t feel like it is too expositional or too information heavy.  There is so much that happens, but it is so important to know everything that is going on.

I absolutely love this film.  It is a wonderful portrayal of what happens when people lack information, refuse to share plans with each other, or just don’t think of the greater picture.  Yet they all come together in the end to make a difference.  They all work together to change the world around them.

It is a masterful use of the screen and storytelling.  Everyone has a hand in their destiny.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, based on the universe created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Thirty years have passed since the Galactic Civil War and the events on the moon of Endor.  A new regime has risen from the decimated Galactic Empire.  The First Order seeks to wipe out the New Republic.

A new rebel group known as The Resistance has emerged, backed by the New Republic and led by General Leia Organa to oppose everything that is going on with the First Order.  In a desperate attempt to helps save the galaxy once again, Leia is on a mission to find her brother, Luke Skywalker, who has gone missing…disappearing into myth and legend.

Resistance pilot Poe Dameron has sought out and successfully discovered a map that is said to lead to the legendary Jedi Knight.  While on Jakku retrieving the data, he is captured by members of the First Order and their leader Kylo Ren.  Little do they know that the map has been hidden in a BB-8 unit and sent to hide in the vast desert.  As Dameron is being tortured by Kylo Ren himself, a First Order Stormtrooper attempts to defect taking Poe with him to get them off the base.

Meanwhile on Jakku, a scavenger named Rey runs into and saves BB-8.  As Poe and Finn, the defecting Trooper, crash planet side they discover that they are about to need to run far and fast if they are going to make it away from the First Order.  When Finn and Rey accidently cross paths they steal the Millennium Falcon to avoid capture they set in motion a series of events that no one could predict would happen.  Will the Resistance be able to stop the First Order or will the Republic fall once again to the Dark Side?

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 135 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate science-fiction violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Max von Sydow

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

So, I’ll probably be called a bad geek (and have been in many other instances) but I actually love the newest trilogy for the Skywalker Saga.  The characters like Rey and Poe, even Finn at times, are all extremely relatable to me.  They have real emotions and pasts that I connect to very easily.  I even love the struggle that Kylo Ren begins in this film is something that I enjoyed experiencing.

That being said though there are a lot of things that I do find difficult about the series.  It isn’t exactly the most even footed of the set.  But I’ll leave more of that for the final episode review to not give away too much in this episode.

In this movie I feel like everything is a little to fast paced.  Its sometimes feels like they tried to shove 3 movies worth of information into one film.  And while none of it truly feels forced the way a lot of the exposition does in Episode 1 of the series…it just…it’s a lot.

There is a lot going on and that is totally fine.  But I feel like quite a bit of it could have happened in the second film and it would have felt a little more balanced. 

There are lots of little parallels to Episode 4 in this film.  Between the journey that Rey begins and all the other returning characters it is nice to know that, while people developed and grew and changed, they still stayed very much the same.

And Kylo Ren is one of my favorite characters, particularly for his redemption arc.  He is so ridiculously strong in the Force but struggles with balance.  It is truly a fight that is as old as time.  Finding balance in life.  Fighting evil.

I defiantly think this film is far better than Episodes 1-3…regardless of its flaws.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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.