REVIEW: The Mandalorian Season 1
Not too late for the party with The Mandalorian season 2 in full effect! In the meantime, here’s my The Mandalorian season 1 review.
Leave it to Jon Favreau to craft a fantastic story structure that’s done on an episodic basis. The Mandalorian runs for eight chapters or episodes and every episode feels complete and satisfying. And while that’s being done, you also get to follow a tightly written story. Even better is the fact that you can enjoy “Mandalorian” as a per episode fix or as one binge watch. Choice is up to you. And while the story often goes all over the place from time to time and has no real connection to the ongoing narrative, they did leave hints and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments.
Each episode helps in either establishing the world, Mando’s history, his potential allies and a whole lot more. You also sense that almost everything here can come back at any time or is something that needs to be dealt with from Mando’s past i.e. the prison break episode.
I definitely dig the music for this series. It stays true to the epic nature of the Star Wars universe while integrating some old school Western feels into it. Plus the Mandalorian’s theme music comes off as fresh for me and by the time I’m at the sixth episode for this series, I’m already humming to it. The music here in The Mandalorian fills the gaps (which is scarce). But really, we have this segment because The Mandalorian theme is such a badass theme music.
Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian is wonderful. While we never see his facial reactions throughout the series, he effectively sends over his emotions through his voice work and body movement. It’s also an awesome moment for him to actually show his face in Chapter 8.
Gina Carano as Cara Dunne was another great casting choice. As the former Shocktrooper, she’s physically imposing while at the same time very adorable. I would totally ship them if not for the lady in the settlement waiting for him and Baby Yoda. Still in the scenes where she’s present, she’s very strong and beautiful. Whether the beautiful part was for casting purposes or not, they have a winner. Plus she makes a great Disney princess too…
Carl Weathers was another nice addition. He plays bounty hunter guildmaster Greef Karga who puts our protagonist in the tight spot we find him throughout the episodes. And its his and Din’s connection that bookends the first season of the series. He adds more lightness and fun throughout the series and don’t forget that booming voice. Was really hoping we could have gotten a reference to his epic handshake…
Werner Herzog’s “The Client” was interesting as you can expect nothing less from the director. Too bad his character was cut down and cut short as we get a bigger, badder villian in the form of Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon…
Suprises and Easter Eggs
And since we’re already on the subject of Moff Gideon, who wasn’t surprised to see that ending for the season finale with the reveal that the former Imperial Intelligence officer has in his hands the Mandalorian Darksaber.
I have to admit I was giddy seeing X-Wings being employed by the New Republic too…
And hell yeah for all the times Baby Yoda aka The Child showed his force sensitivity especially in Chapter 8.
And lets not forget that scene at the end of the season finale where Mando looks at that sigil that The Child was using as a teether; the crest of one Boba Fett.
Visuals and action
There’s never a dull moment for The Mandalorian season 1. Even the most talk-heavy episode still contains fair amount of action.
There’s a number of lovable guestings here in this series from Mulan herself, Ming Na-Wen as Fennec Shand…
… or Jason Sudeikis as one of the Speeder Troopers who killed Kuiil and stole Baby Yoda…
It really feels that Disney should have taken more time developing their stories for the movies and/or started branching out from the standard Skywalker drama within the Star Wars universe. And while I personally think that the last few Star Wars movies range from great to “just ok”, having this series was like being a kid and taking a swig at soda for the very first time. You just can’t get enough of it and you start to wonder where this was the whole time.
My only concern with Favreau here is that when he hits gold with something, the next work kind of mellows out or fizzles out (looking at you Iron Man 2). We know that this was because of corporate meddling. So hopefully The Mandalorian season 2 won’t suffer from that.
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