The Mandalorian season 1 review

Despite some filler episodes, The Mandalorian is a great start in what will be the first of many live-action TV series that’ll tell different Star Wars stories.

In today’s society, at least in the entertainment realm, being a Star Wars fan can be somewhat controversial. I mean, this can apply to any kind of fanbase since there’s always going to be a group of people who carry different opinions. But, I think I can speak for many fans of this beloved franchise that the toxicity from some of these so-called “fans” is borderline unbearable in insufferable. The good thing is I don’t let the negativity change my perspective on some of these shows since I always look to form my own thoughts on film and television. The Mandalorian is no different. Prior to watching this series, I had a lot of hopes for it and most of those hopes were fulfilled, even though the series isn’t perfect by any means. That being said, it doesn’t need to be perfect to be an incredibly entertaining watch.

As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the new trilogy (mostly The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi), I’m completely on-board with whatever Disney has planned for Star Wars. After seeing The Mandalorian, I can say the property is in good hands. Before I go any further, this post may contain some some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the series, it might be a good time to stop reading. I’ll try to keep it minimal, though.

To break it all down, the series tells the story of a Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), who is a bounty hunter similar to familiar characters Jango and Boba Fett from the original and prequel. They’re all part of a creed known as the Mandalorian’s from a planet called Mandalore. As for the main character in the series, he’s looking for jobs and meets with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who is a leader of the guild. He gives him a special assignment to recover a certain valuable asset, which carries a very large reward.

As some of you may know already since it has become a meme sensation, the asset is Baby Yoda (at least that’s what they call him). In reality, though, its known as “The Child” for now. So, the Mandalorian returns the Child, claims his reward, but regrets his decision and comes back to rescue it. From there, the adventure really begins.

The first three episodes were great, especially since it was all a continuing storyline. Episode two, “The Child,” sort of deviates from it and becomes a bit more filler, but in the grander scheme of things, it stills pushes the narrative along since there’s plenty of character development and world building. For one, there’s the Ugnaught, Kuiil (Nick Nolte), who plays more of the voice of reason and provides wisdom to the Mandalorian, similar to Yoda in the films. He’s one of my favorite characters in the show, by far. I have spoken!

From there, the series takes a bit of a turn and starts focusing on other things, such as introducing new characters. For example, episode four, “Sanctuary,” introduces Gina Carano’s character, Cara Dune, who is a former shock trooper. She lends a hand to the Mandalorian and eventually plays a bigger role in he and the Child’s journey. So, you can also say this episode pushes the plot along a bit, but it’s also filler. The two episodes that follow it do more of the same and are unnecessary. Episode five and six, “The Gunslinger” and “The Prisoner,” weren’t the greatest episodes, especially episode five. There’s one particular character, Calican, who’s extremely annoying. Played by Jake Cannavale, he should probably never touch another Star Wars property again, especially after his controversial comments. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

As for episode six, it’s a fun watch, but again, it wasn’t something the series necessarily needed. In a way, I understand why it’s included since it gives the audience a way to learn more about the Mandalorian’s past and once I see it that way, it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. It’s after this where the series returns to form and starts focusing on the important matters. Episode seven and eight, “The Reckoning” and “Redemption,” are the best episodes in the entire season.

Introducing Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon was fantastic. He brings the same intensity he brought to Breaking Bad as Gustavo Fring, which is always great to see. Bringing all the beloved characters back together to protect the Child was also great writing and direction. Seeing all of them play their part in order to keep the Child safe is what makes this show so great. The MVP has to be IG-11, voiced by Taika Waititi, who comes through big towards the end.

All in all, this series is a great start to the Star Wars live-action TV series realm. Despite some filler episodes, it’s the amazing episodes, specifically episode three, seven, and eight, that truly depict how fantastic this show is. Great directing all-around, especially from Deborah Chow, who will be helming the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Looking forward to season two of The Mandalorian next year.

Score: 8.5/10

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