DO YOU REMEMBER BOBA FETT? DO YOU REMEMBER CARBONITE FREEZING? DO YOU REMEMBER THAT ALIEN THAT TALKS TO THE STORMTROOPERS BEFORE THE FALCON TAKES FLIGHT FROM A NEW HOPE? DO YOU REMEMBER SALACIOUS CRUMB?
That is how I felt watching the first half of The Mandalorian, the first live action Star Wars TV series which is now streaming on Disney+. As for a little bit about myself, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I first saw The Phantom Menace when I was three years old and have been a die hard fan ever since.
I was looking forward to the show and started watching it as soon as possible. First of all, the show looks amazing. Although the CGI can be a bit rough sometimes (for example later in the episode when The Mandalorian is riding on a beast alongside an Ugnaught), it’s still really impressive for a television series. The episodes starts with The Mandalorian tracking down a bounty. We see how he operates and get an introduction to the character, his ship and the world (more specifically a world without the Empire, although that could be explored more in future episodes in my opinion). This part of the episode really worried me, as I felt there was a lot of fan service. Now, fan service can be a good thing if done right, although it can also feel forced. Several instances in The Mandalorian felt forced. When Han Solo was frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back, it was done because they were on Cloud City, which had a carbonite freezing chamber. It is established in that film that it is normally used to transport gas. In The Mandalorian, supposedly it is routine for bounty hunters to freeze their bounties in carbonite as we see on the main character’s ship. This instance (and something like the communication droid popping out of the wall like in Return of the Jedi) felt really forced and I didn’t like it personally. It was on the same level as the fan service in Rogue One, if you like that you will like it here as well.
The second part of the episode worked much better for me. The Mandalorian has been given a job by an old head of the Empire and his scientist to find a bounty. They don’t say much about the bounty, only where he is and the he is 50 years old. The Mandalorian tracks him down to a remote planet where we get a nice scene where The Mandalorian meets a local Ugnaught farmer, who teaches him how to ride a local creature as a matter of transportation. When The Mandalorian tracks down the location of the bounty, he finds another bounty hunter there (a droid, which looks like IG-88 from The Empire Strikes Back but is a different droid). A fight ensues, but together they manage to locate the bounty. The bounty it turns out, is the point where I audibly groaned during this episode: it is a baby that is supposedly the same species as Yoda. Yes, the one character in Star Wars that was purposely never given a backstory or species (although a female version shows up in The Phantom Menace in the background) in order to maintain his mystery, is now directly involved in this plot. Furthermore, I guess merchandising of Porgs isn’t profitable anymore because the baby has to have big cute eyes that will certainly sell millions of dolls. I really didn’t like this reveal and judging by the way this series has used fan service so far, I wouldn’t be shocked if the old Empire officer and his scientist want this baby to create a new evil Yoda or something like that.
Overall I was a bit disappointed in this first episode of The Mandalorian and that came down to mostly the fact that there was too much forced fan service in the first half for my taste. The action, feeling of an old western film and main character however, are promising. The ending with the Yoda baby shows us that there is more to him then just a cold-blooded killer, something the rest of the show will certainly play into. It also truly felt like Star Wars, with many scenes reminiscent of the older films, especially A New Hope.
I have a feeling that if you didn’t like the new Star Wars films, you will love this show. If you like the new films, you can like it as well, but perhaps less then the films. As for myself, I saw potential in it, but really hope the next episodes get better. The next one drops this Friday November 15th, so the wait shouldn’t be that long!
As a special treat, we have this gorgeous wallpaper from The Mandalorian for your phone. Press and hold to download it!