November 15, 2019

'The Mandalorian': What Do You Think of the First Star Wars Live-Action TV Show?

The Mandalorian's second episode is now streaming, and Star Wars fans have opinions. 

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched this show yet, then stop reading now and fix that. There are spoilers here.

The Mandalorian is, for some Star Wars fans, the future of their franchise. And the best thing its ever done since 1997's A New Hope.

The Disney+ series, centered on a Boba Fett-like bounty hunter (who may actually be Fett), is two episodes into its run and -- if Twitter is any indication -- fans are happy with Jon Favreau and his team's take. (If you like westerns, or always wanted to see Star Wars' take on Leone westerns and "Lone Wolf and Cub" in space, the you will love this landmark series.) 

Even though the premiere episode is really good at being just good, it does instantly hook you into a new and different (and, sometimes, better) take on the familiar. It subverts expectations while wrapping them around what you like to see in this world -- it's basically the live-action equivalent of you and your friends mashing Star Wars action figures and playsets together to bring your playtime fan-fic to life. 

While the untitled pilot episode fails to set up a key element to pay off or give the final scene/twist its emotional resonance (more on that in a bit), it does succeed at grounding the laser blasts and aliens in a grittier, more grounded take on that galaxy far, far away. Which brings a degree of stakes and danger we haven't experienced since Rogue One. Had the episode set up the consequences of what happens if its titular character doesn't kill his bounty at the end of the ep -- "Baby Yoda" as the fans call that cute creature -- then we would have been more invested and felt more when Manda makes the choice to not satisfy what scary and dangerous Werner Herzog is paying him to do. 

We see no internal conflict for the character externalized until the very end, which, okay, there is a level of effectiveness there. But a better, more emotionally-sound script would have set up some sense of stakes or conflict if he doesn't follow the conditions of his bounty to the letter -- instead of vaguely implying them. 

But what do you think? Does The Mandalorian deliver for you so far? What's working for you? What would work better? Sound off in the comments below. 

And new episodes of the series air every Friday on Disney+. (The only change to that air scheduled will be the week when The Rise of Skywalker opens; then, that week's new ep will air on December 18.)     

Your Comment

5 Comments

Well, to say I'm a bit disappointment is an understatement. First of all. Trailer set a totally different tone for this tale than a pilot. Trailer indicated that this will be a mature and serious story and promised a good character development. The first episode failed to deliver that and it was a bit suspended between being cool and slapstick humor. Don't get me wrong I like the Star Wars humour and I'm not against it, but too much is too much and how it is delivered matters. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. Let's back to the important stuff. After two episodes I can say that the 30 minutes for the episode it's simply not enough. The episode ends before it even started. In such short screen time, too much of it is used for scenes that don't push the story forward. This is an eight-episode (30 min each) story and we are now exactly at 1/4 of the season and nothing really happened. The main character took a job and retrieved the package. A whole second episode did nothing for the story or character development. It was a low-level RPG style side-quest similar to killing boars in World of Warcraft and it was time that could be used for some real stuff. There are plot holes in the story and inconsistencies that pisses me off. Spoiler alert! In the first episode, Mandalorian needs to learn how to ride this creature to get across the desert and then he and Nick Nolte character rides together. In a second episode, the Nick Nolte drives him on an antigravity platform. Those two facts contradict each other. There is no need for him to learn how to ride the creature if there is an easier more efficient way to travel. Second example: in a first episode Mandalorian was portrayed as a real badass, who can manage a lot of heat. In the second episode, he is a first-level bounty hunter who fails at almost everything. So he is a badass or not? The visual value is excellent. Rouge One had the best cinematography in all new movies. Mandalorian has the same vibe, the same style but a different tone. I know that I'm probably in minority - but for me, Mandalorian is not a show to wait for. I will give it another chance, but I doubt it will shift in the right direction. Hope I'm wrong.

November 16, 2019 at 5:43AM

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Piotr Numowicz
Director / DP
114

I liked it. I did not expect much to start with but was pleasantly surprised. I did expect a lot from the stand-alone Star Wars movies produced under the Disney banner and was disappointed. The pilot of 'The Mandalorian' was well made and, in my opinion, reminiscent of the first Lucas films.

November 16, 2019 at 8:12AM

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Pavel Tsvetkov
Producer/Director/Writer
169

The first episode is like a western but the second episode is already becoming special. Let's hope for the best.

November 16, 2019 at 3:05PM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
690

Love it.

November 16, 2019 at 6:06PM

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Saw the first two episodes... not bad but nothing striking. If you know Sergio Leone's movies you will have tons of Dejavu.

November 17, 2019 at 2:54PM

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ginuz
91