Is “The Mandalorian” worth the binge?

Lidia Vassar
Staff Writer

“The Mandalorian”, one of the new shows streaming exclusively on Disney+, follows a bounty hunter looking for new targets. 

Working for a guild gives him access to plenty of jobs, but very few pay enough to be worth his while. But when he’s offered an off-the-books opportunity he jumps at the chance of earning some extra cash. 

The Mandalorians of Star Wars movies past were fan favorites, with Jango and Boba Fett inspiring interest in the mysterious culture of the Mandalorians, and a desire to see a real live mythosaur. We can only hope that this new series will answer some of these burning questions.

The first episode shows a glimpse into a Mandalorian outpost of sorts, where the protagonist has a new piece of armor smelted by a mysterious Mandalorian blacksmith. All decked out in some traditional Mandalorian gear, he sets off with a locator fob to find his target, a reportedly fifty year old individual. 

The planet he lands on looks outwardly unremarkable, but looks can be deceiving. The pace picks right up, and you get to see some gun slinging reminiscent of a western. Some rodeo style wrangling, too. 

One of the first stylistic choices I noticed while watching the first episode was the transitions. They feel nostalgic, with scenes merging using zooms and slides that are less common in television shows today. The filmography is overall very smooth, and the soundtrack sets the mood well. It feels like a show that has had a lot of work and thought put into it, which is a refreshing change from the way Disney has treated reboots and remakes in the past. Star Wars in particularly has a very hard to please fan base.

Disney-era Star Wars movies have been met with a heavy mix of criticism and satisfaction. Some characters, especially, have received backlash. Rose Tico, a sweet and likable seeming character introduced in the third trilogy, was torn apart immediately by fans who claimed she was a useless filler character who thwarted the actions of other, more major, characters. Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who played Rose, was driven to the point of deleting her social media due to the hate she was getting. Hopefully no actors or actresses will face this same distress for their portrayals in “The Mandalorian”. 

As toxic as the Star Wars fandom can be, there are always fans who productively participate in the making of new material. As much as some people wish that Disney would leave Star Wars alone, Disney doesn’t have a good reputation for… well, not milking things dry. So hopefully “The Mandalorian” will prove to be a great expansion to the universe, and not another rejected attempt to inspire interest in the fandom.

If you’re on the fence about getting Disney+, “The Mandalorian” may just push you over the edge. With a promising first episode and a positive reception, things are looking up for Star Wars fans. 

To quote an enigmatic character from the pilot, “I have spoken.”

Header photo courtesy of the Star Wars Facebook page.

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