The Mandalorian – Review

Hello friends.

I need to write about The Mandalorian.

I just need to.

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Firstly, there won’t be spoilers but I will be chatting about some of my favourite scenes. I’ll be as careful as a I can.

I kind of don’t even know where to start because I’m so excited haha.

Let’s let IMDB explain the plot and go from there…

A lone gunfighter makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.

Star Wars is, essentially, a Space Opera and The Mandalorian is a Space Western.
When the series was first announced I, mistakenly, thought it was going to be about the great Boba Fett as the outfit and helmet were of a very similar look. How wrong I was… or was I? Boba Fett is a Son/clone of Jango Fett who was a Mandalorian. What is a Mandalorian I hear you ask, somewhat confused? Haha.

Mandalorian are people from the planet Mandalore in the Star Wars universe. First conceptualized for The Empire Strikes Back as armoured stealth commandos but later being reduced down to a single character, Mr Fett.

So that’s the background now let’s get into it.

The Feel

Even though The Mandalorian was released in Australia on the 12th of November I didn’t actually see it until mid/late December and after I’d just seen The Rise Of Skywalker. I don’t have Disney + nor will I get it. There’s just not enough content on there, at present, to really want or need it. However my good pal Warren has it so BOOM. He invited me over to watch the first four episodes with himself and his two sons. A few minutes in to the first episode I noted one major thing… It felt very Star Warsy. “Star Warsy” is a feeling. Just like you can feel drowsy, moody, sentimental and happy you can also feel Star Warsy. I feel that way every now and then throughout the year so I go home and watch a Star Wars movie or two. It’s also a feeling you get in a Star Wars film. For example, and everyone feels it slightly differently, I feel very Star Warsy when I watch Return Of The Jedi but not so much when I watch The Last Jedi. The Mandalorian is very, very Star Warsy. The mood of the show is just right.

The Pacing

They nailed the pacing. It moves purposely and deliberately slowish because when the action kicks off you really feel it like a jolt from a lightsaber hehe. Have you seen those old westerns when a cowboy strolls down the Main Street of some one horse town looking for a no good son of a bitch well that’s the pace this show has. So cool.

The Plot

The plot is a, refreshingly, simple one. Basically, bounty hunter gets a job, bounty hunter finds the mark, the mark happens to be a kid (looks like a baby Yoda who is actually 50 human years old but is still classed as a baby within his own species). Bounty hunter can’t hand over the bounty because, well it’s a cute baby Yoda kid thing. The people that hired the bounty hunter (old remnants of the fallen empire) are kind of pissed off. Needless to say there’s a bit of a cat and mouse story arc from there which is brilliant.

The Characters

The characters are simple and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way at all. In an old western the viewer easily distinguishes who the good guys are, who the bad guys are and who the in between guys are. Sure there’s a little double cross here and there but you kind of expect it but at the same time the way it all plays out is very well written.

The in between characters are some of the best. Take Quill for example (Think Old Prospector type). He is a great character with many layers to him that you unveil but by bit. He’s voiced by Nick Nolte which was perfect choice. Quills role is vital, especially towards the end of the season, but at the same time not overly complicated.

The bad guys are very Star Warsy in the way they are a little funny and incompetent but at the same time quite menacing. One thing to note is that home of the clean glossy armour of the storm troopers. Now they look worn, cracked and dirty which is spot on for the overall aesthetic of the show. 

The good guys are straight forward but a little anti-hero too. This makes you fall in love with them all the more when they do good deeds or have a moment of weakness and their hard exterior cracks.

The Drama

Thankfully, I’m season one at least, there’s not much in the way of “love interest” for the Mando. There was one lady in one episode that left you feeling like The Mando could have fallen but his duty and his coolness made him keep moving on.
How the main, good guy, characters meet is all very dramatic but not in a cheesy way at all. The story building throughout the season is top notch.

The Props, costumes and sets

This has a lot to do with why I feel this show feels so damn Star warsy. The planets, towns, ships, vehicles, clothing, machinery, food, furniture, droids and weapons are all spot on!!! I can’t stress that enough. It also manages to really kick home that this is an era not too long after the fall of the empire. I believe it’s set five years after Return Of The Jedi. The weaponry, especially that of The Mando, manages to look old school but well kept at the same time. The Mandos ship looks like the love child of an old B-29 bomber plane and Boba Fetts Slave 1 ship. Very bloody cool. The droids, and there are some familiar ones, also have that older type look to them. Nothing is polished or glossy. All the outfits and perfect too although I’m not a fan of Greef Kargas (Carl Weathers character) outfit. Looks a bit unfinished and boring. The Mando looks sensational and both Warrens eldest son and I feel that it’s one of, if not the best, outfit from the whole Star Wars franchise. I’ll always have a soft spot for the battle damaged armour and look of Boba Fetts outfit though.

The Action

Well let me first just say that as a, nearly, 41 year old man I have seen my fair share of movies. A lot of those movies have been action, western and science fiction so, due to this fact, I’d say that I’ve seen it all and am now hard to please. Maybe not please but surprised. Remember when Bruce Willis threw himself off the top of that building strapped to a fire hose? Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger fashioned a bow and took on the Predator? Remember the massive shootout in the magnificent seven? Those were all moments in time from movies that have stayed with me for many years. The Mandalorian does something very cool! It pays homage to some great western movies/scenes but at the same time makes it unique. It feels familiar but new at the same time and, for me, that’s a big part of the magic that is The Mandalorian.

For instance in one of my all time favourite westerns called The Wild Bunch there is a huge shootout at the end (little factoid: it’s the first slow motion was used in a film and boy did they make good use of it).

Heres William Holdens character, Pike, kicking arse and taking names at a hacienda.

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In The Mandalorian  there is a huge shootout in a similar compound and The Mando Bounty Hunter jumps behind a similar weapon.

In another episode the bounty hunter and his little crew go and help defend a small village that is very reminiscent of The Magnificent Seven. They even train/teach the villagers how to fight.

As I mentioned it’s all delivered in a very unique way though that is “Star warsy”

Instead of horses there are creatures or speeder bikes to be ridden.

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Pistols are in holsters. Rifles are long, almost like muskets.

It oozes Wild West.

The Score 

Composed by Ludwig Göransson, who also did the score for movies like Creed, Black Panther and Venom, it’s a mix of music that is certainly worthy of the Star Wars franchise. It’s no John Williams who scored all the Star Wars movies but, in my opinion, it’s equally as iconic and great.

I won’t go so far as to say that without the score the Mando wouldn’t be as good BUT what I will say is that the score makes The Mando a whole lot more amazing!!!

I have downloaded all the chapters (each episode has its own score) of the score and each piece manages to be so dynamic.

It’s very Wild West with inspired and beautiful lashings of Star Wars in there.  There is also a lovely but subtle hint of seventies film in there too. Think Rocky.

The art

Woweeeeeee… The end credits art (which you’ve seen a couple of so far in this post) are nothing less than amazing. Each piece captures a scene. Some action, some dramatic, some just of the Mando or other characters standing there but all are unique and tell a snippet of the story you just watched in the episode. I’d love a book of all this art one day.


Even the brief opening artistic segment is cool and sets the mood of the show. 

Conclusion

I think you’ve probably realised by now, from all my gushing, that I bloody love this new series for the Star Wats franchise. It ticks every single box for me and I don’t say that lightly.

I kind of hate to say it in a way but it’s better than The Rise Of Skywalker. It’s not apples for apples I guess but I came away from The Mandalorian very excited and bursting at the seams. I really enjoyed Rise but wasn’t left with the “on cloud nine” feeling.

I am super excited for the second season of the Mando and also the other series that’s coming out thats all about Obi Wan Kenobi.

So, even though the Star Wars movies have, allegedly, come to an end there is still lots more Star Wars to look forward to in the future and this little Star Wars dork is thrilled about that.

One more thing, if you want more then check out one of our fellow bloggers posts

The Mandalorian (round-up)

Cheers

IRO

 

 

 

30 thoughts on “The Mandalorian – Review”

  1. Sounds good! If you want more Mandalorians they turn up from time to time in the Clone Wars animated series and one of the main characters in Star Wars Rebels is a Mandalorian. I actually quite liked both of those series and have the lot on DVD! So The Mandalorian will be on my list of things to watch in the future!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I keep hearing good things about this, I really must find a way to check it out. Like you I don’t have anything to watch it on at the moment and although I’m sure you could charm Warren into letting me watch it at his too I don’t know if he’d be up for covering my airfare (although do feel free to ask).
    Just watched the Rise of Skywalker the other night too – that blew me away. Every time I’ve gone into a Star Wars film since the original three a big part of me has been worried they were going to screw it up (especially after 1, 2 and 3) but that was pure quality.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yayyyy glad you liked Rise!! Warren didn’t and neither did my other close mate Glenn but my other close mate Keith and I did. Needless to say Keith and I are now looking for new mates haha. I’ll definitely ask warren if he will cover you. You’ll love The Mando mate it’s gold

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for the write up IRO. I haven’t seen any episodes yet – like you I can’t see the value of paying for a separate Disney channel. However clearly I need to catch up with this show somehow! Also – I really should re-watch the Wild Bunch.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sounds like this series is more like the Star Wars of old – a.k.a. “The Good Stuff”, not the crap Disney has but out for the last 7 movies! (I didn’t put Rouge One in there, because it was actually a film I didn’t leave the theater before the end). Too bad it’s only available on Disney+.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sounds good–I have a couple of mates who’ve seen it and they said exactly the same stuff (but shorter lol). I will check it out when I can but at the moment I’m so down on Star Wars I’m just not going to go to any trouble to do so. The Last Jedi–sorry if you don’t agree–was one of the worst things I have ever seen and I have no intention of seeing Rise of Skywalker (maybe if I comes on Netflix or similar but not sure I will watch it even then–well, I probably will lol I’ve come this far have to keep going to the end). Mandalorian though seems like what the last trilogy should have been in a way so I will definitely check it out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Last Jedi left me cold and confused after the first viewing but after several more I’m finding the last third pretty good. I listen to a podcast called Star Wars Sessions and their enthusiasm for all things Star Wars encouraged me to see the good in Last Jedi. Rise was better than last Jedi but certainly has its faults. The Mando is a whole new and cooler direction. It’s not trying to be Star Wars it just happens to be in that universe.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Awesome stuff IRO. I will find a way to watch this soon. I watched Rise on NY day and I really enjoyed it. Not blown away but anything with the Emperor gets my vote. I just love that character. Of the earlier 3 films, they each had some great moments. Phantom – has possibly my favourite bit of any Star Wars film. It’s the bit where Maul faces off against Kenobi and Liam and it’s the music score at that point that he appears in the doorway that always gives me that buzz. I also really liked Revenge. The opening scene is one of the best of the films. If only they could have replaced a Hayden with someone who could act believably and I’d put the film as one of my favourites.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nicely written review IRO. I saw the first three SW movies in the theater starting in 1977. The middle three kind of lost me, and I am catching up on the latest three. Enjoyed the podcast review as well, even listened to the spoilers. Have not gotten Disney and might consider it, but I have still not moved to Netflix from cable. But now there is a new Picard series on CBS all access – and as I am much more into Star Trek than Star Wars I might get that. Again, I must congratulate you in the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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