The Mandalorian (season 1)

The Mandalorian Star Wars Disney

 

“It’s all well and good, but you can’t make a Joker movie without Batman and expect it to be any good!”

Joker (Joaquin Phoenix): “Excuse me, I can’t get through, you’re blocking my way” (he descends the stairs, dancing)

 

“Alright, it happens… but there’s no way a series based on ‘Star Wars’ could be made without Jedi and still be good!”

The Mandalorian: “Can you move aside, we’re in a hurry” (hurriedly passes by, taking Baby Yoda with him)

 

Mandalorian Star Wars Disney
The baby is, of course, small, so it’s not visible in this frame…

 

The idea of creating something based on ‘Star Wars’ where Jedi don’t play the main role is something that will raise an eyebrow for anyone even slightly familiar with ‘Star Wars’. “A series without Jedi, lightsaber duels, and the use of the Force? No matter how much budget you pour into it, it won’t help, it will be a fiasco.”

But okay, what happens if we give Jon Favreau (with his interesting acting and directing projects) and Dave Filoni (a major ‘Star Wars’ enthusiast) a couple hundred million dollars to make a ‘Star Wars’ themed series that has nothing to do with Jedi?

What happens is “The Mandalorian”. What happens is Baby Yoda.

The audience in disbelief.

“Star Wars” IX in disbelief.

Disney’s board of directors in disbelief.

The boss of Disney calls janitor Bob: “Bob, remove that monument of the rat in front of the company entrance immediately, and by Monday I want to see Baby Yoda when I come to work. I MEAN, it should be at least 60 meters tall.” The boss of Disney calls his secretary Judy: “JUUUUUDYYYY! It was a big success after all, we won’t celebrate with regular, bring us some whiskey. What Balantines woman, bring that Macallan I hide in the lower drawer…”

This probably didn’t happen…but maybe it did, who knows.

However, there is no doubt that “The Mandalorian” achieved good results.

 

Mandalorian Star Wars Disney

 

Well, let’s start from the beginning…

Explaining who or what the Mandalorian is (forgive me, but in the text that follows, I will use this term, not Mandalorijan or Mandalorianac) is quite a thankless task. I think even for ‘Star Wars’ fans it’s not easy to explain (except for the really hardcore ones). Although I am a big fan of the series, the term Mandalorian didn’t mean much to me, nor had I encountered it before; my only vague association was the mercenary Boba Fett, and that just because of the armor. But, if I were to try to summarize, I think the most logical answer (perhaps) would be like this: Mandalorians originally come from the planet Mandalore. Mandalorians were known and honorable warriors, who could even stand up to the Jedi. Over time, they adopted children from other planets and also trained them to be warriors. Over time, due to wars, their numbers decreased, and they evolved into some sort of secret society, clan, sect, or similar term for a closed society (in the series, the word ‘creed’ is used, which could be best translated as faith or confession). In the time this series is set, they are mostly few in number, living quite reclusively and are now known as elite mercenaries and the people you engage when you want a task to be really done. Well, let’s say that’s roughly the explanation. 😀

 

Mandalorian Star Wars
The Mandalorian… a prototype of the modern 71st-century homemaker – handles mercenary tasks, shoots, upgrades armor, and still manages to take the kid to school in a spaceship, do the laundry, cook, and more…

 

The series’ storyline is chronologically set between the sixth and seventh parts of the film saga. It follows the adventures of the Mandalorian (his real name is Din Djarin, though many acquaintances also call him Mando, which, as much as it sounds like a nickname, often carries an offensive, if not racist, undertone). He earns a living as a freelance mercenary. He usually chooses tasks from the mercenary guild led by Greef Karga (who has quite a respect for our Mando). On his latest assignment, he is tasked by the mysterious “Client” to find and deliver a “valuable thing” from a certain planet.

 

Mandalorian Star Wars Disney
Note: this is not the “valuable thing”; this was ordered from AliExpress…

 

After many adventures, our Mando finds this “valuable thing”. However, he soon realizes that this “thing” saved his life, that it has bonded with him (and he with it), that the “Client” plans to kill it (or worse), and that perhaps the time has come in his life to act as he truly feels, rather than as dictated by the mercenary guild or his clan. So, he decides to save the “thing” from the evil “Client”, turning his back on the mercenary guild (thus putting a big red target on his back) and wandering from planet to planet, trying to keep his head and that of the “thing” safe (as now the enemy isn’t just the mercenary guild), experiencing various (mercenary) adventures along the way.

But before we delve deeper into the series details, first…

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the mysterious “valuable thing”!

 

Star Wars Mandalorian baby yoda Disney
HEYOOOOOOOOO!

 

“OH MY GOD, BABY YODA, HOW CUTE!”

This probably echoed loudly across planet Earth (and other planets in the galaxy) when they first saw him. The audience and media went crazy for Baby Yoda (in the series, he doesn’t have an official name, this is what the audience and media have dubbed him). How could they not? Everyone loved old Yoda, and now here’s a baby version (note: although everyone calls him Baby Yoda, he seems to have little to do with him, except being of the same species… at least for now, a lot is hidden about the baby’s origin). The baby is cute, adorable, mischievous, puts everything in its mouth, everyone who sees it falls in love… and it seems to possess some powers (most likely the famous Force). As I mentioned, people on the internet have gone crazy, not to say nuts, over Baby Yoda, and he has become an instant internet hit. Tons of memes are released daily, people on YouTube play videos where he only appears in the series, people (of all ages) are frantically buying toys, t-shirts, and anything related to his character. Interestingly, regarding the Baby Yoda toy: although “Disney” expected Baby Yoda to win over sympathies, the audience’s overwhelming enthusiasm caught them unprepared, and by some estimates, “Disney” “missed out” on nearly three million dollars due to a lack of Baby Yoda-themed merchandise during the Christmas and New Year holidays… however, no need to worry about “Disney”, they are already mass-producing new Baby Yoda toys, and many of them have waiting lists. Truth be told, the toys are really cute and make nice gifts (even to have one for yourself), even for those who are not “Star Wars” fans.

However, despite all this, almost nothing is known about Baby Yoda’s origin, as well as what his role is in the future (whether he is to become the new old Yoda and whether he will appear in the tenth part of “Star Wars” or later).

And enough about Baby Yoda (“NOOO, we want to talk more about him!”)

 

baby yoda mandalorian disney star wars
Okay, he really is adorable, but we really need to move on with the review…

 

As for our Mando… he’s an interesting guy, though quite contradictory (like his entire clan). On one hand, he respects some kind of samurai-religious-ethical code (you’ll often hear clan members saying “This is the Way”… although no one has any idea what this “Way” is and what it entails), and on the other hand, they accept mercenary jobs (the kind of scoundrels you see in every bar in “Star Wars”). No one is allowed to see his face, i.e., he always wears a helmet (not very hygienic if you ask me, but “the Way” dictates it), doesn’t like to talk much, like John Wick (and likewise enjoys “finishing off” enemies with a blaster to the head), has this Clint Eastwood western aura about him, slightly mixed with a samurai worldview. However, he obviously has some charisma, as he attracts generally good people around him. But, obviously, there’s also some dark past hidden there, as he knows quite a lot of scoundrels (and I’m not just talking about the mercenary guild). All in all, a quite interesting, but rather undefined character.

 

STar wars mandalorian disney
Who’s Jenny Wick, what Gina Darina, do you know who I am!?

 

Regarding the audio-visual aspect of the series… I think a pretty successful job has been done here. “The Mandalorian” has this sci-fi western vibe (reminded me a bit of the cult “Firefly”), which (at least for me) evokes memories of the original “Star Wars” trilogy (episodes IV-VI), starting from the bars/taverns on desert planets to villages on “jungle” planets. The musical aspect is not lagging behind. The main theme is spot on; the first time you hear it, you can’t help but say, “this is what they call western science fiction” (just missing Clint Eastwood).

Acting…

Baby Yoda did everything perfectly. Cute, cooing, making a mess like any baby. Deserves an Oscar.

 

baby yoda star wars mandalorian
Ok Oscar, but I’d prefer milk… or a little whiskey…

 

Mando… Pedro Pascal definitely didn’t have an easy task, you have to admit. He always had to wear a helmet (we only see his face in flashbacks related to his childhood, and as an adult only for a few seconds in one scene), and his character is envisioned as a man of few words. Despite everything, I think he carried his role very well with his Clint Eastwood/John Wick/samurai approach. Through his pauses in responses, sighs, body language, I think you can feel the intent to portray a hero who, as much as he tries to stoically endure everything, on the other hand, struggles to restrain emotions of anger, fear, sadness, and even disappointment.

Other characters in the series also did well in their episodic roles, starting from the character who lent his voice to the mercenary droid (droids always have an original and comic note in the “Star Wars” universe), to the charming and raw mercenary who once belonged to the rebel army (Gina Carano! :D), the good-hearted Kuiil… and let’s not forget the legend who played Greef Karga (none other than the legendary Apollo Creed from “Rocky”… although I must admit that at one point I got confused and said, “what’s Lando Calrissian doing here” due to their similarity now that they’re this old :D), and many others…

 

mandalorian star wars disney

 

All in all, I think “The Mandalorian” was also one of the ways for Disney to test the audience’s pulse on how to develop the “Star Wars” universe in the future (especially in the domain of series), i.e., whether a good series that does not involve Jedi can be made. Maybe the series won’t make an impressive profit, but it will bring long-term value to Disney, especially in terms of audience. The western feel and Baby Yoda will definitely ensure that.

So, if you’re looking for a sci-fi series with a strong western influence and some comic scenes, if you’re a fan of Clint Eastwood and John Wick, crazy about Baby Yoda, and also adore ‘Star Wars’, I think “The Mandalorian” will be perfect for you. 🙂

 

And you, dear reader, what do you think about Baby Yoda? 🙂

 

(Originally reviewed: 15/01/2020)

 

 

Trailer

IMDb | Rotten Tomatoes | Metacritic

Release date:

Format: Series

Number of seasons: 1 (eight (8) episodes)

Average episode duration: 30-40 minutes

 

Author: admin

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