With new streaming platforms popping up left and right, it was only a matter of time until Disney launched a platform of their own, which they did on November 12th with Disney+. Advertised with nearly the full suite of Disney movies, including all the classics as well as newer Marvel movies, Disney+ certainly appealed to a large audience. However, on its launch date, Disney+ featured additional new content such as a TV show set in the Star Wars universe: The Mandalorian.
With a 95% score on the Tomatometer and a 93% audience score, The Mandalorian Chapter 1 warranted high praise from both critics and fans. The show follows the adventures of a Mandalorian, the name of an order of extremely well trained warriors, as he traverses the galaxy living the tumultuous life of a bounty hunter. After he bonds with the first target he is supposed to collect, Baby Yoda, he decides to protect the little fella and brings him along on his adventures. Of course, with a target as valuable as Yoda, multiple people still seek him as a target, with a bounty on his head, and multiple conflicts arise because of this. This led to what I feel was a great start to the show, with plenty of action, great character design and development, and a solid story for the series to build upon.
Star Wars for the Casual and Dedicated Fan Alike
Part of the reason I think The Mandalorian did so well was that it didn’t require much, if any knowledge, of Star Wars to be able to understand and enjoy the show. The show does a good job of introducing characters and the many different species in the Star Wars universe, so that even one who hasn’t had any experience with Star Wars can be quickly brought up to speed. As someone who has seen the Star Wars movies, I probably understood a few references that new fans missed, and I’m sure there were plenty of Easter eggs and clues that more dedicated fans picked up on that I didn’t see.
By exploring an order, the Mandalorians, that has long been shrouded in mystique in the Star Wars universe, I’m sure that many were interested to watch the show as they thought of fan favorites Boba and Jango Fett from the main Star Wars movies and lesser known TV shows and books.
Starting out Strong
The show began with the Mandalorian, or “Mando” as everyone refers to him, capturing a target in a scene that quickly showed the fighting prowess of Mando in a bar fight. After introducing a few of the main characters, including the droid IG-11, Kuiil, and at the end Baby Yoda. Relationships are formed quickly, and Mando ends up returning a few times to these quirky yet likable characters. Along the way he befriends an ex-imperial trooper, Cara Dune, who serves as a loyal and lethal partner to him as they defend a village from raiders and later launch an attack on the primary antagonist: the remaining imperial forces.
The backstories of the characters are revealed as the show progresses, and harsh pasts better show why the characters have become who they are. However, arguably the most important character in the show, Yoda, propels most of the story as his mysterious powers develop and the empire continues to hunt him down. Ranging from stopping a charging beast from hitting Mando, to healing Greef Karga’s wound, the Bounty Hunter’s Guild leader, the already strong power of Yoda in a young age is obviously shown.
While on the topic of Yoda, it wouldn’t be a complete review without mentioning his takeover of social media. One of the decisions Disney made was to not make any Baby Yoda toys, a decision made by Jon Favreau, so that the series wouldn’t be spoiled. This decision, while leading Disney to miss out on plenty of revenue I’m sure, was a good one as the emergence of Yoda onto the scene caught all by surprise and boosted the popularity of a show that already was solid in the first place.
The Next Chapter
The series continues in the fall with Chapter 2, in a much anticipated follow up to the first eight episodes. Check back to The Roundup then for the latest review!