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TV Series Review: The Mandalorian

Baby Yoda isn't the only good thing about this show

If you’re a long-time Star Wars fan looking for a canonical series to be obsessed with or someone who likes a good blockbuster show to watch, then “this is the way.”

The release of The Mandalorian converged with the end of the original Star Wars saga in late 2019. The show’s creator, Jon Favreau, explores a new dynamic in the Star Wars universe that goes beyond the reach of the original saga. The acting, writing, and cinematography are a testament to great television.

In terms of the timeline, The Mandalorian is set soon after the fall of the Galactic Empire. So, to put that into perspective, about five years after Darth Vader’s death. The fashion in which the timeline is displayed is seamless. Every detail about the aftermath of the empire is embedded in the background of each scene. 

The protagonist (Pedro Pascal) is a mysterious, space-western character that is somewhat analogous to Clint Eastwood’s “man with no name” in the Dollars Trilogy. Referred to as “Mando” in the early parts of the season, he is part of an ancient religion whose members embody the way of the warrior, and adhere to codes of honour. However, the circumstances of the Mandalorians led them into hiding, and Mando finds himself doing bounty hunting jobs in order to get paid. The bounty hunting guild (not to be confused with the Mandalorians) have specific guild rules one must follow to remain reputable.

I think the foundation for the plot is internal conflict. When bounty hunting rules interfere with what Mando instinctively feels is right, he is faced with a difficult decision that encapsulates the viewer, not only because of his circumstances, but also the people involved on each side. Everyone already hates the empire from the original saga, and now in their aftermath, they try to kidnap the cutest entity in the galaxy — Baby Yoda. 

Lucasfilm / Disney

I think Baby Yoda is a phenomenal character. All we know about him is that he is male, and is of the same species as Yoda. His impact on Star Wars, in general, is massive. He could hold the answers to many questions fans have about the origin of Yoda, and why Yoda’s species is so powerful with the force. His visual design is incredible; the artists responsible for bringing him to life are experts on what makes something cute. I’m not sure how much money they’re getting paid, but it should be more.

I love Mando’s Spaghetti Western theme; it’s amazing to see this type of character come to life. It’s fun to watch his combat style because he uses a variety of weapons. He goes from using his amban rifle at long range to quickly using a flamethrower from his wrist in the heat of the moment.

It’s a different type of action that fans are used to; however, it still incorporates the effects that everyone desires. It’s nostalgic for me to hear the blasters firing, and to watch the classic space battles that this franchise is known for.

Personally, I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so it is important that the show follows the rules in the Star Wars universe. By that, I mean that it doesn’t add any unnecessary additions that wouldn’t make sense in the plot, or contradict past content. 

After reading many polarized reviews of the Star Wars saga ending, this show gives the longtime fans something to be excited about. Even without the love of Star Wars, The Mandalorian is just plainly well done. The next season is scheduled for Fall 2020, and it will be well worth the wait.

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