Disney Plus had us all on eggshells with its live-action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. There was some hesitation in areas of the fanbase after the first episode, but ‘The Sin’ has really set the show ablaze.
This show is awesome. Baby Yoda is awesome. The Mandalorian is awesome.
Personally, I was hesitant after the first episode and felt slightly reassured after the second, but now, that’s all changed. Our lawful-neutral hero infiltrated a guarded outpost on a daring rescue mission while also showing how crafty and resourceful he is in a fight. With five episodes remaining and short runtimes, there’s only so much more Mandalorian left to see.
The third episode kicks off with the Mandalorian turning in his bounty for a handsome reward but feeling a bit hesitant to turn over a child to a deplorable galactic Empire. He ultimately gets his reward in a video game-esque bit of unlocking new armor.
There’s more world-building with the bounty hunter underground and how the race of Mandalorians are involved in it. Since this show is set so close to the events of Return of the Jedi, building out the world where Boba Fett originated from could establish long-standing canon in the universe. In turn, this could affect where the films or future series go from here. There are plenty of potential easter eggs and future reference points made during the run of this show.
There still remains the issue of emoting. Yes, words and tonal influence are utilized by actors to convey emotions without the use of facial expressions. This isn’t a criticism of acting or even of the direction of the show, it’s more about the lack of Pedro Pascal.
He is an excellent actor and has a very compelling style of acting with his face and body. We are sure to see his face at some point, but seeing his complicated feelings about turning his bounty over to the Empire could have given the character some more development. Instead, we are forced to see visual queues that tell the audience about the complications. When a talent like Pascal is around, it’s best to utilize all of his talents.
After the first chapter’s bar fight scene and intermittent scuffles, we haven’t seen the Mandalorian’s full repertoire. Until now. His full-scale infiltration of the outpost and subsequent Western shootout kept viewer eyes glued to the screen. Not only is the action directed perfectly, but the audience witnesses the hero’s style and choice of work.
He uses stealth and all-out assault interchangeably but not always when it’s most obvious. Taking out one or two stormtroopers is dealer’s choice in his eyes, but when faced with ten or more, most would be forced into a gunfight. Sure, the Mandalorian can blast his way out of a situation, but his strategic use of the high-powered rifle and handheld blaster mixed with new tech is just *chef’s kiss*
The Mandalorian has brought the Star Wars conversation back full circle. Are we experiencing Star Wars fatigue? The film franchise has been met with contention with less than stellar box office numbers and average response to stories. Perhaps the future of Star Wars is on the streaming platform.
We know that The Clone Wars animated series is coming back for another season and other animated programs have succeeded in recent years. Why can’t some of the stories that have been pitched for the big screen get moved to television? Could Solo: A Star Wars Story have worked better as a ten-episode show?
Maybe, I’d prefer to see that version. Instead of introducing characters in Rogue One, killing them, and then preparing future content to explore their origins, could those characters be developed using a television program leading up to the Rogue One story?
Unanswerable questions at large about the 40-year franchise, but all still poignant. Regardless of the what-if, the future is wide open for The Mandalorian. Whether that turns into a film franchise or spins off into more television, there’s one thing for certain, we’re going to be there to watch it.