Just watched it like now, 2 minutes ago or so. So this is gonna be not really a “review” with my fresh impressions of the first episode, ok?
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.
… okayyyy, my head is still turning while I’m trying to gather my thoughts here, so let me start with my conclusion: Yes, The Mandalorian was good, as good as I expected it to be after the trailers. It was dirty and dusty and gritty. Mando is like a sci-fi version of the young Eastwood, a man that doesn’t make many words and only speaks when absolutely necessary. We don’t learn much about him, at least not in the first episode and he stays a blank.
The elaborate sets look costly and we could see that Disney didn’t spare no costs. The script and story is standard western fare as well. Lonely gunslinging and ultra cool bounty hunter hunts for bounties. That’s more or less it.
At least in the first episode, until right towards the end we get a big – yet little – surprise, that might or might not play a huge part in the greater story arc. But we’ll have to wait for what future episodes will reveal.
Apart from that we got some good acting and famous names as co-stars: Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Taika Waititi, Carl Weathers and I know of at least another well-known actor who will probably appear in future episodes.
The character I can’t tell you much about is the man himself, Pedro Pascal as The Mando. As I said already he’s mostly a silent one and lets his guns do the talking. In a very short flashback we get a glimpse into his obviously brutal childhood, which isn’t explainified any further. So why speculate?
The most impressive is Mando’s new “buddy”, the android IG-11 (Taika Waititi), who is a competing bountyhunter and comedic relief – who’s trying to self-destruct every few seconds – all packed in one bundle of joy. Speaking of joy, the whole atmosphere of Mandalorian is rather dark and brooding, still none of the characters nor the series itself seems to take themself too seriously.
And LOL, if you expect Pedro Pascal to take his helmet off in the first episode … no, he won’t. I’ve heard he won’t even take it off for the first 3 episodes. That aside, let’s be brutally honest now, ok?
The Mandalorian is about the best I’ve seen from Star Wars in a very long time. Of course it’s missing the epic saga elements of the first trilogy but it’s a quick and action packed, nitty gritty cowboy show.
Compared to many other television shows The Mandalorian is only a robust average, especially when considering its noble heritage. It’s not even as entertaining as Star Wars Rebels since we don’t get the quirky crew but everything is centered around a single quiet mercenary, a hired gun.
But who knows, maybe we’ve already met some members of Mando’s future crew/circle of friends/accomplices/acquaintances. Only time will tell. Since Jon Favreau is the showrunner and Dave Filoni directed this first episode our hopes are up for coming attractions.
Here’s what we liked most about Mando: Fast pace, very high production values, entertaining. What I liked less: No character bulding, so I couldn’t build up any empathy for any of the cast, and least of all, The Mandalorian himself.
In the end suffice it to say this was a very satisfying first 47-minutes episode of 8 in the first season (I’ve heard a second season is already greenlighted). Let’s just hope they didn’t shoot their wad in the first episode but will build up from here. We need a strong story arc and more personality. A cool silent hero is good for a certain amount of time, in the long run we need him to be more motivated and we need a gripping story.
Anyhoo, if all 8 episodes of this first season are around the same length the whole runtime will be almost as long as one of the canon trilogies, so The Mandalorian still has ample time to grow on us.
Okay, some reviews are already up on YouTube: