O@Disney+: The Mandalorian “Halftime”

Hey fellow civilized culture dwellers!

As you’ve doubtlessly gathered from the title, it’s about halftime in the first season of Disney’s The Mandalorian. Time for some thoughts.

The Mandalorian (2019)

And what a good time it turned out to be as Chapter 4 of Mando’s story perfectly made some points clear to us, established some suspicions and feelings we already had about this series. And honestly we expected more. Or no, actually we don’t expect shit from Disney’s Star Wars anymore but knowing Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are behind The Mandalorian we had hoped for a better show.

Hmm, maybe Favreau is holding the Mando back? Coz we know Filoni on his own created a much better series with his Star Wars Rebels … and that was a fukn animation! But it had everything, a quirky crew of misfits, lots of action and suspense, character development and some almost touching moments. Imagine that, feeling something for computer generated anime figures! 😮

Star Wars Rebels

And that’s exactly where Mando falls short. How are we supposed to connect emotionally with a character that wears his helmet always and doesn’t even take it off when we’re alone with him. A character that only talks when absolutely necessary and could as well being played by some stuntman. A notion I heard hubby thinking about. Anyway, he remains a stranger to the audience. And he’s basically alone, By his own choosing. While that’s fine and okay and even considerate of him – he being a man on the run from the empire and his bountyhunter gild – but it doesn’t help with the drama and any intercharacter exchanges.

Gina Carano as Cara Dune, yet another short-term associate to the Mandalorian, in Chapter 4: Sanctuary

I mean it’s not like Mando is always alone, quite the contrary. He meets and interacts with other people but he has no relationships. So we miss a huge part for success of other series: A crew! Just 2 or 3 chars would already be enough, or better 5 like in SWR. But no, our particular mando is a loner.

Anyone remembers Kung-Fu? Yeah, that cheesy little cheapo series with a very young David Carradine. As a young girl I found it super boring. It was about a Kung-Fu fighter in the late 1800s, who ran off to America with the Chinese secret service in hot pursuit … hey, moment, doesn’t that remind us on The Mandalorian somehow? Anyway, it was a snorefest as far as I remember (admittedly not much) and always ended with Carradine beating some baddy to a pulp. Then he said good bye and went on. Apart from bringing Kung-Fu to broader western audiences and opening our eyes to asian martial arts this series didn’t have much going for it.

David Carradine in Kung Fu (1972)
David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine in Kung Fu (1972-1975)

At least we could see David Carradine’s face, his acting, his emotions, all the things we expect from audiovisual entertainment … and The Mandalorian refuses to give us. I love stoic characters, don’t misunderstand me. But put an almost mute and very monotone stoic under a helmet and … pfff.

And, as far as I remember, Carradine had some steady friends and foes who always appeared and reappared throughout the series, and we knew his backstory from earliest childhood on. So Kwai Chang Caine was grounded in the kung fu universe, a drifter, but a man with a purpose. Everything our Mandalorian isn’t.

Toshiro Mifune in Seven Samurai (1954)

Anyhoo, back to chapter 4 of mando’s story. Today’s show was almost 40 minutes long, which is long for any episode of The Mandalorian, and in this chapter, this mini-snippet out of a greater storyline (?), he stumbles into a kind of Seven Samurai or Magnificent Seven scenario and saves a little swampy village from savage pillagers. This time his short term companion is a woman, a very fierce warrior and they’d be such a good match … but as is now kinda tradition with Mando, in the end it’s “bai, cya around” and he grabs his little “Baby Yoda”, as this 50 y/o toddler is known by now throughout the fandom, and leaves that sad planet behind.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

And that is yet another grieve we have with The Mandalorian. While we both like the slow pace and not giving out too much info or even hints, they are overdoing it here in the worst way. We are forced to helplessly watch the Mandalorian throw away not one, but two nice possible candidates as female companions for future travels, and we’re not any closer lifting the secret of Baby Yoda’s heritage and story. We find Mando in basically the same situation he was already in at the beginning of today’s show. Not very satisfying. Come on Favreau and Filoni: Give us something!

One shower thought about Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed this Chapter. Only thing I’m interested in is if she was also wearing high heels when running away from the AT-ST like she did when she was running from Dinosaurs in Jurassic World?

Oh, here, look now the first videos on Chapter 4 are showing up on the YouToobz:

LOL, looks like this guy made the same connections like me. In the end everybody’s inspired by grandmaster Kurosawa it seems. 🙂

 

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