So Disney+ finally released, and because everyone is freaking out about it, I figured now would be a great time to review the newest addition to the Star Wars universe: "The Mandalorian."
I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was two years old, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve grown a bit less satisfied with it. I just do not enjoy the Jedi as much as I used to. To me, the Force seems corny. It is just a way for writers to explain bad points. How does Leia survive in The Last Jedi? The Force! How does Yoda talk to Luke from beyond the grave? The Force! It is just a poor explanation for things that do not make sense.
That is why I was so excited for "The Mandalorian." Rather than be about space wizards using magic to Mary Sue their way to victory, it is about a bounty hunter tracking down targets. Plain and simple. He cannot use any mystical force to help him because he has no powers. He is a regular guy. Now before I continue, let me just warn everyone that we will now be heading into spoiler territory. You have been warned!
Let’s begin with what I enjoyed. As I said, The Mandalorian is not a Jedi. Everything that he does, and everything that happens to him, is explained without the use of the Force crutch. He does not have any magical gimmicks or powers. He is simply a man in a suit that knows how to shoot a blaster. This makes him exponentially more relatable, for the same reasons Han Solo is relatable. He is not inherently special, but he’s still just as badass as any of the others in the group.
Another thing I love about the series are the references to other pieces. Much of Mandalorian culture and practices was shown in The Clone Wars TV series. It is nice to see the little references to the older shows. However, these references are not required to understand what is going on. Hardcore fans get rewarded through little quips and props, and new viewers can still enjoy the show without having to do too much background research.
Now for the dislikes.
I strongly disliked the scene where Kuiil, or Mr. “I have spoken”, is teaching the Mandalorian to ride Blurgg. For me, this scene was unnecessary and boring. It did not show me anything about the Mandalorian, and felt more like filler than anything of substance. I do not normally mind teaching moments. When done well, the character learns something that changes their view of the world, while also teaching the audience the same lesson. This makes the audience feel more connected with the character, as they are learning together. However, this only works when there is something to learn. If there is no real lesson to be taught, the connection between audience and character is lost, and there is no point to the scene.
Another thing I disliked was the Force scene with Baby Yoda. For the entirety of the first episode and a good majority of the second, the Mandalorian is shown to be capable of taking care of himself. Heck, the very first scene of the series is him winning a bar fight without a scratch. We saw him tackle beasts when he escaped the Kraken-creature, showed he was more than ready to stand up to the empire when he pulls his blaster on four stormtroopers at once, and fought off an entire camp of criminals with no one at his side but a droid. A droid, I may add, that he shot almost immediately after winning this fight.
That is why I have such a hard time with the idea that he could not fight the rhino in the second episode. Not only does this contradict his previous escape from the Kraken, but it also is solved in the worst way possible: the Force. Seeing that scene made me die a little inside.
All in all, I enjoyed the first two episodes on "The Mandalorian." I think that the right components are there for a really entertaining series. While it is not the best place to start for someone looking to get into Star Wars, it certainly is not the worst place to start. I can’t wait for the next episode to come out.