Pedro Pascal plays the titular Mandolorian. Gina Carano plays ally Cara Dune.
“Hi, nice to meet you. I like Star Wars!”
While this is not exactly how I introduce myself in social situations, ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that it’s actually not that far off. I’m a simple man; I like books, video games, Mountain Dew Baja Blast, and space wizards and scoundrels going at it in a galaxy far, far away. So when I received word that I could pick my next review assignment, I naturally gravitated towards one of the latest forays into Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian. Season 1, which can now be viewed in its entirety on Disney+, is a thrilling throwback to the western feel of the original Star Wars trilogy and a roller coaster ride the entire way through, even if that roller coaster ride has a tendency to slow down a bit every now and then.
One of my favorite things about Star Wars has always been its unique and groundbreaking setting. It’s sci-fi, but only in the loosest definition of the word. There are spaceships and lasers, yes, but it has always been more of a western that just happens to feature those things with a healthy dose of fantasy and samurai action thrown in for good measure. The Mandalorian, however, is almost a pure western in the vein of the Dollars trilogy or True Grit. The action is brilliant and the production values are astounding for a television show thanks to the small episode count (only eight in the first season) and the funding of the House of Mouse. The acting is also amongst the best I have seen in a Star Wars production, in no small part thanks to Pedro Pascal, the titular Mandalorian. I have dabbled in acting myself, and I have no idea how Pascal can emote as minutely as he does, considering the fact that he wears a helmet that covers his face throughout the entire season.
The Mandalorian season 1 is not quite perfect, however. Despite the small episode count, the story can still occasionally drag and there is some obvious filler. There is an episode that is almost an entire plot reference to The Magnificent Seven, for instance, that felt unnecessary and a bit silly. But hey, Star Wars is Star Wars, and this small complaint does not change my insistence that everyone, fans and non-fans alike, should see The Mandalorian.
“Wait, shouldn’t that last sentence end with “as soon as possible” if it’s as great as everyone is saying it is?”
Nick Nolte voices the gruff, yet lovable, Kuill.
Good question, wise reader, and one that leads me to a bit of an issue that must be addressed: Disney+. Is it worth getting a subscription to yet another streaming service just to watch The Mandalorian? Not really, unless you have kids who love Disney movies. While there are a few things that I enjoy on the service besides The Mandalorian such as The Simpsons, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and a delightful documentary series about Disney Imagineering, Disney+’s library is, overall, a bit underwhelming for adults at this point, although more originals will be added in the future. This is to be expected, considering the fact that the platform only launched last year, but I would still recommend waiting until there is more content available before signing up.
But when you do, watch The Mandalorian. You will not be disappointed. I have spoken.
The Mandalorian season 1 is now available on Disney+.