“The Mandalorian” is a Star Wars universe tale that feels ripped straight out of an old spaghetti western (and that’s a good thing).
The series, created by Jon Favreau of “Iron Man” and “Chef” fame, stars Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian bounty hunter, Din Djarin, as he traverses the galaxy with his diminutive green companion Grogu who bares a striking resemblance to the famous Master Yoda. Djarin spends most of his time running away from other bounty hunters or solving conflicts on a variety of Star Wars worlds. Throughout the series, many themes of the main Star Wars films are referenced and starting in the second season, we begin to see more and more characters from other Star Wars properties appear such as Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan from the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” TV series, as well as a still-living Boba Fett famous for appearing in the original trilogy of Star Wars films.
“The Mandalorian” takes place very soon after the fall of the Empire in “Return of the Jedi.”
While this obviously wasn’t the first TV series featuring Star Wars lore, it’s certainly a standout that makes it feel like it is. The bounty hunters of Star Wars have always received special attention from both creators and fans and for good reason. They represent a dark part of our own souls. We see them and think, “Oh gosh, they’re bad… but I almost want to be them.” Centering an entire TV show around one of them is a genius move for Star Wars and especially one so close to original Star Wars lore. The new trilogy, comprising Episodes Seven, Eight, and Nine, were somewhat controversial to the Star Wars fanbase and so Disney has made the right move to fund a series that takes primarily from the two eras in Star Wars, the original trilogy and the Clone Wars, that have garnered the most widespread love.
As mentioned, “The Mandalorian” is essentially a western that takes place in space. The style of storytelling, very similar to the original Star Wars trilogy, is heavily inspired by the first western films of Hollywood. A lone hero strolls into town and decides to take on the biggest threat around either because he has a heart of gold under that tough exterior or because he wants to show off his skills and weapons. Either way, the helpless townspeople have their latest crisis solved and the hero usually gets a moral or in the case of Din Djarin, a financial reward.
The series does a great job of making episodes that are somewhat interconnected by not so much that you lose focus if you miss an episode here or there. This is a good format for serial television, especially a series on a streaming service. Viewers may not have time to watch every single episode even if they are able to watch the series on their own schedule.
Ultimately, “The Mandalorian” is a good choice for Disney+ subscribers and for those that are not, it’s a good motivator to consider purchasing a subscription. “The Mandalorian” receives an A rating.