Review: Don’t underestimate the power of ‘The Mandalorian’


Courtesy of Disney

Sam Lucio

The recent launch of Disney’s foray into the streaming universe, Disney+, has brought a plethora of Disney classics and once forgotten movies and TV shows that I began to think only ever existed in my mind back into the forefront.

Along with the back catalog of Disney content, Disney is also creating new and original shows and movies exclusively for Disney+. One of these original shows that premiered with the release of the app is “The Mandalorian.”

“The Mandalorian” is set in the Star Wars universe after the fall of the Empire in “Return of the Jedi,” but before “The Force Awakens.” The plot is focused around a lone bounty hunter, played by Pedro Pascal, wandering the outer reaches of the galaxy.

“The Mandalorian” attempts to establish a very dark and gritty underworld tone for a more mature audience wrapped-up in an homage to westerns, all of which has no real precedence in Star Wars. Initially, I was a little skeptical about how dedicated Lucasfilm would be in sticking with these themes, but through the first three episodes, “The Mandalorian” wholeheartedly embraces its darker tone.

Everything about the “The Mandalorian” feels different. Since this is the first live-action Star Wars TV series, writers and directors Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni can create their own rules which they take full advantage of. The music is more reminiscent of a western than the typical John Williams score, the pacing is considerably slow for something with the Star Wars name and there’s no bright and shining hero — just a dark underworld where everyone is down on their luck. Even though almost everything in “The Mandalorian” feels different, it is the most Star Wars-y thing we’ve gotten in a long time.

The actors have also done a great job so far. Pedro Pascal perfectly captures the brooding, intense seriousness of a bounty hunter. Pascal rarely speaks, however. When he does, you can feel the power his character portrays. Other standout performances so far include Werner Herzog as an old, mysterious imperial, and Nick Nolte as simple farmer who now has spoken the next great Star Wars saying.

Even though only three episodes have been released so far, with five more on the way, I am already hooked. “The Mandalorian” keeps slowly revealing more about its world, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.