Monday, January 6, 2020

The Mandalorian

It's not The Baby Yoda Show, it's The Mandadlorian because best dad ever. You know in your heart it is!

So I finally watched The Mandalorian over the winter break and I must say I was very entertained but not surprised. To take such a more ground level view of Star Wars that we sort of got in Solo and Rogue One was a wise choice and the fact that each episode marks around 30 minutes, it can focus more on characters and world building and not overblown series arcing situations and battles. This is the show Star Wars fans need, and it sets a good step forward for Disney to make future series of the same caliber. When I first heard of a show focusing on a Mandalorian bounty hunter making his way through the galaxy, I was on board for the idea. Granted we don't get an awful lot of bounty hunting but I don't see that as a bad thing, I was expecting a Cowboy Bebop/Firefly dynamic to the bounty hunting but it goes it's own path and crafts something new. So Mando (yes I know he has a name but I like Mando) is collecting on bounties when he is tasked by our good friend Carl Weathers to bring in a special individual to an Imperial client with ties to a Moff, but once he sees those big bright eyes of the entity that bears no name but a strong similarity to Force users of the past says screw you guys this is my kid now, and he spends the rest of the series making allies, facing problems, and raising a small child at the young age of 50. I have no problem saying best dad, because honestly that is his kid and I'll be damned if he doesn't raise him! I will admit for some reason I kept thinking this series to be during the original trilogy but it takes place 6 years after the battle of Endor and the defeat of The Empire, but it works and is our first gateway into the 30 year gap before The Force Awakens. I think why this show struck so much with casual and hardcore fans is because of the characters and the worldbuilding. It brings several elements of the Expanded Universe into play, thanks to our golden boy Dave Filoni, but the way they introduce and handle each character makes you get attached to them quickly. Something I noticed especially is you can tell so much from a character simply by how they carry themselves, now obviously this comes into play with Mando heavily since Pedro Pascal never takes the helmet off so he has to work with body language and it says a lot about his past and who he is now. The casting is great, I mean it's always super nice to see Carl Weathers in anything, but then you bring in Gina Carano as an ex-Shock Trooper who it took me forever to remember where I saw her but yeah she's the second best part of Deadpool (the first and last part being Colossus)  and she really has a knack for playing supreme asskickers and let's be honest she is a friggin' queen, and I hope to see more of her in the future. We also get a strange but really nice addition with director Werner Herzog in a small role which is odd because you just don't see many acclaimed directors in even a supporting roll, and another director comes into the fray with Taika Waititi taking up the role of an IG assassin droid and best nanny ever which is pretty spectacular to behold, Nick Nolte is great as Kuill and has already cemented a legacy for himself. Plus with episode 6, you get more cameos than you can shake a stick at, I mean seriously it's crazy how many actors they squeezed in that. The production values are high, the cinematography and visual style is all great with a much more old west feel to it which I can appreciate a great deal, and the fact they use practical effects more often than not gets you brownie points and even the CG is done really well. There's a lot to love and appreciate actually through the whole series, whether it be characters, settings, action sequences, bits of lore thrown in from The Clone Wars series to the friggin' Holiday Special, they knew how to craft a show and lay the foundation for a strong first season. In fact I could only really say superficial bad things about the show, like why is the flamethrower the most useless weapon in Star Wars since R2's little taser thing, why are the Death Troopers not a more imposing threat, I don't see people up in arms over the green Mogwai as much as they are Rey. Does it hurt the show? Not at all. Does it really matter? No. There's no such thing as a perfect show or film, but the positives practically outweigh the negatives by a metric ton, and I am very interested to see what's next not only in the next season but the next show. I greatly enjoy this first season, I give it a solid four stars and a 8.5/10. This is well worth watching at least twice, and since the show clocks in at a little over 5 hours in 8 episodes you can easily knock it out over a weekend. Check it out if you haven't already and don't let the memes fool you, it's worth your time. I really hope we get the Kenobi series soon, and I will raze Lucasfilm to the ground with an orbital bombardment from a Star Destroyer if we don't get that Darth Bane series. But I hear tale The Clone Wars is slated to return in a month's time and I am endlessly happy over that. So until next time my friends, this is the way.

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