Main cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Carl Weathers (Greef Karga), Werner Herzog (The Client), Omid Abtahi (Dr Pershing), Nick Nolte (Kuiil), Taika Waititi (IG-11), John Beasley (The Bartender), Christopher Bartlett (The Ferryman), Brian Posehn (The Speeder Pilot), Emily Swallow (The Armorer), and Horatio Sanz (The Mythrol)
Director: Dave Filoni
Oh, I’m so happy for Pedro Pascal. For once, he’s playing someone who’s not a villain. Of course, he plays the Mandalorian – the Mandalorian – because as of now, his character is too cool to have anything as mundane as a name. He is a bounty hunter – not to be confused with Boba Fett, who was chewed up by a giant vagina in The Empire Strikes Back… at least I don’t think so, as this show is set after Return of the Jedi and before… well, it’s such a shame that we never had any new Star Wars movies after Revenge of the Sith, really.
The Mandalorian is also fortunate in that it doesn’t operate under the wretched tyranny of Kathleen Kennedy and her coven of “story group” nincompoops, because lord knows what this show could have turned out to be if those morons took over. Who knows, maybe the Mandalorian would be a purple-haired Mary Sue who will get magical powers out of her rear end to be the best Jedi ever without bothering to train worth spit, and this Mary Sue wretch would also in the process trample the legacy of established characters into dust – because they were icky males, that’s why – while seizing said legacy for herself without earning any of it. That will be terrible, I tell you. Thank god that never happened.
The good news is, for folks who are starved for new stuff that feels a lot like the old school Star Wars trilogy, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have come up with an episode that succeeds in capturing the vibe of those shows. Actual diversity, not fake ones – this one has aliens of many species instead of just humans cast with superficial physical traits in order to tick off a checklist. Actual narrative with a priority on story instead of pushing forth a feminist agenda in a most unthinking manner. Set pieces with lighting and colors that capture the old school feel without being too dated. The right music for the right ambiance in that uniquely Star Wars style. Unlike anything dire that the Kathleen Kennedy squad at Lucasfilm thankfully never came up with, this one is immediately, recognizably Star Wars the moment the episode opens. This is Star Wars.
As a bonus, it focuses on a new aspect of the setting and the canon, instead of retreading the same old ground like I’m sure they would do should Kathleen Kennedy be put in charge of this show.
Yes, yes, you may be thinking, whatever – what is this episode about? Well, that’s the possible downside: there isn’t much to tell here. The whole thing is like a Western show set in the Star Wars galaxy, with a Texas Ranger equivalent of a hero. Heck, there is plenty of sand here (sorry, Anakin). All that’s missing is that theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The Mandalorian captures his bounty, a Mythrol. Some ice monster gnaws at his space shuttle because of, I don’t know, random encounter roll or something, I guess. He delivers the fellow to Greef Karga, and learns that the Guild rates for bounties are so low these days, it’s not easy making a living as it was in the past. He gets a high-paying assignment, but it’s a shady one, given by an unidentified client: our bounty hunter needs to track down and bring in the best meme to ever come out of Star Wars in ages. So off he goes. Our hero hints at having some manly angst due to his past. More random encounters. Mandy dry humps a cute big alien mount. Droid shootout! What is this thing he is supposed to bring in? OMG it’s the cutest thing I have ever seen! And… and… stay tuned for the next episode!
Honestly, I feel that this episode had been massively, overly hyped and praised, and I suspect it’s because
of how crap the new trilogy had been of how starved people are of quality Star Wars material. Still, I enjoy this episode, and it succeeds in making me want to keep watching and find out more about those lovely inner demons that make our sexy anti-heroic Mandy ache in such a stoic manner. I’m on board for now, and I hope this show takes me to some place good.