Directors: Dave Filoni
Writers: Jon Favreau
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Omid Abtahi, Nick Nolte, Taika Waititi, Horatio Sanz
‘Chapter One’ Air Date: 19/11/2019
The Mandalorian currently has two episodes available on Disney+ with a new release every Friday.
The flagship title for the launch of Disney+ is not only important for the streaming service but a historical moment in-itself as it’s the first-ever live-action Star Wars show to be produced.
The Mandalorian, much like The Rise of Skywalker has, for the most part, been shrouded in secrecy and although I’m not going to spoil anything about the premiere, let alone its final moments, I should warn you that spoilers are everywhere online at the moment. Having to wait a week between the launch of the service in the U.S meant not missing one episode, but two, and I can’t help but feel sorry for the U.K and other countries that have to wait well into 2020 to get access to The Mandalorian.
I do think a lot of this is a marketing mistake, however. The big reveal comes at the end of the episode and it finally sets the stage for what The Mandalorian is going to be about. A show, which, up until that moment had teased nothing more than a bounty hunter serial with some stormtrooper and creature fights. This one moment at the end of the episode changes all of that, but it shouldn’t have been a secret. It’s an exciting reveal, but it makes the show impossible to talk about; impossible to market; and impossible to protect others from as Disney+ as a service rolls out across the world.
With that said, the first episode of The Mandalorian is everything I thought it was going to be and more.
The most exciting thing is the tone of the show which you get a feel for fairly quickly. After a fight scene in a bar opens the episode and the titular Mando collects a bounty we get to see his interaction with others, which is to say there is barely any. He’s a stoic silent type, a typically western hero and the western influences are everywhere over the pilot episode, as are the serials which influenced Geroge Lucas in the creation of Star Wars, like Flash Gordon.
Chapter 1 moves very fast and doesn’t allow the audience any time to question what is going on. For myself, going in as a massive Star Wars fan I was well aware of the time period this show is set — several years after Return of The Jedi — and what a Mandalorian is. I’ve watched all of The Clone Wars & Star Wars Rebels, two animated series that explored what the Mandalorians are about and their history. But to someone coming in as an average Star Wars fan, this show might seem like a confusing Bobba Fett prequel.
Not only does The Mandalorian swap out the adventurous hero and cast of fun and courageous side-characters for a man of few words, but also the tone of the show from the way it’s shot, to the music and pacing is also very different. The Mandalorian moves slowly across the desert landscape and the slow-building tension of Ludwig Goranssons’ flute based theme builds into a smashing off drums. As he meets with an alien on a planet the music builds triumphantly as they cross the planet and it sounds like nothing you’ve heard in Star Wars before. It sounds very influenced by Ennio Morricone and the show, in general, seems influenced by Sergio Leone. The Mandalorian is, of course, the man with no name.