Review: “Mandalorian” blasts its way to number one

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

This highly popular Disney+ show stays true to its roots and is a homecoming for fans of the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

By Mickie Shaw, Multimedia Editor

Photo Courtesy of Disney

Gritty, full of action, a bit of humor and with a massive amount of cuteness, “The Mandalorian” series stays true to the original “Star Wars” films and expands on the galaxy far, far away. The series is a marvelous homecoming for fans of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, young and old.

New characters and familiar ones from other “Star Wars” movies and series populate the world of “The Mandalorian”. The exciting battles and thrilling action rival any in a “Star Wars” movie. You feel involved with and care about the intriguing and, in the case of the Mandalorian, complex characters. There is a moral center to the Mandalorian, and the Force is ever present. “The Mandalorian” is “Star Wars” at its best.

The creator of the runaway hit, and the director of two “Iron Man” movies, Jon Favreau is also the show’s writer. Disney Plus’ marquee show was an instant success, ranking second in the rundown of top streaming shows after its premier. Within two weeks, “The Mandalorian” blasted “Stranger Things” ending its 22-week streak as the number one streaming show and making “The Mandalorian” the number one streaming show in the U.S. and in all four Disney Plus’ international markets.

The protagonist, Mandalorian, is a combination of Clint Eastwood’s the Man with No Name character and Indiana Jones. The bounty hunter, a fearsome killer, is not invulnerable. He finds himself on the receiving end of a beat down several times and even defeated by Jawas. In the fourth episode, Mando teams up with Kara Dune (Gina Carano), a former rebel soldier, to save a small peasant village from alien raiders. Shades of “The Magnificent Seven” are present. Mando even gets a beat down from Dune when they first meet.

With four episodes streamed, the show’s fresh angle, new stories, compelling characters and its western movie tone are expanding the established “Star Wars” universe while staying true to its roots. "The Mandalorian" has the original “Star Wars” lived in look, situational humor and cool costumes and spaceships, and following in the steps of its ancestor it has lots of action. Within the first five minutes of the first episode, two space thugs attack Mando in a bar, and a deadly fight ensues. (Fights in bars seem to frequently break out in the “Star Wars” universe.) The foolish ruffians are soon beaten down and the brawl ends with one of the thugs cut in half. There is no close up of the severed body thankfully.

The action is never ending. Mando fights ice creatures, an enormous beast that looks like a furry rhinoceros and 20 bounty hunters simultaneously. This guy can not catch a break.

In the first episode, Mando takes a gig for a bounty from Creef Karga (Carl Weathers), the head of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild: a union for bounty hunters. The client (Werner Herzog) is a mysterious man who is somehow associated with the now overthrown Galactic Empire. The client prefers the “Asset,”as he calls it, be brought back alive, but dead is ok, too. After a huge gun fight, Mando captures the asset only to find it is a child. Not just any child, however, but one of the same species as Master Jedi Yoda.

Baby Yoda, as fans are now calling him, is adorable. The child’s big doe eyes, oversized long ears, which bend and twist with the child’s emotions, little baby mouth and the cute little baby hairs on his head so surprises Mando, that he never considers killing the 50-year-old baby (Yoda was 900 years old when he died). Mando’s heart of gold has been revealed. This is just episode one, and the next three episodes are just as exciting and intriguing due to the mysterious Baby Yoda.

“Star Wars” is back. Not since “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” movie has there been a “Star Wars” film or series that has captured the feel, look, excitement and drama of the original trilogy movies. With more episodes on the way, if “The Mandalorian” is a taste of what is to come, then fans will become fat, feasting on “Star Wars.”