Last month, Disney launched its new streaming service, Disney Plus. With it came all sorts of content, both new and old, including “The Mandalorian.” The first live-action “Star Wars” show, it was hyped up as a spiritual successor to the original film. While there was much anticipation, there were also a lot of worries that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. However, four episodes in, I think it’s safe to say “The Mandalorian” surpasses all expectations.
What really impresses me about “The Mandalorian” is how it manages to capture the feeling of the original Star Wars films. “The Mandalorian” goes back to using old westerns, serials and samurai movies as source material, as the original film did, and the change in style is apparent. From the syntax of the dialogue, the visual style, the pacing and story beats, the influence is clear. And because of this, “The Mandalorian” feels a lot more like Star Wars and a lot less like a cheap imitation.
I’m also impressed by the protagonist. The main character has no name, we never see his face, and for all we know, we may never. Still, our titular Mandalorian conveys emotion and personality in a way that feels natural. There is little exposition, and the show isn’t over the top about showing us who he is. Instead, his character is revealed through his actions and dialogue over the episodes more realistically and subtly. His mannerisms, dialogue and body language all do a great job of showing us who he is without showing us too much.
I’m also impressed that he’s written as interestingly as he is. Often times, characters in his role have no personality and instead are empty vessels to watch through. While The Mandalorian is our perspective character, he is also an interesting, nuanced and developed character, at least as much as he can be this early on in the series. In fact, most if not all of the characters are engaging and interesting, or otherwise serve their part in the story well, at least so far.
While the first season isn’t finished yet, I find myself wondering about the direction the story is heading. So far, it’s engaging and surprising. “The Mandalorian” gets what you expect out of the way early, and I have no idea where it’s heading and that’s a great thing. I think the story has a lot of potential, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
Personally, I find myself waiting for the Friday morning releases all week, and I can confidently say it’s worth a watch. “The Mandalorian” is exclusive to Disney Plus, and if you are willing to pay the $6.99 monthly I would strongly suggest giving it a try, especially for long time “Star Wars” fans.