The Mandalorian: Episode I

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The Mandalorian pilot aired on Disney+, and now I’m waiting patiently for the second episode.

As I was settling into my chair with a really adult glass of fruit punch MiO-infused water, I had mixed feelings. Between a cookie-cutter (albeit, enjoyable) Force Awakens (2015), a dope Rogue One (2016), an outrage-inducing Last Jedi (2017), a tepid Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), and a sour and disappointed fanbase, I was hopeful that the show was going to be good. But, I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to be let down.

Well, I wasn’t let down. The show was good. It wasn’t really good. It was just good and a little slow in the middle. I’m not sure if that was my apprehensiveness not letting me fully enjoy it or the show itself. Time will tell. Here are some takeaways though:

The Introduction: So, the Mandalorian starts with a bunch of toughs being jerks when our main character walks in kitted-up in full Fett-like regalia. Now, I was never a diehard Boba Fett fan (I just thought he was cool), but I have to say, the character looked damn good. Oh, and he whips up on the toughs like it was his job…which it indirectly was. I thought it was a neat, little twist that Jon Favreau pitched at us by revealing that the alien that the main character was defending from the toughs was actually his bounty.

Frozen in Carbonite: Then, there was the whole carbonite scene, which added a splash of horror as the bounty was snooping around the ship. Admittedly, I was none too impressed when I saw the carbonite preview in the show’s trailer, but I like how it went down in the show. I’ve honestly been wondering what happened to all those carbonite bounties that were downloaded from the ship. Like, are they going to be someone’s decorations a la Jabba and Han in Return of the Jedi (1983)? Will they instead be stacked in a warehouse somewhere and forgotten? Or would they be thawed and jailed, executed, or worse?

Timeline: Time matters in Star Wars because it establishes what you should know about the galaxy as the story unfolds. Like, is Vader a threat? Are the Sith running rampant? Are the Jedi a force to be reckoned, or are they hiding in caves and alleys? Is Jabba alive? What governments are in power? As the story jumps off, we’re left in the dark, until the main character says the empire is gone but we don’t know how long it’s been. The Empire could have collapsed yesterday or forty years ago. That means we may see or hear about the exploits of Luke Skywalker after the victory over Endor. Of course, we may not get any info on Luke at all. I hope, though, we hear a passing piece of news about the guy. That’d be dope.

Mando-Lore-ian: Wondering what the hell beskar steel is? For those who read the Republic Commando series and Clone Wars and Rebels, you know exactly what that little gem was. For those who didn’t, beskar steel was the metal that Mandalorians used to forge their beskar garm–Mandalorian armor. Now, Legends continuity often frustrated me because it had a ton of baggage (not that The Last Jedi didn’t pour on the baggage and daddy issues by the liter); however, the four Republic Commando books and the Imperial Commando book added rich lore to the Mandalorians. The tribal and foundling aspects, as well as the beskar steel, are awesome love-notes to the fans and spell rich beginnings for new fans. Oh, and I’m very intrigued to see how the Mandalorian culture unfolds, and the importance of how the priestess-like smith fits into it.

Names just complicate things: Did anyone get the name of that bounty hunter? Yup, you don’t know his name, and neither do I. Is that cool or what?

Bounty Droids: I thought the IG unit was cool. The droid reminded me of the Grammaton Clerics from Equilibrium as the droid handed mercenaries their asses left and right. The self-destruct sequence was funny, although the dialogue felt kind of forced. Honestly, the droid dialog of K2-SO and L3-37 is tough to beat. Otherwise, the shoot out was cool; it just lacked a little pathos.

Ending: How about that ending, though, huh?! Who saw that coming?!

~He’s no good to me dead!

Kenny