Wednesday 13 November 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Mandalorian

So, the first episode of Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+ and it's a love letter from filmmaking fans Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars) to George Lucas' sprawling space opera.

My review contains only the mildest of spoilers. Over a surprisingly brisk 35 minutes, Favreau and Filoni deliver a shimmering multimillion-dollar masterclass in spaghetti western genre tropes popularised by director Sergio Leone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), much like Lucas did with the original Star Wars in 1977. Underscored by Ludwig Göransson's (Black Panther) ode to the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone.

The pilot episode is an homage to the executive producers' childhoods. The Star Wars Holiday Special, introducing bounty hunter Boba Fett, looms large as does Marvel's Star Wars Weekly and the celebrated Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson comic strip set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It's tantamount to unleashing the contents of a Kenner toy box with the power of Epic Games' Unreal Engine.

The titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) channels the steely cool of fan-favourite Boba Fett (The Empire Strikes Back). However, this is a bounty hunter with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from a tragic past that will serve as a rich backstory as the season continues.

Gamification has influenced production. The silent protagonist levelling up as the story progresses with an armour upgrade courtesy of the Armorer (Emily Swallow).

Like the original trilogy, there's much humour here too. None more so than during a barnstorming shootout with IG-11 (Taika Waititi). Hope we see more of the assassin droid as it's the perfect foil to the droid hating Mandalorian as he carries out a bounty for The Client (Werner Herzog).

Longtime Star Wars fans (myself included) will relish countless Easter eggs from the franchise's rich lore. See it on the biggest screen you can and brace yourself for the ending...

Episode two is released this Friday on Disney+.

Have you seen The Mandalorian? Did it evoke original trilogy feels? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. I’m inspired anew. Brilliant new story rich in characters and homage detail.

    1. It's everything I hoped for and more, much more!


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