‘The Mandalorian’ offers a much needed western in the Star Wars galaxy

Graphic by Adam Greenlee ’20

Allie D’Angelo ’20, Editor-in-Chief

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Star Wars fans can finally rejoice to the release of season one of “The Mandalorian,” an eight episode Star Wars space western filled with action, comedy and an exciting plot. In light of Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, released on Nov. 12, the platform now offers another storyline for viewers to follow in the beloved galaxy far, far away.

Upon seeing the first trailer of the“The Mandalorian” released on Aug. 23, I was intrigued by the mystery imposed from the only two sentences featured in the teaser: “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession. Don’t you agree?”

The simplicity of the trailer left me hoping that this Star Wars western will mirror the classic Clint Eastwood movies featuring a man with no history. This idea was promising, as the franchise has failed in the past when producing prequels such as “Solo: A Star Wars Story” released back in 2018.

Upon the week of the show’s premiere, two episodes of “The Mandalorian” were released. The first episode, “Chapter 1,” successfully captured the mysterious essence of the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), as the opening scenes depict the Mandalorian’s attempt to capture a bounty in a flawless fight scene. “Chapter 1” additionally introduces the main plot of the season, as well as mysterious characters including Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), an unknown client of the Mandalorian (Warner Herzog), and Kuiil (Nick Nolte). Each character effectively thickened the plot for viewers, including myself, to become even more invested in the show.

Compared to “Chapter 1’s” action-packed adventure, “The Mandalorian’s” second episode, “Chapter 2”, contained humoristic aspects that revealed how the show can incorporate both good action and comedic relief which exposes viewers to the Mandalorian’s witty personality.

However, despite the show’s strong plot, “Chapter 1” featured small flashbacks of the Mandalorian’s childhood which made me skeptical of the route the producers will take when revealing the character’s past. I had hoped that the show would omit revealing most of the Mandalorian’s history to continue keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Despite this skepticism, these flashbacks produced a pathetical appeal to viewers that connected us to the main character. If executed properly in future episodes, I believe “The Mandalorian” may be the first time Star Wars fans are pleased with a prequel.

Long time Star Wars viewers can also appreciate the multiple easter eggs throughout “Chapter 1” that reference the original trilogy. Opening scenes include a landspeeder similar to one driven by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” and bounties frozen in carbonite on the Mandalorian’s ship which fans first saw in the exciting last scenes of episode V, “The Empire Strikes Back”. “Chapter 2” similarly created a nostalgic feel through featuring Jawas in their Sand Crawler fortress.

“The Mandalorian” additionally is successful appealing to both old and new fans. Although I have been an avid watcher of anything Star Wars related since the second grade, I believe both old and new fans can still appreciate this space western regardless if you know the names of every droid in the galaxy or not.

I look forward to watching the Mandalorian as it is unique and refreshing to the Star Wars universe. Its separate plot from the main Star Wars films storyline is definitely one worthy of following.

Viewers can anticipate “Chapter 3” of “The Mandalorian” on Nov. 22 streaming on Disney+.

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