Noob Reviews: The Mandalorian (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is The Mandalorian?
Released at the end of last year, The Mandalorian took the internet by storm with Baby Yoda quickly dominating memes and fanart alike. However, believe it or not, Baby Yoda plays only one part of The Mandalorian story.
Some twenty-five years before the events of The Force Awakens, The Mandalorian follows the adventures of a trainee Mandalorian (aka Mando aka Din Djarin) who is rising through the ranks of not only his clan but also the world of bounty hunting. Having started his journey out as a foundling, a child rescued by a Mandalorian strike team during a Separatist droid attack on his homeworld. Mando is on a constant drive to prove not only his own skills and prowess but also improve the honour of those he calls clan. Both surviving members and those that have passed.
Episode one throws us into both sides of his life immediately with us meeting our protagonist on his latest bounty hunt. When returning to Nevarro to submit his bounty so that he can collect his payment from Greef Karga, he is offered an ‘under the table’ contract for a mysterious client simply known as The Client. With a container of Beskar Steel provided as payment, a resource sacred to Mandalorians, Mando accepts and seeks to capture and return a child from a distant world. Enter the fifty-year-old Baby Yoda.
What is the first season about?
The first season of The Mandalorian is quite an exciting collection of stories that weave in and out of each other's paths, some more strongly intertwined than others. From the initial retrieval of Baby Yoda and the attempt to return him to The Client. Through to having to negotiate with Jawas who have stripped his ship bare. Carrying out daring prison breaks on a New Republic prison transport for a Twi'lek named Qin, brother to Xi'an (who Mando previously worked with). And engaging in all-out warfare with Moff Gideon and his legions of stormtroopers to save not only himself but the ragtag crew Mando has assembled - when they are double-crossed.
The scope and variety of stories, whether they serve as a central plot or subplot, will guarantee there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official trailer linked from Star Wars’ YouTube channel -
You can also find the listing on Disney+ here.
When did it come out?
The first season of The Mandalorian was released in the US in November 2019 but has only just made it to the UK’s shores in March 2020. Although a specific release date is to be confirmed, a second season of The Mandalorian has already been teased.
Each of the episodes runs for around forty minutes, and there are eight episodes in total making up season one.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Carl Weathers (Greef Karga)
Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon)
Gina Carano (Cara Dune)
Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian aka Din Djarin)
Werner Herzog (The Client)
For a full cast listing, please see the official Wikipedia page here.
What did you think of The Mandalorian (Season 01)?
Having tried to avoid the minefield of social media spoilers, I had been very hyped about seeing The Mandalorian since its initial announcement. Having always loved the darker side of the Star Wars universe, Mandalorians as the anti-hero have always appealed to me.
When jumping into The Mandalorian, the first thing that I noticed was that although the scenes and locations used for filming were beautiful and well-chosen. A lot of the space scenes and New Empire involved scenes had a solid throwback to the older styles of Sci-Fi both in design and implementation. Such as the space scenes appearing quite unrealistic and easy to tell they were special effects. Although this did not really ruin the immersion, it was something very noticeable.
When it came to character designs, the various species and even the armours - the production team have done a fantastic job with re-creating some genuinely iconic pieces and species. However, I did find that both of the Twi’lek siblings appeared to be disproportionate. When watching it almost seems as if their heads and lekku were quite different sizes all together which I personally found to be distracting. Still, I doubt it will really ruin immersion unless you are a nerd picking fault with every detail which it sounds like I am doing. Moving swiftly on.
There are a lot of very positive things to mention about the first season though too, such as the acting, although at times characters seem rigid and awkward when conveying their lines for the most part the acting improves in leaps and bounds. The most prominent figure that was a bit of a scene-stealer was Gina Carano as Cara Dune. As a former rebel shock trooper who becomes a mercenary after the war, her path crosses with Mando, and she is a fabulous and commanding presence. Unfortunately, though I found Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga to be quite the opposite and appeared almost underplayed, he came across quite reserved and quiet even when the centre of attention. What did really catch me by surprise though was Richard Ayoade popping up as the voice of Q9-0, also known as Zero from Malk’s crew. I love Star Wars and Richard’s work and have done so since his I.T. Crowd days, and it was nice to see him appearing in the show.
Overall The Mandalorian is a brilliant addition to the Star Wars universe. However, it barely scratches the surface of Mandalorian culture and the true nature of Baby Yoda, if it is even Yoda. Season two looks set to answer so many questions as Mando is tasked by his clan’s Armourer to discover the child’s origins (even though he is fifty, he is referred to as child a lot) and return him to his people. The return of Moff Gideon is also something I eagerly await as Giancarlo Esposito literally gave me chills when delivering his dialogue and ultimatums and has a firm foundation on which he can develop as the big bad for future seasons.
What rating would you give The Mandalorian (Season 01)?
I would give the first season of The Mandalorian a rating of 4.2 out of 5 bananas.
The first season was a fantastic delve into the universe of The Mandalorian and worked excellently with the larger Star Wars universe. Although some areas could have been worked on as mentioned above and a few other niggly bits, it was a great watch overall and highly recommended whether you are a Star Wars hardcore fan, new to the franchise, or anywhere in between.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in The Mandalorian (Season 01) and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.