Directed by: Dave Filoni
Written by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, & Taika Waititi
Available on: Disney+
The Star Wars galaxy doesn’t seem so far, far away these days thanks to Disney+, the new Netflix-esque streaming service for all things Disney, including Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic and, of course, LucasFilm. In addition to virtually Mickey’s entire vault, Disney+ boasts an ever-expanding library of original content. Perhaps the highest-profile piece of original programming available at launch is The Mandalorian, the first live-action, episodic series set in the Star Wars universe. If you haven’t been sold on the Disney-era offerings, the first episode of The Mandalorian suggests a welcomed return to classic Star Wars.
Before it was a multi-generational saga, Star Wars told the story of a simple farm boy turned reluctant hero. Likewise, The Mandalorian sheds the more convoluted mythology developed in later Star Wars films in favor of a more straight-forward narrative centered around a lone bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) who gets more than he bargained for after accepting his latest commission. It’s a welcomed shift in scope that allows the viewer to bask in the intricate idiosyncrasies that help make Star Wars one of the most fascinating and enduring worlds in fiction without the burdensome distraction of forty years-worth of theatrical films.
Technically the Mouse House seems committed to realizing Star Wars on the small screen. The overall production value behind The Mandalorian is every bit as impressive and engrossing as we’ve come to expect from a property set in this universe. That said, Star Wars animation guru Dave Filoni has never directed anything live-action before and it’s obvious from the pilot’s bland cinematography and lack of forward momentum that we’re witnessing the work of a novice director.
Despite a newbie at the helm, The Mandalorian debut is a highly entertaining and often hilarious sci-fi romp. Series creator Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King) has filled out his Star Wars underworld with a Death Star hangar’s worth of intriguing characters and planted certain story seeds that I for one am excited to watch grow over the remaining seven episodes.
Episode 2 of The Mandalorian drops on Disney+ this Friday, November 15th.
Were you one of the 10 million subscribers to Disney+? If so, did you get a chance to check out The Mandalorian? What did you think? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts!