Today is the day! Disney+ and, more importantly, The Mandalorian is here!
Now, I love a good piece of stunt-writing so I got up impossibly early to watch and review The Mandalorian… Just kidding! I was already awake! Disney has hyped up the release of their streaming service and the new Star Wars show to the point where last night was like trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve. Was it worth it? Read on!
Going into this whole endeavour, I wasn’t entirely sure the rollout of the streaming app was going to be a smooth one. I had been repeatedly checking the app store on my Apple TV to make sure I had the app loaded and ready to go when it was time. As of last night, the app was not yet available. I had some weird and unfounded feeling that SO MANY people would be trying to download it at the same time that I wouldn’t be able to get to that sweet, sweet Star Wars goodness first thing in the morning. Of course, this is Disney we’re talking about and they don’t half-ass anything. The app downloaded smoothly and I was off to the proverbial races.
So is The Mandalorian better than previous Star Wars television ventures like The Star Wars Holiday Special and Ewoks: Caravan of Courage/Battle For Endor? Without a doubt, yes (not that those are high bars to clear). The production values of the show appear to be ridiculously high and as a far as statements of intent for streaming services go, Disney has kicked down the doors of the cafeteria and is proceeding to take every other streaming services’ lunch money.
As far as the show itself goes, I can’t imagine that there’s a Star Wars fan out there that will be unhappy with this show. Immediately after writing that sentence I realized that Star Wars fans will always find something to be unhappy about. Personally, I’m counting this one as a solid “win.” The show focuses on the post-Return of the Jedi universe but that’s not made immediately clear (there’s no opening scroll for the show) and the adventures of an as-yet-unnamed Mandalorian bounty hunter. I’ll be curious as to how this show is received by people that aren’t completely steeped in the mythos as your average Star Wars fan.
The show clocks in at an incredibly lean 39 minutes but it doesn’t feel like that at all. They somehow manage to jam in a couple of big action sequences, exposition, and flashback montages that made the show feel like it was twice as long…in a good way! I’d have to imagine that director Dave Filoni’s background in animation with The Clone Wars helped in telling the story in the most effective way possible.
I’m still unpacking my first viewing of the show and I’m sure I’ll be watching it again…and again…and again until the next episode drops in a week. During my viewing, I noticed a TON of Star Wars Easter eggs and I’m positive there a several more that I missed. It’s clear that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have the same love for the Star Wars universe than the fans do and it’s safe to say that The Mandalorian is in good hands.