The Mandalorian - New hope for "Star Wars"
The Mandalorian does not rely on any of the popular and established characters in the films, but on an atmosphere much closer to the original George Lucas trilo
In 2020 and it is hardly a surprise that the real hope for the Star Wars franchise - or at least for its older fans - lies not on the big but on the small screen.
The first step in this direction is The Mandalorian - the first feature series in the universe of "Star Wars", whose first episode appeared with the debut of the streaming service Disney +.
First step, rather successful. The Mandalorian does not rely on any of the popular and established characters in the films, but on an atmosphere much closer to the original George Lucas trilogy than the films in the new Ray and Kylo Ren trilogy.
Producer and screenwriter Jon Favreau ("Iron Man", "The Lion King") captures some of the magical ingredients that turned Star Wars into a phenomenon more than 40 years ago. And while The Mandalorian will have a hard time attracting new fans to the franchise, it will be able to please some of the older ones.
The series takes us back to a distant galaxy, a few years after the fall of the Empire
The series takes us back to a distant galaxy, a few years after the fall of the Empire (ie after the movie "The Return of the Jedi" and before "The Force Awakens"). At a time when the worlds liberated from the iron imperial grasp are trying to find their new path, there are as many criminal elements as you want. For a bounty hunter a job will always be found, especially if he is good. And the Mandalorian is just that damn good.
The name of the main character of the series is shrouded in mystery and everyone addresses him as Mando because of his armor and helmet, typical of the fighters from the planet Mandalor. He is especially good at finding, capturing and returning individuals trying to escape or hide. He is a professional - he does not give in to bribes and in the last resort he is ready to shoot (first) to complete the task.
The Mandalorian faces a difficult choice - whether to remain true to his professionalism and lack of scruples, or to listen to that inner voice
However, his new task is more specific. The empire may have lost its leader and its strongest weapon, but that does not mean that there are no fragments of it left. The Mandalorian faces a difficult choice - whether to remain true to his professionalism and lack of scruples, or to listen to that inner voice, those beginnings of conscience that in the most difficult situations try to make us good.
The story told in the first episode of The Mandalorian is not overly rich - another thing that Favreau apparently tried to take from the original films.
The story told in the first episode of The Mandalorian is not overly rich - another thing that Favreau apparently tried to take from the original films. He throws crumbs at the viewer - about the protagonist's past, about the situation of the Mandalorians now, about the state of the universe - but without going into detailed explanations. He focuses on his main character and for good reason.
There is something particularly nice about the Mandalorian, although we never see his face, and we hear him say only a few lines. Like Boba Fett, he wins sympathy with his calm presence and self-confidence, but he also gives the feeling that he can deal with a much more dangerous opponent if the situation requires it. As a hero in an old western, who does not want to have trouble with the locals, but simply to do his job and continue on his way, but luck in this regard is rarely on his side.
Comparisons with westerns are not accidental - The Mandalorian is largely similar.
A story about a lonely, silent shooter with a cool vehicle (only a ship, not a horse) who works for money, but has a moral compass.
A story about a lonely, silent shooter with a cool vehicle (only a ship, not a horse) who works for money, but has a moral compass. And the world around him is confused, hostile, and much more gray than black and white.
The first episode of the series also has its problems. The beginning is intriguing and a good way to present the main character. The finale is a spectacular action scene with a blaster shootout, in the spirit of the best of all Star Wars movies. In the middle, however, the pace slows down too much, and some scenes - such as armor forging or riding lessons - just don't weigh in as much as the interesting start and end.
Raising eyebrows is also caused by the fact that the episode is less than 40 minutes (but due to the slow environment it feels longer). And although the goal was probably to end with a big surprise, the feeling still remains that "Disney" tried to stretch their story in 8 episodes so that they could broadcast it longer.
One thing cannot be denied to Favreau and his team for the series - The Mandalorian looks impressive.
One thing cannot be denied to Favreau and his team for the series - The Mandalorian looks impressive. It's not just about the visual effects, but also the practical ones and the costumes. In the spirit of the new (and good) policy of "Disney" to use real models and masks where it is not necessary to overdo the CGI, the series manages to make you feel as if its action really takes place in the same that universe in which Luke and Obi-Wan had trouble at Tatooine's bar. We get a glimpse into the underworld and the widespread activity of bounty hunters, and, as expected, this is happening against the backdrop of distant, poor planets.
The feeling is very similar to what the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) brings. It is complemented by purely cinematographic and editing techniques, such as frame-to-frame transitions, which strongly resemble the first films.
Similarities with Rogue One can also be found in the level of fantastic violence, which here reaches quite high levels, without being graphic or repulsive. The Mandalorian can be easily watched with a child / younger brother or sister.
Favreau's series is aimed mostly at more mature fans of the series - those who keep warm memories of Episodes 4 to 6.
For this purpose, he relies on a curious cast. The main role, is Pedro Pascal (The Viper from Game of Thrones). Besides him, in the first episode we can see Nick Nolte and director Taika Waititi (but you won't recognize them either), as well as Carl Weathers ("The Predator") as the leader of the bounty hunters' guild, of which the Mandalorian is a part.
Will The Mandalorian change your mind about everything new about Star Wars
Will The Mandalorian change your mind about everything new about Star Wars that has come out under Disney's hat since 2015? No. Will it shake you? Also no. And this series will obviously need at least a few episodes to become really interesting. And given that the season is only 8 episodes, it will be over very fast.
Its success lies in capturing some of the essence of Star Wars, which proved to be a great challenge for young filmmakers, in whose hands the franchise has found itself in recent years. As "Solo" (2018) showed, a few famous characters do not guarantee a good movie (or box office success).