The Mandalorian is a television series set in the ever-popular Star Wars universe, and it premiered on Disney+ in November 2019. The events in the series take place five years after those of Return of the Jedi and follow the adventures of a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter. Created and written by the visionary Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian might just be the most prized horse to come out of the Star Wars stable. The show is only five episodes in so it is still too early to predict if it will be able to run the distance it intends to. It is currently doing exceptionally well, and here are a few reasons why.
In a universe as vast and diverse as that of Star Wars, the storytelling possibilities are endless, but until now, Disney has not really delved into the rich background of the series. The Mandalorian is proof of how compelling the Star Wars universe can be without either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader showing up every now and then. Disney’s obsession with the original trilogy seems to be on the wane, albeit a little late, after making two complete movies just to fill in plot holes. The Death Star plots had long become banal, to be polite, and it is a relief to finally see Disney turning their attention to something and someone else.
The purpose of the first episode was mainly to acclimatize audiences to a fragment of the Stars Wars universe. The known and the unknown facets of the universe interweave fluidly to give rise to a world that feels at once familiar yet somewhat new. In this new series, we follow a masked bounty hunter known as Mando after the conclusion of a galaxy-wide Civil War.
Star Wars is as popular as it is today simply because of the innumerable unforgettable characters this universe has created for over four decades. Hans Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Yoda are some of the many characters that will stay with us for a very long time. However, over the course of eleven films and as many television series, fans have grown accustomed to these lovable characters and quite frankly a tad tired, too. There is only so much juice one can squeeze out of a lemon before it turns bitter.
Thankfully, The Mandalorian gives us new characters to be curious about. One of them is Dyn Jarren, a perpetually silent, masked Mandalorian essayed with an equal amount of grit and finesse by Pedro Pascal. Pedro Pascal portrays the role with such perfection that even with scarce dialogue and absolutely no face time, he still manages to hold our attention and convey to us what his character is all about merely through his actions and decisions. At this point, the writing must also be credited as it is the brilliance of the script that lets its characters shine. The Child is another intriguing character whose scenes with the Mandalorian give us a rare peek into the lone gunslinger’s mind. Watch The Mandalorian if you ever wondered what a baby Yoda would have looked like. Absolutely adorable, he is!
The Disney+ series is its own show and almost feels like a new universe with a few familiar touches here and there. The show stays true to its roots and embodies George Lucas’s idea of Star Wars as space Western in the garb of a science fiction tale. Lucas was inspired by Flash Gordon while growing up and the idea of storylines gradually revealing over many parts appealed to him as much as the cliff-hanger endings which Flash Gordon epitomized.
The plot in The Mandalorian gradually unravels over multiple thirty-minute episodes, thus keeping audiences guessing about what is going to happen next. Epic action sequences are a staple of any Star Wars movie, and the case is no different in this live-action television series which promises ample action and surprises aplenty. The creators of the show make smart use of CGI to create a world that is a character in and of itself. The transition between scenes in this show is reminiscent of George Lucas’s original trilogy.
No other Star Wars production has ever managed to unite fans and critics alike the way The Mandalorian has managed to. Though still in its early days, The Mandalorian has the promise of a Game of Thrones in the making in terms of popularity if it doesn’t get too ahead of itself. Nevertheless, The Mandalorian has breathed a new lease of life into an aging franchise.