The Mandalorian - S01E01 - Chapter One

ctg

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So, finally, after all this time, we get live action series of Star Wars. Unfortunately, the episodes are only double the length of the animated ones, and in the first one, you get less of content. Honestly, I don't know why, as especially the lack of content has been evident in the new films as well. It feels strange, especially you'll find the great Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau helming the series.

In twenty minutes that Disney allowed for Dave to do his magic, the episodes were always full of great stuff. In The Mandalorin, you'll have to seen at least the original trilogy to get anywhere, but even then you'd need exposition as there are scenes that completely mystify the Mandalorian angle. In fact, if you have not seen the Rebels, you will lost. If you have played some of the video games, or read the non canon novels, you might get that back in the days of the Old Republic, Mandalorians were an elite race of warriors.

In a way the training that Clone Troopers received is something that you can use to compare the skills and the knowledge that has been installed into the Mandalorian's. Some could say they are "bada$$" and I would agree. Wholeheartedly. The simple reason is that there are no other SW factions that even compare to this people. But, the thing is, back in the old days, the Mandalorian's they gained their fearsome reputation by acting as bounty hunters or mercenaries. The war dominated their lives and at the height of the Old Republic they followed House Vizla and started a war against the Jedi.

You might think that back in the glory of the Old Republic it would have been foolish to act against the galactic peacekeepers. But, the thing is, they didn't care. It was their culture that dominated them and said that whoever wields the Black Saber rules the Mandalore and therefore, all of its people. Hang on a minute, you might think, only the Jedi or the Sith are able to fully use light sabres, but that's only half of the truth, because to wield the blade effectively you'll have to have a force sensitive people.

The thing is, Mandalore never sent their people into the Jedi Academy, when they had their own schools and customs. It was the Sith who found out about them being Force Sensitive, and they used it to slave the whole race under their will. Little they did knew about it, and in those days, a Mandalorian could challenge a Jedi Knight to a single combat. And they were proud about it, even if most of the fights were lost. Jedi simply were a challenging opponent, not an immovable object that blocked everything.

So, they are proud, and that is what you'll get from this episode. You won't learn his name, as he is simply called The Mandalorian. You won't learn his history either, as the only thing you'll get is that he is at top of his game and his name isn't related to the Fett's. In a way, what Fett did pales in comparison to this one. He doesn't even need the help of Vader or Storm Troopers as he can put his tags in the carbon on his own without using anyone help.

That fact kicks him in the butt, when he rides to town holding his mark, and wonders why nobody has been able to collect the bounty for fifty years. So, when the plasma bolts start flying he is joined by IG-11 droid, but even that assassin droid is having trouble with the town occupants. That fight lasts over ten minutes, and it is the best live action droid fight in the SW history.

If you can see the first episode I warmly recommend it to the SW fans, while the general public might be out its reach. Unfortunately.
 

Phyrebrat

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I hope Dizzey expect to lose A LOT of money on this. Making the U.K. wait till January - bearing in mind the (pop) cultural importance of SW - seems like a huge mistake when illegal streaming and torrents are so prevalent and easy. An American friend has already offered to keep me up to date by sending me them as they come out. The amount of money I’ve spent on SW over the past 40 years (and even since Dizney helmed SW) Would offset any moral guilt I would have if I accepted his offer.

Who on earth made the decision to release it like this? I’d expect someone to lose their job.

pH
 

Culhwch

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Loved it. Grimy original trilogy aesthetics with a western feel. Some good characters, great action, nice little twist. I'm super keen to see the rest.

Sucks for you guys in the UK. Disney Plus doesn't technically launch here until next week, but that wait is hardly anything compared to yours. I assume it's some kind of licensing deal they can't get out of. Makes no sense otherwise.
 

ctg

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Did you like IG-11? I thought his movements and his actions were almost as great as his quips.
 

Culhwch

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Did you like IG-11? I thought his movements and his actions were almost as great as his quips.
Yeah, I thought they really nailed his movement. I was curious to see which way Taika Waititi went with the voice, and I'm glad he kept it a little more understated than, say, Korg! I hope other IGs turn up at some point though, otherwise it'll be a bit disappointing if he was one and done.
 
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ryubysss

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they've showed IG-11 prominently in the publicity so either he'll turn up again or another of the same model.
 
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Dave

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In fact, if you have not seen the Rebels, you will lost. If you have played some of the video games, or read the non canon novels, you might get that back in the days of the Old Republic, Mandalorians were an elite race of warriors.
I would have to disagree that you will be lost to the plot unless you have seen Rebels or played some of the video games. I'd doubt that anyone watching it won't have seen a Star Wars film before, but bounty hunters were not invented by George Lucas. Clint Eastwood's 'No Name' hardly spoke either, and this is much more spaghetti western than Firefly was US Civil War. The Mandalorian helmet and robes speaks to a Spartan Warrior with their rigorous education and training program. However, him being a foundling and saving the life of a foundling - what is it with Star Wars writers and their obsession with abandoned children cared for by others?
 

ctg

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However, him being a foundling and saving the life of a foundling - what is it with Star Wars writers and their obsession with abandoned children cared for by others?
It is because George Lucas Universe is full of tragic stories. The families aren't important when you can have robots to take care of the business.
 

Culhwch

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However, him being a foundling and saving the life of a foundling - what is it with Star Wars writers and their obsession with abandoned children cared for by others?
Plus they are owned by Disney now, which is basically a factory for fictional orphans...
 

Dave

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Plus they are owned by Disney now, which is basically a factory for fictional orphans...
I'd actually forgotten about that.

Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Simba in The Lion King. Cinderella, Snow White. Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Bambi, Penny in The Rescuers, Lilo & Stitch, Todd in The Fox and the Hound, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Nemo, Tarzan and Koda in Brother Bear.

Even when they do have parents, they are absent like Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, Dumbo's mum, Belle's dad in Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Peter Pan and The Lost Boys...

I guess it is known as playing to form.
 

Margaret Note Spelling

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I'm not sure the "orphan epidemic" is exclusive to film.... There's Harry Potter, Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton's Adventure series, Billabong.... Orphans make automatically not normal characters, and plus, you don't have to have any inconvenient adults to characterize in a children's series, except of course the loathsome evil relatives. Most of those Disney stories were stories aimed at kids. Orphaning is an easy way to make your character start out with sympathy, or in a hard spot, or simply with some unusual character traits geared towards survival.

Anyway, I just watched the first episode last night. I'm glad someone else shares my distinct impression they were channeling the genre of westerns as much as they could! Shootout in a pueblo courtyard, riding montage, vaguely western musical themes, the bar fight in the opening scene (of course, bar fights are sort of classic Star Wars, too), not to mention that long zap rod the Mandalorian is using like a rifle, sighting the landscape through the scope. All we need is the card-playing and the gangs and the local sheriffs.

And actually, the way you never see the main character's face, but simply hear the voice and see the suit walking about, it reminded me of watching the Invisible Man television series. Interesting if they try to keep that up the entire series.

I don't think IG-11 is "out"--even if he is "down." You can't actually kill a droid, right? He's too good of an antagonist now to not bring back in a later episode--a vicious killer robot commissioned to terminate the child. (Key plot thought: who commissioned him? Because it obviously wasn't the same people who commissioned the Mandalorian.) If he is intended to be the main antagonist, I'd say they did a very good job if setting it up at the same time as everything else. Which sparks a thought--we might think the episode is a bit content-light, since we don't know what's going to happen, but everything they showed about the situation might turn out to be important later. I would probably watch over this episode once more after the entire series is done, or perhaps halfway through, and try to see what I'd notice about it that I didn't before.

Final Verdict: Surprisingly Not Stupid.
 
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