Star Wars:The Mandalorian
Because Disney didn't have enough money, they decided to try their hand at streaming services (despite already owning Hulu), and created Disney+ as a collection of their shows and movies. And with any streaming service, you need a flagship title. Thus, The Mandalorian, the first live action Star Wars television series was born.
The show itself lives and breaths off your nostalgia for the Fetts, giving you a new lead character wearing the cool ass armor, bounty hunting, getting in gunfights, et cetera. The show's set five years after Return of the Jedi, and leans into spaghetti westerns so hard you wonder why Clint Eastwood hasn't shown up (John Wayne's grandson does do much of the stunt work for the titular character). Whether you like this show pretty much comes down to the question of can you accept a show where the main character's face is never seen and whose name is almost never spoken (probably, considering this site's demographics), and can you stand a story wrapped entirely around the finger of a baby yoda who is the most well known spoiler since (joke.exe).
If you like the 2012 Judge Dredd movie you will like the show. It also might be one of the closest depictions of a Space Marine we are going to get for the foreseeable future on the "big screen". The Mandalorians (this group at least) have become almost a cult regarding "The Way," their warrior code. Highlights include a Looted AT-ST, getting to watch a IG-11 aimbot entire groups of hostiles multiple times (hell just watching IG-11 move is amazing), and an episode shot like a horror film except that the protagonist is the hunter. The final two episodes are a callback to almost every episode except "The Prisoner" & "The Gunslinger" and numerous characters return and get to be their own brand of awesome. The show also brought back the old style Mandalorians - it's a creed and a way of life, not a species or race. You are a Mandalorian because you chose to be, and because you follow the Mandalorian code, not because you're born that way.
There are several hiccups in writing but those might be smoothed out later, or can just be written off as the galaxy being just that big and individuals not having the same info as the audience. Overall it is the most well received addition to Star Wars since Empire. With the show actually understanding why and how certain reveals should work, ie. not making there be anything special to us (the audience) about the Mandalorian's face/name, it is special because of his code not because he has laser eyes or something.
A second season (it was inevitable) was announced in November 2019, finished filming in March 2020 and arrived on Disney+ in October 2020. Several characters from elsewhere in the franchise such as Boba Fett, Bo-Katan (Duchess Satine’s redhead sister from the Clone Wars, who also happens to be the last known wielder of the Darksaber before Moff Gideon turned up with it in the final episode of season 1) and Ahsoka Tano have made appearances, plus Luke Skywalker himself showed up in the final episode of Season 2.
A third season is currently in development and will deput in 2022. It will continue to star Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian with apparantly Moff Gideon playing a larger role. No word on if the famous baby Yoda will still play any role in the series going forward but likely. Also it is confirmed the upcoming Book of Boba Fett is a separate spinoff so the two series will probably not overlap with each other too much though likely some cameos both ways are likely. One big development is Disney's firing of Cara Dune's actress, Gina Carano. So she likely won't be coming back for the coming season. Though the decision was controversial, since her character was recurring it likely won't affect any upcoming storylines. Also no word if this is intended as the final season or not.
Non-Exhaustive List of Awesome
|This article contains spoilers! You have been warned.|
- Mando/Din Djarin is a cool protagonist and Pedro Pascal manages to play him really well despite having his face hidden behind a helmet most of the time
- Baby Yoda/The Child/Grogu
- Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad-fame, as the main villain
- Several good strong female characters, from returning favorites like Bo-Katan to newcomers like Cara Dune.
- Fennec Shand- Played by Ming-Na Wen, who you probably know from the OG Mulan. Everyone thought she would be a one off assassin cameo, but had multiple extended action sequences and bad ass moments. Furthermore, the actress is plenty badass herself - one need only look at her physical stance in combat scenes to see that she clearly knows her shit, basically making her Lady John Wick in Space. Appears more in the Bad Batch, and in the future, the Book of Boba Fett
- Mando's ship, the Razor Crest. May she rest in peace.
- To whit, Jon Favreau had several of the spacecraft used in the series be built as miniatures to be used in shots, various behind-the-scenes accompanying footage available on Disney+ confirms this.
- Callbacks to Mandalorian-related things from Star Wars:The Clone Wars and Star Wars:Rebels
- Live action debut of Ahsoka Tano.
- Return of Boba Fett. He is a Mandalorian and the thing about Almec saying Fetts aren't Mandalorian in TCW (he was clearly biased against them due to his position) is now set to rest.
- Redesign of TIE Fighter with folding wings
- Brings aspects from the old EU into Disney Canon
- Shows that the Empire didn't just disappear overnight and that there are still remnants out there.
- Clearly made by people who love and understand Star Wars.
- Stormtroopers are actually hitting shit and have some cool moments. Some are still incompetent but most are pretty decent fighters. Death Troopers too make an appearance, and manage to demonstrate themselves as outclassing the rank-and-file stormtrooper, conveying their status as the elite imperial troopers they're reputed to be. That said, as with the stormtroopers, they don't fare too well once stood up against more capable combatants, and simply can't hold a candle to Mandalorians.
- Dark Troopers. If you thought all battledroids are just cannon fodder relying on their numbers to win, think again. Dark Troopers are basically Terminators and can be genuinely terrifying. Not only are they blaster-proof, they can also fly using rocket boosters.
- Tons and tons of fan service.
- Actually does a good job of showing how to do strong female characters, and never falling into the lazy, obnoxious, pandering, seen in the sequels.
- Luke Skywalker makes an appearance, not the old grumpy disillusioned jedi, Jake Skywalker, we saw in The Last Jedi, but Grandmaster Luke Skywalker him-motherfucking-self in one of, if not the best sequences in the entire series. If this was Disney testing the waters, gauging audience hunger for a possible retconning of the god-awful sequels, then they probably got some encouraging results.
- Makes use of some pretty groundbreaking special effects techniques, continuing the Star Wars tradition of trying to push special effects to new levels. Bye bye greenscreens, hello future.  (see more below)
- Has single-handedly restored hope in the franchise after many had lost it due to the sequel trilogy.
- Elements of Westerns, Samurai films, Judge Dredd, Kill Bill, and other classics.
So we mentioned above there is new special effects in play here. The Mandalorian makes use of a brand new soundstage that consists of a large circle of extremely high resolution LED screens surrounding the actors on almost all sides, projecting distant scenery rendered in real time with Unreal Engine, controlled by the camera's movement. This can be shot directly by the camera, with a computer figuring out the compositing later with a higher quality render for the final cut.
The biggest impact it has is on reflections and ambient lighting on the subjects. Using conventional green screen tech, getting the lighting to match the setting is quite difficult, and getting reflections requires extensive post production work to the point of not being practical in most cases. With the screen set used for Mandalorian, any reflections on metal surfaces (such as shiny, polished armor) are natural and the lighting of the final composite shot will PERFECTLY match the principal photography.
- Some episodes can feel like filler
- It's not Star Wars:Rebels but bad guys can still sometimes feel pretty incompetent.
- While not overrused, baby Yoda can be grating to those who despise "cute".
|About:||The Franchise, The Setting, The Movies|
|Television Shows:||The Clone Wars, Rebels, Resistance, The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch, Disney + Originals|
|Star Wars Games|
|Miniature:||X-Wing, Armada, Legion|
|Roleplaying:||FFG, WotC (d20), WEG (d6)|