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The Mandalorian - Chapter 1 Review

The first episode of the live-action Star Wars series is here.

Nov 18, 2019
The Mandalorian - Chapter 1 Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Nov 18, 2019
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

The first episode of the live-action Star Wars series is here, check out Kidzworlds review of the first episode of The Mandalorian, Chapter 1.

Last week along with Disney+, "The Mandalorian" kicked off as the very first live-action Star Wars series. Not only that, but it did so with style. The first episode established our lead antihero, his task, and many of the faces he'll interact with along the way. The series is already a visual treat, and there are just enough nuggets of fanservice to keep things feeling authentically Star Wars, but also making this new chapter feel wholly unique. If you wanted this kind of Star Wars story before, you had to seek it out through the Expanded Universe novels and comics. There will be heavy spoilers ahead so turn back now if you have not seen the episode yet! 

"The Mandalorian" | Official Trailer 

 

The Bounty

We meet our helmeted protagonist in the middle of a hunt, his target being an aloof alien named Mythrol. We find ourselves in a cantina, not too unlike the one from A New Hope. The first part of A New Hope was a big inspiration for Jon Favreau, the writer of the series who also is responsible for setting up the MCU with Iron Man, and directed the recent The Lion King remake. It immediately feels right, with the grimy and lived-in feel of early Star Wars shining through. The newest films under Disney did their best to replicate the look of the original trilogy, but the lower-budget nature of a TV series makes it stand out even more. From the Mandalorian's ship being a physical model instead of CGI and costumed aliens filling the scene, every location we find ourselves in has the level of believability to it that made the original trilogy so special to look at. He finds his target being bullied by some thugs in the cantina that eventually make their way over to Mando. Things escalate quickly after one of them scratches his armor plating. You don't mess with a Mandalorian's armor.

The Mandalorian knows how to make an entrance wherever he goes.The Mandalorian knows how to make an entrance wherever he goes.

Escape

It doesn't go well for our band of scum and villainy, and the Mandalorian takes his target in with just the right amount of intimidating wit. He doesn't resist, and they are on their way. Escaping proved to be a little difficult though as a giant creature wanted dinner. But that wasn't about to stop the Bounty Hunter from getting his man. Flash forward to the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian's ship and we get to see not only where the Hunter calls his home away from home but also perhaps the first example of a bathroom in Star Wars. The alien tries to weasel out of captivity before joining a group of other bounties in Carbonite freeze. There is a bit of a mix of tones in the first part of the episode, dancing between a serious drama that then introduces some slapsticky feel with Mythrol, but the episode finds its stride soon after. It wouldn't be Star Wars without a bit of levity, but the darker tone in the beginning could have used some more time to breathe. 

"Bounty hunting is a complicated profession." "Bounty hunting is a complicated profession."

The Bounty Hunter's Guild

We then get introduced to Carl Weathers' character Greef Karga who seems to lead the Bounty Hunter's Guild. Mando turns in his captures and immediately wants more. None of the bounties he was offered were interesting to Mando, and not only that Imperial Credits that have been the primary source of money in the galaxy for over 20 years were no longer valuable, so the bounty hunter would have to be paid a different way. Karga offers him an ultra dangerous bounty, with little information about it other than The Client. This is the scene where we get to see on the inside of how bounty hunters operate, especially after The Return of The Jedi where the Empire has been dealt a crippling blow in losing The Emperor. 

Immediately the show feels authentically Star Wars. Immediately the show feels authentically Star Wars.

The Client and the Job

The Mandalorian makes his way to this mysterious Client and is met inside by some Imperial Stormtroopers. They have a bit of a Western standoff before they back down, smart move. The Mandalorian's renegade spirit really shines through here, with how effortlessly he outmatches the Stormtroopers all with the bit of wittiness that nearly every great Western hero has. You can tell from the beginning that he can hold his own, but showing how the Mandalorian can beat trained soldiers rather than just ruffians shows he means business. Enough for the Empire to want to continue working with him. Werner Herzog plays The Client, and he offers the Mandalorian a few details about the bounty. Their general location, and their age. That’s it. In exchange for the bounty, The Client offers the Mandalorian a large amount of Beskar, the metal used by Mandalorians in the creation of their special armor. Very interested in the deal, he accepts despite not having a lot of information. The Client gives him a bit of the metal in advance as a down payment, and the Mandalorian knows just where to take it.

The Client is a member of the Imperial Remnant.The Client is a member of the Imperial Remnant.

The Forge

The Mandalorian heads to The Armorer, who with the little bit of Beskar forges a new shoulder plate for him. This is the first tease of The Mandalorian eventually getting a full suit of chrome Beskar armor similar to Jango Fett. This scene was awesome to see as a fan of the Expanded Universe. Seeing multiple Mandalorians in the same room, armor and all and seeing how they forge their armor was a treat. We get a brief tease at his past as well, showing The Mandalorian getting rescued from his home as it was being destroyed and his real parents taken from him. Mandalorians are not all from the planet Mandalore, some are brought into the clan and they all share a common ideal even if they are not the same species. It is more a code, or religion, than a people at this point. 

The Forge is also home to several other Mandalorians, all wearing the signature armor. The Forge is also home to several other Mandalorians, all wearing the signature armor.

The Hunt

With his new, shiny piece of armor in tow, the Mandalorian takes off towards the bounty. He touches down on the planet and almost immediately gets attacked by a large, bullfrog-like creature. An Ugnaught named Kuiil played by Nick Nolte saves him, and teaches the Mandalorian how to ride the creature. Getting the typical, cowboy learns how to ride the ornery steed scene was nice, and further shows how this show wants to be a space-western first. The hunter stays with Kuiil overnight where he is told how many have tried to capture the target before him. The only time we had seen an Ugnaught before was in The Empire Strikes Back on Bespin, and they were far from helpful. He agrees to help the Mandalorian since Mando will no doubt get rid of the group of ruffians that have set up their shop on the planet. The next day, the Mandalorian makes his way out. He surveys the area and sees an outpost not far from where he is. Making his way down to the outpost, he meets IG-11 played by Thor: Ragnorok Director Taika Waititi. IG-11 is also a bounty hunter in the Guild and was sent after the same target. They agree to join forces and split the rewards 50/50.

IG-11 was a standout of the episode.IG-11 was a standout of the episode.

The Firefight

In one of the most thrilling gun-battles in all of Star Wars, the pair of bounty hunters blast their way in and engage the Weequay guards with their blasters. It seems like they were outnumbered several times, going as far as IG-11 comically threatening to self-destruct to prevent being captured. Somehow, the two take down the gang (partially thanks to a rotating blaster turret that the Mandalorian stole) and make their way inside. They look for the bounty, but find nothing until…

The firefight at the outpost is one of the most intense in all of Star Wars.The firefight at the outpost is one of the most intense in all of Star Wars.

The Child

It turns out, the 50-year-old bounty they were both after was an adorable baby of Jedi Master Yoda’s species. The Mandalorian did not expect this, and IG-11 was ordered to take the bounty in dead. Not accepting that, Mando blasts IG-11 to bits and takes the child for himself. He might be a hardened mercenary, but he won’t accept taking a child’s life. Right at the end, the expectations for the series changes. He isn't just going to travel the galaxy blasting bad guys and taking names, but the bounty he is after is one of much greater significance for the rest of the galaxy. The only other two members of the species we have seen are Jedi, so it is safe to say they're naturally gifted with the Force. There isn't even a name for this species, as George Lucas wanted to keep the wonder of Master Yoda intact. Time will tell just how big of a role the baby will play in the series, but it was an unexpected and welcome surprise to be sure.  

The Child's appearance is more than unexpected, and shakes up expectations for the story immediately.The Child's appearance is more than unexpected, and shakes up expectations for the story immediately.

Final Thoughts

As someone who has yearned for this kind of Star Wars story to be told on screen, "The Mandalorian" is off to a great start. The mix of classic Western tropes, planet-hopping antics and action was always a match made in heaven for this universe. With an unexpected ending, a compelling lead character, and visuals on a level that TV has never seen before, "The Mandalorian" looks to be shooting for the stars and I cannot wait to see where it goes. 

"The Mandalorian": Chapter 1 Rating: 4

Share Your Thoughts

What did you think of the first episode? Are you interested to see where the series goes? Let us know below!

By: Noah Friscopp