Lots of people are talking about The Mandalorian, but should you watch it?
Disney+’s The Mandalorian is the first live-action Star Wars television series. And if you haven’t been sleeping under a rock for the last year, you’ll know it’s gotten a lot of buzz ever since the series premiered with Disney+’s launch last November. So, you may be asking yourself, is it really worth watching?
By now, the reveal about Baby Yoda is out of the bag. You see the little guy everywhere, and it may feel like the series’ biggest surprise has already been ruined. But should that one little reveal really keep you from watching the series? Absolutely not! And we’ll explain more in a bit.
Another barrier to entry (and one of the biggest ones for this series) may be that you’re not a Star Wars fan. If you generally don’t like the movies and think it’d be a waste of time to watch a TV show set in the Star Wars universe, you might want to think again.
The brilliant thing about what showrunner Jon Favreau has done with The Mandalorian season 1 is that he makes the show very accessible for any level of fan. You could have watched every Skywalker saga movie and hated it or dropped out after seeing just one movie, but The Mandalorian isn’t the Skywalker saga. Yes, what you will get are tons of references to the old movies. It’s built in the Star Wars universe, after all, so that’s just an added bonus for many Star Wars fans. But in reality, there’s no Luke Skywalker, no blowing up Death Stars, and no re-hashed storylines such as the ones the sequels overutilized.
The Mandalorian is a completely new story to tell outside of the Skywalkers, and it’s a fantastic one at that. Pedro Pascal plays the titular character, the Mandalorian, who is a bounty hunter. So it’s basically a Western set in Star Wars. And in the premiere episode, he goes out to find one of the biggest bounties of them all, and that sets off the chain of events to follow in the other seven episodes. Yes, it’s a miracle that the first season is only eight episodes for those of us who like to keep things short and simple. And all episodes are well under an hour.
What’s refreshing about this is, though there is an overarching plot, the episodes really do feel like standalones. Each adventure takes the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda to another location as they set out to accomplish their main goal. And along the way, you get some pretty interesting characters as well. In the premiere episode, Nick Nolte shines as the alien Kuiil. Carl Weathers does an immaculate job as the Bounty Hunters Guild agent Greef Karga. And Giancarlo Esposito is absolutely terrifying (per usual) as this series’ “Big Bad.”
At times the show is serious and filled with gasp-and-cheer-worthy action. And other times it’s filled with heart and laughter, typically with moments between Mando and Baby Yoda. If you’re really on the fence, try watching episode 1. It’s just under 40 minutes. And in that time, you’ll get a feel for the series as a whole; it really sets the tone for season 1. You’ll also notice just how much this series looks as pristine as a full feature film. Disney spared no expenses with this project, and it showed.
Still, if episode 1 doesn’t catch your attention, then maybe the series isn’t worth sticking through after all. But with a Tomato Meter score of an astounding 93 percent fresh, you really can’t go wrong with The Mandalorian. Just compare that with the other 2019 Star Wars feature’s score, The Rise of Skywalker, which is at a 51 percent rotten, and you’ll see just where Lucasfilm’s strong suit lies right now. If you do end up watching, season 2 is out beginning Oct. 30 (episodes release weekly), so you’ll have plenty to watch!
Are you going to give The Mandalorian a chance? Let us know why or why not in the comments!