Showrunner: Jon Favreau
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, Gina Carano, Bill Burr, Richard Ayoade, Giancarlo Esposito and Taika Waititi
WARNING: There are SPOILERS for The Mandalorian Season 1 in this review.
The Mandalorian Season 1 was easily one of the most eagerly anticipated TV shows of 2019. Star Wars just could not wait to see what the very first live-action TV show set in a galaxy far, far away had to offer, and neither could it.
It’s a show which held so much promise, especially given the fact that its showrunner was Jon Favreau and it had the likes of him, Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa and Christopher Yost all helping to write the first season’s story.
Then there were the directors involved with this project. If you take a look a who directed the episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1, you’ll see some really interesting names.
Dave Filoni got to direct two of the episodes, as did Dope director, Rick Famuyiwa and Canadian filmmaker Deborah Chow, who looks set to become one of Hollywood’s most interesting young directors.
Then you have the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard getting to helm one episode in the middle of The Mandalorian Season 1, and it’s obvious that she’s learnt a thing or two about directing from her dad, Ron Howard.
The Mandalorian Season 1 boasts some really good directors
Finally, the show’s incredible finale was directed by Taika Waititi, who’s the cool cat director working in Hollywood today and currently is flavour of the month as far as in-demand directors are concerned.
So, put all of this together and you should be getting one of the best TV shows ever made, yet The Mandalorian does fall somewhat short of that.
In reality, it falls a long way short of being one of the best shows ever made. However, what I can say about it is that it is a lot of fun.
The show is fun to watch, but one of its biggest problems is that there’s a lot of flab in the middle that really doesn’t need to be there.
You could literally remove a few of the episodes and the show would still make sense. You could also watch the series in almost any order, as long as you watch the pilot and the two final episodes in the correct order.
This is a huge problem since Disney opted to release the episodes weekly. First off, the episodes are too short for that.
There’s really nothing to latch onto in 30 minutes and you find yourself kind of wondering why you’re watching the show in the first place once an episode ends.
Pedro Pascal is great as The Mandalorian
The show’s premise is really interesting, however, as is its central two characters. Baby Yoda basically destroyed the Internet with its cuteness and Pedro Pascal is excellent as The Mandalorian.
He’s able to display genuine emotion despite spending most of the series under a helmet. It’s really quite impressive.
You have a decent supporting cast with the likes of Carl Weathers, Nick Nolte and Werner Herzog all putting in fine performances.
However, I’m not so sure about Gina Carano as Carasynthia “Cara” Dune. She almost comes off as a character who should be in a The CW superhero show, and I’m not keen on that.
That said, she does come into her own in the final two episodes.
There’s a bit of that with Bill Burr too, who only appears in one episode as Mayfeld, as he feels like he’s from a completely different show.
I do love the episode he’s in though, Chapter 6: The Prisoner, which seems to be inspired by sci-fi horror movies and was written by Christopher Yost and Rick Famuyiwa (who also directed the show).
After having watched the whole of The Mandalorian Season 1, I do think that its final two episodes save the show.
Moreover, the introduction of Giancarlo Esposito’s character, Moff Gideon gives the new Star Wars TV show some real meat to chew on.
The Mandalorian Season 1 is a little light on plot
Esposito is doing some real scenery-chewing stuff here, but the show needed a character like that to really latch onto, otherwise it’s a bit void of really interesting side characters.
There’s also the fact that the show’s ‘villain’ doesn’t come into it until the very end which irked me somewhat because it meant that there was no real sense of doom.
Each episode felt like its own little adventure and there wasn’t really any sense of an overarching storyline apart from ‘save the child’, and by ‘child’ I mean Baby Yoda.
There’s not much in the way of plot here, and it very much feels like stuff kind of just happens to The Mandalorian.
He hops from one planet to the next with Baby Yoda and it’s not until the end that we really get to see him be anything more than just lucky during battles.
The Mandalorian Season 2 should be good
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But, as I said earlier, I did have fun with The Mandalorian Season 1 and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s to come.
The show ends on a real high note and makes you want to see more, which is to be expected. They knew what they were doing when they came up with this show.
However, I do wonder whether it would have benefited from being released all at once because watching one episode each week didn’t really do it for me.
If you watch the show as a whole, with no week breaks, I think it would have a far better experience.
What did you think of The Mandalorian Season 1? Let us know in the comments below.
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