So we’re now four episodes deep on our very first Star Wars TV shows which is all thanks to Disney+
What are my impressions of the show so far? Read below to find out and of course…….beware spoilers!
*****Spoilers Warning – Don’t read on if you haven’t watched yet*****
The show starts quite slow but definitely leaves a lasting impression. We’re introduced to the Mandalorian or Mando for short who is a faceless (thanks to never removing his helmet) hero who specializes in bounty hunting and looking cool (in that order). We’re not given much of a back story so far (bar a few flashbacks showing him as a child in peril). Mando is played by Pedro Pascal who is quite impressive in the title role. Relying only on his voice and movements, his gruff uniform tone suits the stoic gunslinger role but is also nuanced enough to express emotion and vulnerability when the part needs it. Not having a face to emote actually works surprisingly well and adds mystic to his character although I do also feel it can hinder performance in some scenes but these are few and far between.
The look and feel here are definitely steeped in Star Wars lore. The budget and art style on display are full-on and the large budget allows a truly cinematic feel to an episodic tv show. That said, even though it’s most definitely set in a galaxy far far away and we are spoiled with some planet hopping and big scenery changes, the story still feels small and intimate which is impressive. This is a one man journey as he completes his quests.
I couldn’t continue without mentioning Baby Yoda! This character has blown up all over the internet and for good reason. Baby Yoda is ridiculously cute and definitely in true LucasFilm fashion…..a child pleaser and scene stealer! Definitely a clever ploy to also sell a Trillion toys and merch for Disney this Christmas but also quite an interesting character within the story to boot. Not certain if Jon Favreau and his creative forces planned for such a hit but it seems they may be stuck with Baby Yoda stealing many scenes for seasons to come!
Story Arc Quicksand
All of the following can be said about the episodes that have been aired so far. Beautiful art direction, brilliant choreography and action-packed set pieces, wonderfully scored and expertly directed episodes all in equal measure. The main complaint I would have though is that the underlying story arcs within the episodes are ridiculously slow. We have only seen glimpses of Mando’s childhood and little in the way of what’s driving him. Also the mystery behind Baby Yoda’s origin, his powers or what plan the fallen Empire have with him are intriguing but also barely developed so far over these episodes. The speed of development on display here is frustratingly slow and my fear is perhaps Favreau won’t take chances or make bold steps in the future. I’m hoping I’m wrong.
For me, this show is at it’s greatest when it’s selling itself as a western. The lone gunman with no identity who comes to town and reluctantly helps the less fortunate. Questionable morals who shoots from the hip and can shoot faster and quicker than all the bad guys. Some scenes on display are very impressive and the show has definitely raised my interests. I do need to see more chances taken with characters and perhaps some quicker story development but so far I’m very happy with the show.
Roll on the next few episodes. Perhaps a cameo or two from a slightly de-aged Luke or Han might take this show to the next level!