The Mandalorian – “Satisfying Star Wars Nostalgia”

Written by Jon Favreau, the highly anticipated series The Mandalorian has now crash landed in the UK. Continuing on from The Return of the Jedi, the stoic bounty hunter Mando accepts a hit put out on a beloved internet meme now known as Baby Yoda. This gurgling squishy wasabi doll is more than enough reason to watch the series, and you will find several bite marks in your knuckles at just how cute this sparkly eyed mini creature is.

Although adorable, this show has much more to offer. Full of cut-throat bounty hunters, gunslingers, Mexican standoffs and mainly featuring in desert settings, The Mandalorian feels more like a sci-fi western than any Star Wars films. This show is great for satisfying Star Wars nostalgia for those who think the new generation of movies just don’t cut it. Jawas are back and pesty as ever, storm troopers still can’t hit Jabba the Hut at point-blank range, the eyeball camera still answers the door and Tatooine’s arid landscape feels like arriving home in the summer holidays. It has a feel of the old generation of Star Wars movies combined with the stunning special effects and costume designs of the new ones.

Not limiting the huge production value to their special effects, there are some big names in this series: Pedro Pascal as Mando, Richard Ayoade as an IT droid, Bill Burr as Bill Burr with blasters, Giancarlo Esposito as Imperial Gus Fring (with some extremely similar moments to his character in Breaking Bad). Gina Carano, both an actor and appropriately a mixed martial artist, plays Cara Dune, an ex Republic shock trooper who partners up with Mando. It is refreshing to have a female character that is strong, likeable and possessing her own identity without serving as a love interest of the protagonist. As another breath of fresh air, the characters are not boringly overpowered or painfully inconsistent and the characters are subsequently relatable, unlike the new Star Wars movies and most action films in general.

However, what annoyed me most was that Mando is stupidly reckless. He is a man of few words, and even fewer brain cells. The reason why “the greatest warrior” is such an expert at getting out of risky situations is because he constantly seems to be putting himself in them, and always needs another character to step in and play the saviour. It becomes clear as the show progresses that it’s not beskar armour that keeps saving him, it’s plot armour. But despite this minor flaw, the series is visually beautiful, unpredictable enough to keep you engaged, and light-hearted enough to not leave you serious after watching it.

You don’t need to be an avid Star Wars fan to enjoy this series, (although if you are then you’ll love it, provided you aren’t too pedantic with some details). If you just want to watch an explosive series with wholesome moments and a cute squeaky gherkin, then The Mandalorian is the way.

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Jim Gell

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September 2021
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