Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Mandalorian - Chapter 1

The first episode of the Disney+ series introduces us to a nameless Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) first through a rather routine bounty and second through a new job off-the-books that raises several red flags for our protagonist but whose payout cannot be ignored. Series creator Jon Favreau, who also wrote the first episode aims for a tone reminiscent of the Mos Eisley Cantina found in the original Star Wars. The early bar fight to open the episode and the later attack on a heavily-armed compound both show off the character's skill-set, while the final scene of the episode offers a glimpse into the character's emotional state.

Director Dave Filoni does well making use of the more limited budget of a television show. While not quite cinematic, the world presented here (including the various planets and the Mandalorian's ship) feels real and lived-in. The action isn't too shabby either, while providing a familiar character to Star Wars fans with the bounty hunting droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) whose involvement on the bounty, with decidedly different orders, continues to raise questions about the job the Mandalorian was hired for. Nick Nolte provides some necessary exposition to a mostly quite episode, although we see little evidence to confirm his character's assertion that the Mandalorian needs to learn to ride a Blurrg in order to reach the compound.

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