Disney+ is officially live and with it the first ever live-action Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian.
After an enormous amount of hype and anticipation, Disney+, Disney’s streaming service, is officially here. The flagship series for the service is, The Mandalorian, a live action Star Wars show that takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The series introduces us to a Mandalorian Bounty Hunter who is a tough as nails gunslinger. With Bounties not being offered for the usual Bounty guild rates, he takes on a Bounty from a mysterious individual that offers a hefty reward and little information on the individual the Mandalorian is searching for.
Going any further into the details of the episode would give away spoilers, so we’re going to go over the basics here. For one, this is exactly what the Star Wars franchise needs. It’s something that isn’t burdened by the larger scope of the franchise. There’s no Jedi, there’s no Empire or First Order. This is about the rest of the universe. This is a story the expands this “galaxy far far away” into reaches we may not truly know. There are nods to things we know. A small tip of the hat here or there to remind us of classic moments from the films. But nothing that directly implies anyone here has ever crossed paths with Luke Skywalker or Han Solo.
The story is a slow burn that works well in this setting. There’s a handful of major set pieces, with each one taking it’s time developing the titular Bounty Hunter and the world in which he lives. Otherwise, there’s not much, and it’s a completely wonderful thing. It’s focused and precise, and because of that you’re hanging onto every moment. You want to know more about this character, and everything that is going on. It quickly grabs hold of you and says, come with us, and let’s have some fun.
In terms of the finer elements of the show, this is on par with every single Star Wars film ever made. Especially the original trilogy. The way it’s shot, edited, designed, and scored, feels like Star Wars. It feels more like Star Wars than some of the other films that have been made in the past 20 years or so. I want this soundtrack, and I want to listen to it every day. I want prints of some of the shots in this episode. It is a beautifully crafted show, where every detail has clearly been inspected and perfected.
The Star Wars franchise has seen it’s ups and downs. There are some films that everyone loves and some films that everyone has issues with. The fandom has been problematic at times but has constantly been devoted. When this expansive franchise works well, it creates some of the best material possible for whatever medium it’s taking place in. The Mandalorian is without a doubt starting on a very high note, and if it continues to flow as the first episode does, this could be one of the greatest television series ever made.
The first episode of The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+.