The Mandalorian is here, the first real-life Star Wars image series to accompany the premiere of Disney +, Disney's new video-on-demand platform. Set 5 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, it features a Mandalorian bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal in one of his Soldier of Fortune missions. Is the series at the level of quality that we demand and from the films themselves? Is it the galactic western that we were promised and needed? All the answers are a resounding yes; The Mandalorian is here to stay (as Disney's confidence demonstrated by renewing for a second season).
This review does not contain spoilers.
The Mandalorian treasures exquisite image quality, and we are sure that we have simply been presented with a chapter that has a lot of presentation and tribute and new scenarios of the most impressive are yet to come. This 1x01, directed by Dave Filoni begins on ice and ends on arid terrain and canyons, so the visual appeal of those real places recreated as the most exotic planets in a galaxy far, far away will be one of the constants if we stick with it. in the style of the first episode.
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The enigmatic character of Pedro Pascal's character helps a lot to get into a situation. The iconic helmet is not removed. They don't raise the pitch anymore. He is a flat character by definition (Pascal's performance, in this sense, could have been that of any other since they even slightly modulate his voice), but he manages to impose from minute 1. Perhaps it is because the shadow of the Fett - whose aesthetic resemblance has caused quite a bit of confusion - it is quite elongated which is why we take the character so seriously from the beginning, although she has "a series of specific skills, skills that I have acquired in my professional life, skills that can be a nightmare for people like you "(read in the voice of Liam Neeson in Revenge) who are looking forward to seeing more in action.
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If this continues, The Mandalorian will achieve just what Han Solo: A Star Wars Story did not do, present an adventure story with a credible character, and that, as we say, the Mandalorian's own peculiarities could play against him. It is a story of grays, of clandestine factions that operate in the shadows and therefore moves away from the classic tale of good and evil, from the sides of the Force that we have as a norm in the three film trilogies. Here — for the time being — there are no Force, midi-chlorians, or Jedis to distract the viewer. Everything focuses on the different tasks to the bounty hunter and their morale to undertake these missions or not.
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Despite this, do not think that Jon Favreau's series as showrunner is completely different from the original trilogy in this case. As we said, it tells what until now all the additional products in a real image have not done: the period between Episode VI and The Force Awakens, the ashes of the Empire. We have already seen that the Galactic Empire relied on elite bounty hunters for their trickiest missions, but why would they now accept their missions when even their credits are worthless as an economic unit? What role did they play in the founding of the inheriting First Order? At the moment, perhaps they are fundamental questions that the series does not want to reach. It seems to be quite simple in that regard and not wanting to go overboard. A mission that does not go as expected and its consequences, with a background environmental narrative.
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The most clever and insightful will see references and winks here and there. The aesthetic is very similar to the original trilogy in many ways. As we said, they are just 5 years apart in the official timeline after Return of the Jedi, so, normally, the style is maintained. Of course, as happened in said trilogy when George Lucas reached out and began to put CGI everywhere with the relaunch on DVD, sometimes it is quite noticeable when we are seeing a digital element on a green screen and it takes a bit of a situation out of us. Balance here seems to be the key, but there are certain ship flights and overly artificial alien creatures.
The ending is the best of the episode. We are not going to go into details because we have promised you that there will be no spoilers, but it is undoubtedly what most strikes our attention and takes the series seriously in the face of the official canon, with possible elements of the former Expanded Universe (now Legends) that could come into play (or so we want). Of course, it leaves us with a crazy desire to continue knowing what Pedro Pascal has in store for us and his mission, his balance between morality and trade ... and continue to unravel the darkest secrets of one of the most enigmatic races in the entire galaxy.
The action scenes, while brief, are quite spectacular.
The variety and beauty of its settings. Mandalorian imposes since it first appears on screen in the purest western style.
Interest in the period of the ashes of the Empire.
Due to its own aesthetic limitations, Pascal's performance goes unnoticed.
Sometimes the use of CGI is quite remarkable, creating a very artificial image.
The Mandalorian starts in style. In the first episode that could be tedious in any other series (having to introduce ourselves protagonist and setting), here the pace is quite high, helping those approximate 35 minutes of the episode to be spent in a pee-pas. They were right when they told us it would contain a major spoiler important to what we thought we knew about the galactic saga, so we're looking forward to Friday so we can see how the story unfolds in Chapter 2.