“The Mandalorian” is the best thing to happen to the “Star Wars” series since Disney obtained the license. It’s a refreshing take on the classic sci-fi universe and may serve to ease the disappointment for those of us who disliked the latest trilogy.
“The Mandalorian” is an exclusive series on Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus and the first season of the show started on the subscription service’s launch last year. The show fared well with both critics and fans.
It was the first live-action “Star Wars” series and in order to ensure a good start, Disney placed capable and experienced directors behind the wheel. The show was created by Jon Favreau, who is most known for his efforts in directing “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2” and appearing as the character Happy Hogan.
The show has several directors, including Taika Waititi, known for his work in “Thor: Ragnarok,” and David Filoni who was responsible for the animated “”Star Wars”: The Clone Wars” film and series.
The series focuses on the adventures of the bounty hunter Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal, who is a member of an ancient clan of Mandalorians. The Mandalorians are nomadic clan-like warriors that are bound to a creed and wear armor forged out of beskar, an alloy that can resist blaster-fire and even lightsabers. Djarin’s particular group holds fanatically to the creed and even refuse to take off their helmets in front of another living being.
The main story begins when the protagonist takes a profitable job from a group of ex-imperials to obtain a highly sought-after target, but finds himself reassessing his position when the target is revealed to be a child of an unknown alien species.
The series has an overarching story of mystery and suspense but tells it a serialized manner. Most episodes are self-contained stories and arcs that are solved in each episode while helping build up the main plot.
The practical effects mixed with computer generation works wonderfully for “the child” character. He serves as not only the pivotal focus of the show, but also as a source of endearment which helps to lighten the dark and gritty atmosphere of the show.
Pedro Pascal’s portrayal as Djin is fantastic and he is able to convey emotion despite the fact that the character is constantly wearing a helmet – a feat that is accomplished thanks to the help of the great cinematography within the film.
The camera often focuses on the Mandalorian and then reverses to an object or person of interest. This allows for the audience to infer emotion or conflict within the character due to subtleties in framing and the actors emoting. There are playful transition shots that involve objects and characters. The show also features the famous “Star Wars” screen wipe transitions.
The show has an original soundtrack by Ludwig Göransson who is known for his work on “Black Panther,” “Venom” and, most recently, “Tenet.” The soundtrack does an excellent job of setting itself apart from the rest of the “Star Wars” franchise, which grants the show a more unique feel. The main theme of the show features a prominent jingle that is reminiscent of something you might find in a western but transitions to a more bold, orchestral and otherworldly sound that is fitting for the sci-fi epic.
This November the series returned for its second season and is currently airing. So far, the plot of the new season is much more focused on the main plot with minor side stories on the way. There are some tweaks and additions to the “Star Wars” lore, like the return of the Krayt Dragon and an answer on the connections between the Fett’s and the Mandalorians.
There is more fan-service this time as various characters from other “Star Wars” series are making appearances. A fan-favorite character from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” has made their first live-action debut and there is also a return of a character from the original trilogy. There has even been a reference to an infamous series villain.
The series appears to be a huge success for Disney as it draws people to their service and hopefully, they will take just as much care with the Obi-Wan and Cassian Andor spin-offs. The season finale of “The Mandalorian” is set to air on Dec. 18, so there is still some time to catch up.
Noah Wortham is the Lifestyles editor for the Alabamian. He is a fourth year English Major with a passion for music, video games and film.