The Mandalorian: Season One - A Few Thoughts
I watched season one of The Mandalorian as it was released a year ago. I had a lot of thoughts on the matter at the time, so going into this second season, I wanted to go back and rewatch the first season. This time, writing down all the highlights that I could remember from the first go around. You'll find that I was fond of this show. There were some entertaining pieces, but overall I found it to basically just be an episodic gunslinger-in-space derivative. There's nothing particularly unique or extraordinary about the show. It's half-decent entertainment, so long as you ignore continuity errors, dry dialog, and lots of tropes. There are spoilers throughout, but I don't care.
The first in a series of posts on 'My Thoughts on The Mandalorian' and other Star Wars series. A new thread after each season!
Episode 1: The Gunslinger... er... Mandalorian
- Stop me if you've heard this one before, a gunslinger walks into a bar. The bully patrons pick a fight with him so that we, the audience, can see he's a badass brawler.
- Star Wars, dropping cameo's because they can, foreshadowing because that's what they do.
- A wonderful signature tune whenever Mando does something exciting.
- So... all a random passenger has to do is push some buttons, and they gain access to the armory?
- It must suck to be frozen with a full bladder - Austin Powers level evacuation once coming out of cryo.
- What poor actor got stuck in that tin can, waddling down the hallway.
- "Bounty hunting is a complicated profession." I appreciate that line.
- Star Wars, still spending an obscene amount on puppets.
- Future and History montage, I hope that's all we ever learn of his past.
- "I have spoken" really is a great character trait; simple and assertive is refreshing.
- Riding a transport beast training montage - never seen this before.
- Travel by song; that'll get us there faster.
- And we'll wrap up the first episode with a bit of double-crossing. Did you see that coming? I saw it coming.
Episode 2: The Child (because we don't know what else to call this)
- The dulcet tones of the Mandalorian. This might be the best part of the whole series.
- The reflection of the crevice jumpers off his helmet - very well done!
- Once again, we have to understand that the Mandalorian can kick some ass.
- Ok, I don't fully understand this: can anyone create a tracking beacon on anyone else in the galaxy? Because that's some next-level creepy.
- Any parent will understand the desire to be able to just push a button and lock their kid in a floating egg for a few hours.
- Morale of the story: a whole bunch of little guys can take out one big guy. It's a tale as old as time. Also, never leave your ship unprotected.
- Gunslinger learns that not all problems can be solved by shooting everyone; sometimes you have to make a bargain to go shoot something else.
- I never understood the need for these massive exertions of force power; a simple shove of the front legs would have caused the beast to tumble. Why bother lifting the whole thing off the ground?
- I call bullshit that the two of them could put together a space-capable vessel in a few days. If they had said a few weeks or months... maybe. But days?
Episode 3: The Sin of Being Stale
- The number of times I've said "that's not a toy" then put a kid back into their chair...
- That eyeball is getting ripped off the wall before this episode is done, isn't it.
- No, you take it easy.
- The audience already knows that the Mandalorian is going back for the kid, right? Is there really any suspense about whether or not that is going to happen?
- You're all in hiding for now, but I bet we'll see all of you in a fight before the episode is over.
- "Use them sparingly" means "audience, you'll get to see them in action soon"
- Oh, another forge-armor-backstory-flashbacks montage. Cool, cool.
- The old "check the perimeter" trick.
- Why beat up the guy before shooting him in the head anyway, when you already have the drop on him?
- So many surprises, right? He ripped the eyeball off the wall, he saved the kid, he used the whistling sparrows, everyone has a tracker on the kid, and the Mandalorian's come out in force. Who could have seen this coming?!?
Episode 4: Sanctuary from the plotline
- Episode opens on a peaceful village with children happily playing... oh, oh! I've seen this before. There's a band of raiders that loot and pillage (it's Disney, so no raping), then the heroic gunslinger, on the run from his own guild, crashes outside of the village. They've sent all of the meager savings they have to find someone, anyone desperate enough to help them defeat the raiders. The gunslinger reluctantly accepts, sees what horrible people these raiders are, then leads the villagers into setting up a fortification and at the end of the episode, they defeat the raiders. The gunslinger has thoughts of staying in this remote village, but he knows he must go on (and so must the plot of the show). Something like that, right? Let's see how this plays out.
- "Nobody's going to find us here," doesn't that seem stupendously shortsighted? Also, aren't there dozens of fobs out on this kid... what happened to those trackers?
- Nothing like being completely inconspicuous in really shiny armor.
- Oh, I completely forgot about the "gunslinger develops feelings for a local woman" sub plot.
- The subtle use of the bass recorder has been a wonderful touch to the show.
- "Pointy end of the stick" joke - ha.
- The concept art during the credits was the most original part of this episode.
Episode 5: Admitting that he's just a generic gunslinger
- Space pewpew!
- Mos Eisley, because we need to give the movie fanboies a familiar place.
- Oooooh - this is the "it's my first job, I need this to get into the gang" episode.
- The junior wannabe-gunslinger is left with the veteran, captured assassin. This'll go well for the novice kid.
- "I can help you", "take it from me", "survive"... original writing at it's best.
- Look at that! Finally a logical action by someone.
Episode 6: Am I the Prisoner?
- Mark Boone Jr is always a win (to steal a line from a great YouTube channel)
- Gunslinger meets up with some old pals for one last job, definitely won't be a double-cross towards the end of the episode. Definitely not.
- The overlord, the muscle, the sassy rogue, emotionless droid, the leader, and the gunslinger. This definitely isn't a troupe.
- Maybe Mando should put a keypad on that locker.
- "I don't like this" - see, it's totally different than "I've got a bad feeling about this"
- Did we mention he's a badass? Maybe we forgot to show that in the previous episodes.
- Double-cross!?! Who saw this coming?!?
- Why did all of the other doors close quickly, but the one to separate the team closed very slowly?
- Slam the door shut on him trick! He's too strong for that twist!! SECOND DOOR DOUBLE-TWIST!!!
- Thrown knives vs armor - armor wins.
- A second double-cross! Who could have seen that coming?
- And a homing beacon plant double-double-cross!
- They aren't actually dead, just locked up surprise twist!
Episode 7: I Guess There's a Reckoning for binge watching this
- Oh, sweet, this is the "I'm starting a band" mission!
- "in the wake of your destruction" seems an understatement
- The descriptive montage seemed a bit unnecessary, but I'm sure the "it will protect" line will become useful soon.
- "Just a reminder, there are large predatory birds that come out at night; they'll probably try to take one of the beasts of burden." That might have been something useful to know.
- Giancarlo Esposito is always a win.
- Watch out! They're dressed in black!
- Good pilots land outside of town and walk in. Badass pilots land in the middle of the square.
- A sad song for Kuiil, the first member of the band to take a blaster to the unarmored back.
Episode 8: Redemption of all of these plotlines.
- Going into this, we have the reprogrammed droid that'll clearly save the day, there needs to be one epic use of The Force before this is all over, and we need to get a lead-in to what Season 2 is going to entail.
- New beats for the imperial troops, this is fantastic.
- THIS IS THE BEST SCENE IN THE WHOLE SERIES SO FAR! The humor about the blasters, the banter between the troopers, and the fact that they punched the unknown.
- Oh shit - he knows your names! Also, could no one have taken a clean shot at him? He's standing in the open with no helmet on.
- Do all those poor white helmets have to stand there this whole time, waiting for the sun to come down?
- The change in tune when the saviour Mandalorian comes in is masterfully done; and then switching to Din Djarin's theme... total win.
- How is it that prior to this moment, droids were missing shots left and right. But when IG-11 suddenly has to rescue everyone, it is a perfect shot every time.
- What is the point of the white armor if it provides no protection against a simple blaster shot?
- During that entire retreat into the bar and not a single one of the troopers lands a shot?
- Psycho Incinerator Trooper!
- I am disappointed that the director decided to show the audience the face of Din; it could have been left for a better reveal down the line.
- Also, the "no living thing... I am not living" line had vibes of "I cannot taste neither the fermentation of grape nor of wheat... it's made from honey!"
- Maybe I missed out last Christmas, but I'm surprised that the mudhorn signet didn't become a thing. It could have looked good on t-shirts, Christmas ornaments, patches, etc. But I do remember that The Child was not in every store imaginable, and that was a massive miss on Disney's part.
- So Moff Gideon can land his ship on a dime but can't hit a nearly stationary boat?
- Mando needs to work on that hero's landing.
- Was there any doubt that Moff Gideon survived?
- Is that a light saber or just a shiny laser sword? I don't even know what's canon anymore.