Because it’s Star Wars and if that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is. The Mandalorian is one of the first TV series set in the Star Wars universe that has received more positive reviews than negative. Some have even termed it the best thing after the original Star Wars trilogy because it has been tied so well with the franchise. So, here are 5 reasons why you should watch The Mandalorian – if you haven’t already.
The space western genre
When George Lucas created Star Wars, his central idea was to create a spaghetti western, in space; it was long before Clint Eastwood took his western heroes in space through Space Cowboys (2000). The last time someone made a film that had elements of both ‘western’ and ‘space’ was Jon Favreau with Cowboys and Aliens (2011). He united James Bond and Han Solo (Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, respectively) only to see the movie flop at the box office. He waited for the right time and took George Lucas’ legacy forward with The Mandalorian. The lead character reminds you of Clint Eastwood, who speaks less and acts more and the desert settings seem straight out of Sergio Leone’s classic westerns.
The pace and characters
When was the last time you sympathized with a character or a number of characters in a web series? Certainly with Game of Thrones but that too took time.
Jon Favreau, in The Mandalorian, creates new characters, gives them new catchphrases and ties them with Star Wars to make it both fresh and relatable. The lead character (Pedro Pascal) is interesting because he turns rebellious when he thinks whatever is happening, shouldn’t be happening. He is both bad and good at the same time, and not removing his helmet is what adds intrigue to his personality.
You also don’t need to know a lot about Star Wars history to enjoy the series and that’s why it isn’t difficult to understand.
The characters, meanwhile, may not have been a part of the Star Wars movies but look as if they were part of the franchise. Be it the former Imperial officer aka the Client (Werner Herzog), the leader of the Bounty Hunters Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), The Armorer (Emily Swallow), the bad android turned good IG-11 (Taika Waititi), or Kuiil (Nick Nolte); each character has a signature catchphrase and mannerisms that reflect in the way they approach things.
The old and the new…
When Star Wars was released in 1977, it took fans by surprise because they weren’t expecting it to succeed the way it did. 42 years later, the same thing has happened with The Mandalorian, which is set before the events that led to The Force Awakens but after the events of Return of the Jedi. Not many expected it to end the year as the flagship show of Disney+ and attract the kind of viewers it has with simple and practical CGI, like the original trilogy. The creators went back to the same techniques that George Lucas used back in the day, upgrading them with animatronics, puppets and least possible special effects. Even the scene transitions (wipe transitions) were inspired by the original trilogy, giving the new generation a taste of the past, as well as the future.
The first thing you notice about The Mandalorian is not its characters or the action sequences or the one-liners but the theme song that enhances everything mentioned before. It may not have been composed by legendary composer John Williams but it bears his signature. Scored by Swedish composer Ludwig Goransson, the music is more western than Star Wars, and that’s what makes it all the more interesting. There is a single solo flute that soothes you down, with the bass recorder doing the rest. Add the cinematic orchestra and you get something that is a cross between Ennio Morricone and John Williams. After all, the two legends had composed scores of films like A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Once Upon A Time in The West, The Untouchables (Morricone), Jaws, Superman, Indiana Jones, ET, Home Alone, Jurassic Park besides Star Wars (Williams) to name a few.
Just like Kuiil puts it in simple but effective words, ‘I have spoken’ here there is nothing cuter than Baby Yoda in the whole galaxy. The child might be 50-year-old alien but the way he looks at The Mandalorian makes you want to age slowly yourself. Yes, he has the power to use the Force, but that’s not the reason everyone who has watched the series has fallen in love with him.
He is kind to strangers, protects his guardian when he thinks the former is in danger or is the bone of contention between good and evil. Whoever end up with him is lucky to have him on their side. Maybe ‘this is the way!’
– Omair Alavi is a freelance broadcast journalist who can be contacted at [email protected]