The Mandalorian – Disney+ – Two seasons

“This is the way”

As someone who casually appreciates the Star Wars saga but far from being a superfan, I approached The Mandalorian with a mix of intrigue and dread because I really didn’t enjoy Disney’s Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX at the cinema.

However, within 10 minutes of the first episode all those worries were washed away and what unfolded over the following 16 instalments turned out to be magic. Set approximately 5 years following events in Return of the Jedi, the story explores the galaxy’s attempts to rebuild itself after decades of tyranny under the control of the Galactic Empire. The “New Republic” is struggling to bring peace to various star systems and planets are either plagued by separatists loyal to the previous regime or under the control of self interested warlords.

The Mandalorian is a lone bounty hunter who’s services are sought by both of the aforementioned groupings to carry out paid for hits, arrests and espionage activity across the universe. The mysterious character’s morally questionable means of making a living are turned on its head when he is sent on a ‘job’ to kidnap and return a high value target to Imperial forces who are attempting to rebuild their influence and potentially start a new war for control of the galaxy.

By now many who read this will be familiar with ‘Baby Yoda’ who steals the heart of viewers with his mischief and vulnerability while becoming the most important ‘being’ in the Mandalorian’s life! Some brilliant characters become integral to the plot with enough familiar fringe figures from the original Star Wars trilogy to cultivate a nostalgic glow for the audience.

Pedro Pascal plays the lead role brilliantly- something that must be hard to do when covered head to toe in armour- and Gina Carrano gives little girls everywhere a new heroine as former Rebel Shocktrooper Cara Dune. The cast is punctuated by a recurring role for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul stalwart Giancarlo Esposito as arch villain Moff Gideon.

Really hoping the other forthcoming Star Wars spin-offs are as great as this, would recommend it goes straight to the top of your watchlist.

Rating: 9/10

Viewed: December 2020

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