The Mandalorian Season 1 Review

The Mandalorian title sequence black background

Season 1 of The Mandalorian follows The Mandalorian, a lone bounty hunter hired to retrieve “The Child”. The series is a part of the Star Wars franchise and is set a few years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The Mandalorian is a Disney original and is exclusively available to stream on Disney+.

The show that has seemingly taken over the world since its release on Disney+ back in 2019, The Mandalorian is undoubtedly one of the most popular television series of recent years and I can understand why! It’s a travesty it has taken me this long to get around to finally watching it, considering how big of a Star Wars fan I am. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the show and binge it in its entirety in a few sittings!

The story follows bounty hunter, named The Mandalorian, as he voyages across the galaxy, protecting The Child (or the aptly nicknamed baby Yoda). Across its 8 episodes, the show visits a number of new locations within the Star Wars universe as well as a few classic locations, including Mos Eisley on Tatooine. Each episode varies in its contents, but each episode offers a great mix of action, story and delves further into the ever-expanding universe of Star Wars.

The series has an amazing Star Wars feel to it and a huge amount of credit must go to Jon Favreau for executing such a brilliant show. I feel as though season 1 of The Mandalorian learns from the mistakes of the recent sequel trilogy of the Star Wars films and reverts back to an uncomplicated, classic Star Wars feel from the original trilogy. Set just five years after Return of the Jedi, the series really does feel as though a logical and relevant continuation of a Star Wars era adored by fans. 

Pedro Pascal stars as the title character, The Mandalorian and is fantastic as the lead. The Mandalorian is sworn to not remove his helmet out of reverence to The Mandalorian code and despite not seeing his face for practically the whole course of the series, Pedro Pascal still provides enough character and personality to make the character a fan favourite. His paternal relationship with The Child is great to see blossom over the course of the series too and this task of caring for The Child contrasts that of his deadly bounty hunting day job, making for an amusing spectacle.

As well as the fantastic new characters of The Mandalorian and The Child, the series also introduces a host of new characters to the Star Wars universe. The most notable characters include Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), IG-11 (Taika Waititi) and Kuiil (Nick Nolte). All of these characters have recurring roles in season 1 of The Mandalorian and each character offers something to the series which we haven’t seen before in the Star Wars universe. We don’t see too much of Giancarlo Esposito as Galactic Empire leader Moff Gideon, but the series leaves plenty of mystery and motive for him to come back as a huge protagonist in the second season.

The pace of each episode does vary, with the final few episodes really reaching an explosive and dramatic climax. There are a few episodes where there is a slight lull in pace, but there is enough Star Wars charm to make every episode an exciting watch. In addition to the hectic end to season 1, I was a huge fan of episode 4 in the series. Titled “Chapter 4: Sanctuary”, the episode follows The Mandalorian as he seeks refuge for The Child in a small village, which is under attack from a band of Klatoonian raiders. This episode provides one of the best battle scenes in the whole series and features a stunning old Imperial AT-ST, just to add to the Star Wars nostalgia!

Of all iterations in the world of Star Wars, The Mandalorian feels like the most relatable. Not only does it combine great action sequences with an authentic Star Wars feeling, the show doesn’t take itself too seriously and keeps thing simple. As well as all of that classic Star Wars action, we get plenty of humour in season 1 of The Mandalorian, something which is somewhat of a rarity in any of the Star Wars films. I think opting for a television series rather than a film was the perfect decision for The Mandalorian, with the additional screen time that comes with a television series, allowing for more creativity with each episode. Plus with that screen time, there is a bigger focus on character development, which we see with the character of The Mandalorian.

Season 1 of The Mandalorian is a fascinating eye-opener into what the future of Star Wars could look like. Whilst there will always be a place for box-office Star Wars movies (if they learn from recent mistakes), The Mandalorian proves that focusing on simple, uncomplicated stories set in the Star Wars universe is a recipe for success.

The Verdict

Season 1 of The Mandalorian takes all of that classic Star Wars charm from the original trilogy and combines with it an uncomplicated and relatable story, resulting in one of the best Star Wars iterations of recent years.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

8.5/10

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