Star Wars Fans React to The Mandalorian's First Episode


The premiere of The Mandalorian revealed what that previously reported "dramatic" spoiler from the Star Wars universe was all about.

Some of that is simply logistics.

If it really is him, this is particularly exciting for Star Wars fans considering he was presumed dead in Return of the Jedi. If he was, it could have huge ramifications for The Mandalorian, because we might have just seen Boba Fett. The service's other original TV offerings are a bit weak so far, including "Encore!", a reality series nominally hosted by Kristen Bell ("The Good Place"), wherein a different group of adults each week are offered the chance to restage the musical they starred in during high school 12 or 20 (or more) years ago. It depicts a gritty, lawless, murderous world where Pascal's skilled warrior hunts bail jumpers and criminals without a flicker of feeling [.]The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) is tasked with tracking down a mysterious bounty by someone we only know as the Client (Werner Herzog).

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As any Star Wars fan will tell you, Mandalorians are an order of intergalactic bounty hunters. Through the Mandalorian's frustration with his colleagues - a groan of "droids" not so unlike Indiana Jones' "snakes" - we come to understand him as being talented even for this universe, where heroes somehow never seem to get hit by the trillions of blasters constantly aimed in their direction.

Yet with a swift running time (39 minutes is remarkably short for this era of bloated streaming content), a chunky, adventurous but not derivative score from Black Panther's Ludwig Göransson, it's a fine addition to a canon that has had some bad luck with TV in the past. Star Wars has decades of similar experience, convincing us to react to nonhuman faces whether they're Stormtroopers or Phoebe Waller-Bridge's revolutionary droid L3-37. Pascal does good work, despite the restrictions of the masked role, playing the part with cool efficiency. If Favreau keeps going that direction, and it feels very Favreau to do so, throwing us into the mire of daily life with this near-noir near-gumshoe and his variety of foils, he'll be on the road to a character that will take a top spot in the franchise overall.

In truth, the real star of the premiere is Göransson, the composer. They were nearly certainly counting on it being discovered. While Star Wars has now ventured beyond Williams' triumphant theme - also absent, as might be expected, is the familiar yellow crawl of opening text - Göransson has created an incredible world through his sounds, blending Western themes while keeping the music not-quite-placeable and odd. So if you're hungry for that specific flavor of space saga, The Mandalorian not entirely sate you.

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Then, of course, there are those transitions.

It may be my new favorite Star Wars property, and I can't wait to see what comes next. "Perhaps it could live many centuries". As self-important as Star Wars often can be, we would be remiss to forget to laugh at it, too. A thrilling sequence follows in which the Mandalorian must wrest his personal spacecraft from the grip of a mammoth creature, all while making sure his squirrelly bounty doesn't skedaddle.

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