The streaming war has officially begun with Disney firing the first shot with today’s launch of Disney +, their proprietary streaming service, armed with its secret weapon: Jon Favreau’s take on a Galaxy Far, Far, Away The Mandalorian. For those not versed in Star Wars speak, the Mandalorian’s were a legendary warrior race known for their iconic omnipresent armor, who were typically either mercenaries or bounty hunters. There has been talk for years of Boba Fett, the most iconic Mandalorian, getting his own feature film and up until Solo bombed it almost seemed inevitable, but instead we get a completely new story, about another mysterious Mandalorian who has begun to rise prominence five years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Right off the bat The Mandalorian establishes a pulpy tone as we witness the unnamed bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) clear a cantina of alien patrons in a very un-Jedi fashion, before warning his target “I can bring you in warm or cold.” From there it becomes very apparent this is Favreau’s spaghetti western in space as the Mandalorian agrees to a very profitable and very dangerous off the book bounty hunt, underwritten by none other than Werner Herzog. Its during this meeting we are also clued in that even with the Empire overthrown, there are still remnants who have yet to be united under The First Order. As the unnamed bounty hunter finally tracks down his prey he is forced to team up with a suicidal bounty droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) as he comes face to face with his mysterious bounty.
The best way to describe The Mandalorian is it feels like a live action ‘80s Saturday morning cartoon. As a fan and a critic I couldn’t describe this pilot as anything other than flawless. It hits every mark for a Star Wars fan, the CGI was feature quality the cast was amazing, it was fun, and it fully owned the weirdness of Star Wars. Nerd cred points the Star War Holiday Special call out, and for finally answering that age old question: Are their bathrooms in a galaxy far, far, away? So I am definitely in for the long haul on this one,The Mandalorian is diverging from the binge model of Netflix and Disney+ here is parsing out an episode a week for the show’s eight episode run, to keep us hooked and coming back while the new service finds its way in the weeks to come. May The Force be with them.
Now streaming on Disney+