!!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Bonsai_Tree_Ent »

Here's my review of the first couple chapters if anyone fancies a longish read...

The Mandalorian – Chapters 1 & 2 (2019) – Review by Matt Fox (May The Toys Be With You)

Star Wars… to many of us the essence of Star Wars is encapsulated in that booming first chord of John William’s overture and the endless bulk of a Star Destroyer passing overhead. From ’77 to today it has remained the archetypal ‘big screen’ experience. Of course the franchise has dallied with televised cartoons, of the Saturday morning variety and of varying quality, and those who kept their ears open to movie rumours may also remember an aborted attempt by George Lucas to commission a TV series based on the Star Wars Underworld back in the noughties.
But now we’re in 2019 and TV has become increasingly filmic. Now is the time for a live action Star Wars series to debut not on the big screen but on the small. Now is the moment of The Mandalorian.

Personally, I was worried. I didn’t really want to see my beloved Star Wars shrunk down in ambition, in budget and in scale. I love the whole cinematic experience; I even collect Star Wars cinema memorabilia and posters. In the first minutes of The Mandalorian I thought that my concerns might be valid, as the first alien we are introduced to (a Merman of some sort) looked very much like a ‘tv alien’, the type that would be well at home in Babylon 5 or Star Trek Voyager. However, as the two opening episodes unfolded it became abundantly clear that this was most definitely not the case.

The Mandalorian proverbially looks like a million dollars (each episode is reportedly budgeted at $15 million, and seem to between 30-40 mins in length). The cinematography, set design, and FX are stunning and whilst the visuals are still fractionally below a cinematic movie – the difference between is far slimmer than I’d have thought. The Mandalorian is being broadcast by Disney’s streaming service at 4K and with HDR, the service isn’t yet available worldwide and subsequently eager fans outside the US may be using other methods to watch The Mandalorian, but if you do have the opportunity to view it on a decent sized screen in 4K then your eyes really will be in for a treat. I’m already relishing the prospect of this series being released in a 4K box set with the episodes viewable at the very best audio visual presentation.

The other thing to mention is that The Mandalorian thus far appears to be a sequential series, with each episode following directly from the last, rather than a string of standalone adventures. What this means is that by the end of Episode 8 we will have what amounts to a 4 hour long epic Mandalorian movie to enjoy! (in fact, this week I was rather jealous to see a special promotional screening of the first three chapters of The Mandalorian was taking place, back-to-back as if they were a movie, with creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni in attendance at the El Capitan Theatre).

The first two chapters of The Mandalorian feel like a comic book brought to the screen, from the “you spilled my drink” bar brawl opening to the graphic novel style imagery over the closing credits. My 12-year-old self would have thought this is literally the best thing ever, and my 47 year old self is equally grinning throughout.

The action was economical and not overdone. For example, early in the first episode a Walrus like monster seizes onto the Mandalorian’s ship. If this were a Marvel movie one could imagine the Walrus attack as a full-on action sequence with all kinds of action beats and capering around to escape, here however the Mandalorian simply electro shocks it and the getaway is made a moment later. This may well have been for cost reasons to save on CGI but as someone who finds themselves getting ‘action fatigue’ on occasion in FX heavy films it really worked for me.

In fact all the action had a bit of an 80s throwback feel to it, particularly the gun battle at the end of Chapter One, and I mean that in a good way. Every episode of the A Team seemed to end with a compound of baddies being shot up. Every long-forgotten straight to video action flick had bad guys firing from and then falling off roofs. Every Arnie or Stallone film had a boss villain being wheeled out (like the mobile cannon) to escalate the fight beyond the legion of fodder. In Chapter Two there is even a chase sequence (which I won’t spoil) that’s a definite homage to the 80s era Indiana Jones’ movies.

At its best Star Wars has always struck a balance between gravitas and goofiness. Some fans have never quite reconciled that and as they’ve grown older they’ve found the levity and the child-friendly elements hard to stomach. The Mandalorian really finds that sweet spot between the two. There is gravitas (the forging of the pauldron sequence, which fetishizes armour in a way that will have cosplayers like the Mandalorian Mercs in raptures), but there is also a light touch. The Mandalorian is clearly a badass but he’s also a bit of a punching bag too, like Ash from Evil Dead 2 or Bruce Willis from Die Hard, there is a certain glee in seeing the Mandalorian get bashed about and take his hits. He’s not the invincible hero who always comes out on top, and even gets stiffed for payment on his first job.

And this is the Mandalorian’s show, and that in itself is a big departure for the franchise. Every Star Wars movie thus far, including the standalones, have been ensemble films. The Mandalorian may develop into an ensemble but the first two episodes at least are almost entirely carried by the stoic spartan-like Mandalorian. He’s riveting to watch, and may his beautiful ‘Beskar’ helmet never come off (I was a massive Judge Dredd fan growing up and am entirely happy with a helmeted hero!). Nods of appreciation have to go to the droid IG-11 (who’s movement is wonderfully creative and cool, with a neat moment where he swivel-steps around a corpse), Nick Nolte’s ugnaught character (which in contrast to the Merman I mentioned earlier, is an absolutely stellar make-up job), and Werner Herzog’s heavily-accented villain. There is another important little character who the production has kept secret from trailers, which I wont spoil here, but is possibly the most adorable creation to appear anywhere in the Star Wars franchise.

So, The Mandalorian, I will be watching your career with great interest. Star Wars may be on the small screen, but this series is huge. Unmissable.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by TK-7785 »

Absolutely spot on review, Matt! Pretty much exactly how I'm feeling about the series. The Force is strong with this one. :D
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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Twin30mm »

Great review Bonsai.
The Sandcrawler fight gave me a huge nostalgia rush of playing the SNES Super Star Wars game, back in the day. Utiniii!!!
Still cautious, but so far I'm loving it.
It's like a Star Wars Weekly comic strip brought to life.

Huge potential of growing into a fantastic series and bringing the fanbase together.
Please Disney, don't fuck it up.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Sundancer Squadron »

Well I completely agree, you nailed it. I'm enjoying the somewhat understated scenes, its done right so far in. Overall feeling from me? I want more, and thats not a bad thing.
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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Twin30mm »

Thoroughly enjoyed Episode 3.
Still very slow burn, with minimal dialogue, which is no bad thing.
My only niggle is that we got a few repeated scenes from the first episode. We got the flashback scene again, which at first was a bit off-putting, but realised we're getting drip fed more info (glimpses of the Battle Droid purge this time).

Loved the Mando Army jet pack assault at the end and the various OT callbacks (IT-O Interrogator and Willrow Hoods Ice Cream Maker :D ).
Overall, I'm hooked and the next episode can't come soon enough.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by TK-7785 »

This series just keeps getting better and better. Someone please, just give the Lucasfilm keys to Dave and John.

The Mando army was awesome and I loved the little nod to Willrow Hood's ice cream maker in ESB. That scene just gave complete reasoning behind why Willrow chose to escape with that thing as the Empire descended on Cloud City. :lol:
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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by jayums »

Just watched the third episode. I did enjoy it, and it does feel very Star Warsy which is great, but it’s is very simple story,and I kind of wish there was a bit more to it, a few intertwining storylines perhaps.

Every episode also seems to resolve itself, and tv shows are ideal for cliff hangers and leaving the characters in peril at the end of each episode. Only 5 more episodes to go... I suspect I will prefer to binge watch it like a long movie.

Where is it going? My gut feeling is that this is all Snoke back story - My guess is he’s the mega wealthy money-is-no-object baddie who wants to somehow extract midichlorians from gizmo, I mean baby yoda.

I also anticipate that Mando helmet coming off.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by lejackal »

Anyone got a cheeky link that they could pm me please?
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Post by Snaketibe »

PM sent :-)

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by UKS »

Very good so far! Very spaghetti western which gives it the Star Wars feel. Far closer to SW then the new Disney sequels.

I would like to see more of this post empire universe and not the bollocks that is the new order etc

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Dr_Ball_MD »

I thought Mando giving baby Yoda the gearknob was a nod to Lucas's American Grafitti where John Milner gives the girl his gearknob when he drops her home.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Twin30mm »

Another enjoyable episode (ep4), but for me, it's been the weakest so far.
Bit of a predictable 'Magnificent Seven' plot, that seemed more of a sidestep than advancing the plot.

Gina Curanos character was well handled and at least she looks the part.
Built like a brick shithouse, you can well believe she was an ex-Shock Trooper that can handle herself.
Athough, her partnering up with Mando seemed a little rushed.
The 'pirates' seemed a bit too generic as well.

The AT-ST attack was well executed, with a suitable amount of tension and we got some more background to the Mando.
And of course, Baby (Not) Yoda is still the cutest thing ever.

Overall a 7.5/10 for me.
I'd still take a weakish Mando episode, over anything we've been served up in the Sequel Trilogy so far.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by TK-7785 »

Twin30mm wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:54 am
Another enjoyable episode (ep4), but for me, it's been the weakest so far.
Bit of a predictable 'Magnificent Seven' plot, that seemed more of a sidestep than advancing the plot.

Gina Curanos character was well handled and at least she looks the part.
Built like a brick shithouse, you can well believe she was an ex-Shock Trooper that can handle herself.
Athough, her partnering up with Mando seemed a little rushed.
The 'pirates' seemed a bit too generic as well.

The AT-ST attack was well executed, with a suitable amount of tension and we got some more background to the Mando.
And of course, Baby (Not) Yoda is still the cutest thing ever.

Overall a 7.5/10 for me.
I'd still take a weakish Mando episode, over anything we've been served up in the Sequel Trilogy so far.
I have to agree, definitely the weakest episode so far, but still enjoyable. I was excited to see this episode was longer than the last three, but unfortunately it seemed to plodding and fluffy a little at the beginning.

Gina's character felt solid enough and some nice references to the post Battle Of Endor duties that left a warrior like her wanting.

With the first three episodes having such rich characters and locations with real brooding sub-plots this one felt a little more elementary in its story telling. Three episodes of "I have spoken" and "this is the way" is a hard act to follow.
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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by Dantooine »

I also agree. Poorest episode so far, and it was no surprise to see it was directed by Bryce Dallas Howard. Heavy handed and too cutesy, and as much as I'm a fan of baby Yoda it was beginning to grate this episode.

A retelling of the Seven Samurai is fair enough, but condensing it down to just over 30mins was too much. The good parts felt rushed and there were too many shots of "nice" villagers doing their thing, mucking about with baby Yoda.

Carano was great, as was the AT-ST. A bit of Mando's history was cool and I thought he might actually leave baby Yoda there, so it was great with the bounty hunter turning up at the end and pushing them on.

With the first 3 episodes I'm scoring 9, 10, 9 but this gets a 6.

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! The Mandalorian Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread

Post by walkie »

Nice little easter egg including another well known bounty hunters gun in several scenes...

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