Well Disney+ is out and with it launched a plethora of titles. Old and new. One of those titles is The Mandalorian. A series about a Mandalorian bounty hunter. For those who may not know, a Mandalorian are a race of people from the planet Mandalore in the Star Wars universe. We were first introduced to the race with a character named Boba Fett in the Empire Strikes Back. He was such a cool ass character, and the franchise having built on the race through books, comics, and cartoons. It was only a matter of time until we got a live action show. So how does episode 1 fair? Well it is a Star Wars themed show and there's no denying that there is potential. However, this first episode felt confusing, rushed, expositive.
Let's first talk about Pedro Pascal's performance as the Mandalorian. For those who might know, Pascal played the flamboyant, sex loving, prince Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones. There he shined and his performance commanded your attention. Up until it didn't any more, if you know that I mean. However here, he's just boring and monotone. He's wearing a full head helmet and body armor, so THIS is really where he could use some of that flamboyance. To really use gestures to sell emotion. Well he doesn't. He goes through the episode very blah. For example, he delivers a line "I like those odds" and he doesn't sound intimidating or even confident. Were as the Stormtrooper in the same scene delivers the line "we have you 4 to 1" in a tone that not only sounded confident, but as if he could pull the trigger at any time. If the big reveal at the end of this season was that the Mandalorian was a robot, I'd not be surprised.
This first episode just hasn't done enough to show that he's a compelling enough character to care about or even come back to watch. And a lot of his "performance" is based on the people around him. Horatio Sanz, Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog all deliver and makes me want to know more about their characters. Like what did the fish man do to require a bounty, who is this mysterious client that rolls around with 4 Stormtroopers as bodyguards? I believe Pascal has the ability to play this role, I just don't believe it was showcased in this first episode.
Speaking of showcasing, let's talk about this world. And let me start by saying "kandosli'la!" That's the Mandalorian language Mando'a for amazing. (Yeah, I did my research before watching this show). This set design just bleeds Star Wars. And not just Star Wars, but the OG, A New Hope feel. The attention to detail, awesome costumes, and gritty tone really sells the vibe. That "shit went down, and now we're here, struggling" vibe. Even when I didn't know what was going on, and that was most of the time, it was beautiful confusion and made me want to know the stories behind it's background characters as well as locations.
Overall it was a solid episode, even if they rushed relationships and small character developments while skipping over others. However, the tone is set and that ending was definitely a surprise. Like WTF is happening. So for now, I'll be tuning in for episode 2, and I'll be hoping that Pascal can really shine as the Bounty Hunter we deserve.