Disney Plus is finally here, and with it comes a bunch of new and familiar content. One of the most anticipated pieces of that content comes from Lucasfilm, in the form of Star Wars: The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian follows the titular bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal), as he takes on what he is told is a high-paying job. His handler, Creef Garga (Carl Weathers), tells him to meet a mysterious character known only as The Client (Werner Herzog), who then instructs the Mandalorian to track down a 50 year-old being of great importance. However, the bounty hunter soon realizes that things may not be exactly what they seem with this job…
The episode is written by Jon Favreau (who penned the entire series) and directed by Dave Filioni. With this being Filioni’s first time directing live action, he delivers a very impressive pilot. The collaboration between him and Favreau is apparent in every aspect of the show, as this episode not only looks like Star Wars, but actually feels like it. The production value is top-notch, and is definitely on par with that of the films. While there is not a lot of CGI in the show (at least in this pilot episode), there are some good visual effects and visually striking sets. It’s also worth noting that the makeup work on the non-human characters is very detailed and well-done. All of these factors combine to make this world feel lived-in, and demonstrate Favreau’s world-building skill.
On top of the overall look and feel of the show, the acting in this pilot is pretty solid. Pedro Pascal is fantastic in the title role and delivers a marvelous performance. His talent definitely serves to intensify the mystery of the Mandalorian’s identity & history. The other standout performances in this pilot come from Weathers, Herzog, and Nick Nolte (yes, that Nick Nolte). Carl Weathers’s delivery of Greef Carga’s dialogue really shows off how much fun he’s having with the part, while Werner Herzog (known for his documentaries) looks and sounds like he definitely belongs in the Star Wars universe. Herzog’s ex-Imperial Client comes across as mysterious as Pascal’s Mandalorian, and makes the story that much deeper. Finally, there’s Nolte. We won’t divulge too much about his role, but it’s obviously a fun one for the veteran actor. The comic relief he brings to the show is perfectly timed, and the character feels earnest & respectful of the the Mandalorian. One can definitely tell that the seeds of a strong friendship are forming. It’s clear that these four actors are here to bring their “A” game.
This was an enjoyable pilot, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here. That being said, I did have one minor issue with the episode. The pilot shows three different planets, and yet the audience is not told which one is being shown when. While they do have different looks, it would be nice to have that notice of where the characters are and what the names of the planets are. Maybe we’ll get that in the coming episodes.
If that ends up being the only thing wrong with this series, then I am perfectly fine with it. This is a solid pilot with fun mysteries and characters, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
4.75 Mandalorians out of 5