As someone who has never been a die-hard fan of the Star Wars franchise, I dove into The Mandalorian with little to no expectations. Yes, I’d heard the hype, I’d seen the memes, and just like every other person, I thought the Baby Yoda was adorable. But on the whole, Star Wars had yet to entice me. It just lacked something, I wasn’t sure what, but it stopped me short from diving into the Star Wars universe on the whole. No amount of light sabers, storm troopers or excessive use of the force was going to change that. I was already late boarding the Star Wars train and I was ready to add The Mandalorian to the list of hypes that passed me by.
But when my boyfriend, another sceptic, told me I needed to watch it, I decided to give it a go. I’d saved myself from seeing too many spoilers and was basically going in blind. After episode one, I was hooked.
My first take away was the soundtrack. The fanfare of a John Williams score that usually accompanied a Star Wars movie was absent. There was no great blow of brass and symbols that was used to represent the heroism of Luke, in fact there were no big sounds at all. Instead, there was a mellow repetitive baseline matched with eerie woodwind that became the perfect earworm to represent Mando on his journeys.
The stripped back soundtrack did more than just accompany each scene. It seemed to set the tone for the entire series.
“I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.” – Mando.
‘Style’ is a word that can get tossed around flippantly when referring to any TV show, but The Mandalorian has got exactly that. It got Style. I have a feeling that when Jon Favreau was deciding on the overall feel for The Mandalorian, he took one look at Cowboy Bebop and went, ‘yes’. Both shows favour a tenor that is frivolous in old wild-west films – and then sets the story in space. It’s the type of feel that rolls with the punches and lets character interactions pave the way. It allows itself to be labelled an action show, without the action becoming an overbearing aspect.
When my boyfriend was trying to describe Mando to me, he said “He’s like batman, but Star Wars.” I get the comparison. Mando speaks when he needs to, intimidates when he wants to, and sticks to the shadows whenever he can.
To me, The Mandalorian brought out a side of the Star Wars universe that was desperately lacking in the original films – or any film that followed. It’s not about being edgy or adding more grit to the mix. It’s about immersion. When you have a fantasy world as big as Star Wars – a world that is literally solar systems upon solar systems – you’d be a fool not to explore it.
In The Mandalorian we head to Tatooine a number of times, and there we meet two native species that are very familiar to us – the Jawa and the Tudken Radiers – but we get to see them in ways we’ve never been seen before. The Mandalorian granted us more insight into their cultures and societies. The Jawa were no longer just chatty little men in cloaks that scavenge in the sand, but were a working group of people that weren’t afraid to bargain quests for spare parts, or save people’s lives if they found them in the desert (if they thought it would bring them something valuable).
Season 2 Episode 1 has quickly become a personal favourite, in which the Tusken Raiders and some town locals team up in order to take down a monster that had been terrorising them both. More space is given in The Mandalorian to truly understand the world as a whole, which makes me appreciate the depth of the Star Wars universe all the more.
My Advice – watch it. You wont be disappointed.