It feels like I’m the one person in the TV/ media world who didn’t pirate The Mandalorian when it was releasing in the US. Not to say that I haven’t pirated stuff in the past but I’m honestly not a big enough Star Wars fan to care. I’ve seen all the movies bar Force Awakens (multiple viewings) once plus two seasons of Rebels and did not grow up with the franchise (which appears to be the critical factor in love for the franchise.) Thus, when Cineworld announced that they were going to screen episode 1 as practically the final screening before Corona virus shut everything down. As a big supporter of TV and streaming material on the big screen I thought I’d go and check it out. As a die-hard Pixar fan and a big Marvel watcher I’m getting Disney + on day one regards but I wanted some idea of what I was in for with its biggest show. Beyond the endless Baby Yoda memes, I had not seen a single frame of footage. So how was the episode?
Honestly, it’s solid. After the hollow disaster that was Rise of Skywalker I admire something that set within that universe but takes its own approach. The episode set up a pretty straightforward space western (Pedro Pascals Mandalorian collects bounties, visits Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog, gets involved in fights with droids and a ice monster and finds Baby Yoda setting up the plot for the rest of the season. There’s not a great deal to it beyond that and the fact the structure is so basic can be levelled as a criticism, but Star Wars was never meant to be the most cerebral franchise. Much as I am looking forward to seeing more based on this episode, I’d hardly say it has any chance of joining my favourite TV list for 2019.
The theatrical presentation (which I saw on a very large screen) did showcase a slightly televisual quality in the interior scenes, but the exteriors looked like they belonged on the big screen. It’s insane to think we are now at a point in 2020 where I can say that with confidence. I was lucky enough to see a theatrical presentation of Good Omens last year with director and composer Q&A and for is although the event was great the show so still looked like a made for TV production stuck up on the big screen.
The Mandalorian made a very solid impression on me with this theatrical presentation of the first episode. I don’t think it’s amazing or anything that’s worth getting Disney + for on its own when the service launches in the UK tomorrow but but as someone who will be getting the service on day one regardless I will definitely be checking out the rest of the season.