Review: “The Mandalorian” lured me to Disney’s new streaming service

Jeremy Halfhill
Oxford Stories

On Nov. 12, Disney launched and revealed a new streaming service to compete in the ever-growing field, grouping its name with Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and other such streaming giants.

For the general public, Disney has a couple of things going for it that really gives it an edge above those competitors; an old and respected name in the game of family entertainment, and longtime fervent fan worship of its owned materials.

For this fan, however, Disney has “Star Wars.” With the launch of this new streaming service, Disney+, I could watch all eight main-story theatrical Star Wars releases. (However, the original trilogy is once again edited to be different than their theatrical runs, but Han will always have shot first in my heart.) Not only that, but I now have access to the multitude of “Star Wars” TV shows that Disney has created, including Rebels, Resistance, and Clone Wars.

However, the most exciting new Star Wars prospect has to be “The Mandalorian,” a brand new entrant in the Star Wars universe released during the first day of Disney+ going live as a streaming service. The show stars Pedro Pascal, of “Game of Thrones” and Narcos fame, as the masked titular bounty hunter The Mandalorian. The first episode centers around the culture of the Mandalorian people, and the profession they’re so infamous for in the galaxy.

I think that’s the most interesting aspect of the show for a lot of longtime “Star Wars” fans. With the knowledge that Disney wiped away so much of the “Star Wars” canon created by authors and writers after their purchase of the franchise, it’s a great feeling to once again have such a mysterious culture stand in the spotlight. The Mandalorian people have always been a wayward group, different than the rest of the galaxy in their honorable, and almost tribal, way of life.

Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau together have seized my imagination with the Spaghetti Western depictions of vast empty landscapes on alien planets, whether they’re the flat ice-fields or arid deserts of the Outer Rim worlds The Mandalorian begins and ends his hunts on in this first episode. In fact, I found this attempt at creating a “Star Wars” aesthetic as strong as the War Film attempt Gareth Edwards put forth in the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” film.

The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian

After the okay Episode 7, and the less-than-okay Episode 8 (in addition to the rumors that Episode 9 has gone through three different remakes as it fails to impress test audiences), I was rather pleased to find that “The Mandalorian” is better than okay. It might not be great, as its minimal dialogue and character development might annoy some, but I find it to be great when compared to some of the other lackluster “Star Wars” outings Disney has created.

I can’t say what it means for Disney in the long run that their side story “Star Wars” content feels more like “Star Wars” than their seven through nine trilogy films, but I can say that, as a life-time “Star Wars” fan, I cannot wait to watch the next episode, and the one after that, and the one after that.

Disney+ is currently offering a one-week free trial, allowing just enough time for any Star Wars fan to get hooked on “The Mandalorian” or any Marvel fan to get hooked on the collection of Marvel TV shows from the past century.

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