The Mandalorian: Chapter 1 Review

Here is your one and only spoiler alert! If you have not watched the episode yet and do not want to be spoiled, then turn away now!

(we even included a photo to make sure no spoilers were seen from the start of this post)

So Disney+ has been live for just over 48 hours and what a crazy 48 hours it has been for Disney.  The demand for the streaming service far outweighed the expectations that Disney had in store for the service.  The apps even went live on the Android and Apple app stores before the countdown timer on the Disney+ preview site expired.  Shortly after those apps went live, you could begin to download the apps on your Firestick or Apple TV.  Finally, you could then access the Disney+ website.

I was patiently waiting for the countdown timer to expire when I started noticing on Twitter that people were already able to access the streaming service.  I had signed up for a free year through the Verizon wireless website and was waiting for my login information to be sent to my email.  When I had signed up with Verizon, they stated they would send an email with login instructions the day of the service going live. I never got an email until later on in the day, FYI, around 3 p.m.  I was able to go to the Verizon site and find out how to access the Disney+ service and was able to login shortly after Twitter caught fire with people squealing with joy at all that Disney+ had to offer.

If I was a betting man, I would say that the demand outweighing the expectations had to do with many subscribers waiting until the service launched to sign up.  I was waiting on the Verizon deal and I know a handful of people that were waiting until the day of release to sign up for the Hulu, ESPN+, Disney+ package deal.  For some reason, you couldn’t pre-register up for that deal until Disney+ went live.  There was a handful of Disney-fanatics that signed up ahead of time when they learned of the service, and D23 members got the service for a special discount when they pre-registered with a 3-year contract. I think the biggest issue with registering was that you couldn’t create your account until the service launched, and at that point, the servers started lagging.

I had a gut feeling things were going to be rough the first 24 hours, so right out of the gate, I downloaded The Mandalorian.  That way, I could watch the episode without issue and boy am I glad I did, when my Amazon Fires Stick, Apple TV, and the computer wouldn’t connect to the service without receiving an error message. I gladly watched the episode on my 4.7-inch screen.  Smaller is better than nothing, right?

With all that out the way and access to the service improving since its launch, I’ve had a chance to watch The Mandalorian: Chapter 1 a handful of times. The Mandalorian was exactly what I expected and not what I expected all at the same time. For starters, I was not expecting the first episode to be only 39 minutes long. 39 minutes is what you would expect for a show that is on cable TV and has commercials to fit in. Typically streaming exclusive shows run 45-56 minutes and that was my expectation with this episode as well. I thought a pilot episode would be stretched out some, but evidently Disney gave us exactly what they wanted us to receive as far as content and development.

From the trailers I watched before the launch, I was expecting to see all of those scenes in the first episode.  Thinking back on this, I know I should have known better.  Heck, half the content in movie trailers never make it to the final cut. Wishful thinking, I guess. I made a point not to try and learn anything more about the show other than what was released in the posters and trailers leading up to its launch. At least I know now whose voice it was that we were hearing in the trailer.

I find it interesting that the episode names are just referred to as Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and not referred to as an event or part of the episode itself like many shows do.

The sound effects in the first episode met my every expectation.  From the droid noises to the alien languages and blaster fire to the engine sounds, it was Star Wars music to my ears. Speaking of Star Wars music, did you notice that throughout the episode, we had orchestral music like what we hear throughout the Star Wars movies playing in the background?

The visual effects and CGI were perfect in my opinion. Not too much much and not overly used. It appears they went with makeup for many of the characters that we see throughout the episode, a perfect blend of CGI and natural landscapes. The only CGI-ish scene was the beginning scene on the frozen ice. All the buildings, for the most part, appear to be actual set-pieces and remind me of any other Star Wars town that we have seen in other media.

Now let’s discuss some of the characters we run into in  Chapter 1.  

Mythrol

 We only see him for a short time but I wonder if he will have an appearance elsewhere in the show. We see that The Mandalorian (here as referred to as TM) already has 3 other bounties frozen in carbonite on his ship, so why show this particular capture. Are they just introducing the viewers to TM’s skill and what he does and how proficient he is?  We do know that Mythrol supposedly has access to a large amount of credits as he offers TM to hire a more luxurious ship to travel in and tries to bribe his way out of his bounty.  IMDB.com refers to Mythrol only appearing in one episode so maybe he is a one and done character, or maybe we will see him in another episode or season.  Either way, we can see from this exchange that TM can’t be bought and will always get his bounty.

 

Dr. Pershing

Another character that we only get to see for a brief time in Chapter 1 when he stumbles into the room, while TM is speaking with The Client.  The Client refers to him as having a “lack of decorum” and that “his enthusiasm outweighs his discretion.”  Dr. Pershing seems like he will be in future episodes due to the fact it seems he is the party looking for the bounty asset that The Client is negotiating with TM about.  When The Client refers to “proof of termination is acceptable for a lower fee,” Dr. Pershing says “That is not what we agreed upon.” So it seems likely that Dr. Pershing is using The Client to help him find this asset, or maybe Dr. Pershing works for The Client. Either way, the “asset” seems important to these two.  I think we will see this character in future episodes.

 

The Client

We finally have a face to the voice that we heard in the trailer for The Mandalorian.  We are introduced to this character about midway through the episode.  From the looks of the medal that he is wearing around his neck, it appears that he was of some importance in the Empire before its collapse. Also considering the Stormtroopers in his service, I’m thinking his allegiance is still leaning towards the defunct Empire. At this point, I’m not sure if he is working with Dr. Pershing or in charge of Dr. Pershing. It appears that he has money and other items at his disposal.  Maybe he is the brain behind the operation, or just the financial part of the operation.  Time will tell as I see him being in future episodes and probably playing a larger role in those episodes. To use his voice in the trailer to shows the importance of his character in this show.  Even if we never saw him again, his voice was perfect for the trailer. I think we will see this character in future episodes.

Greef Carga

Greef Carga appears to be the man in charge of the Bondsman Guild, as he is the person that looks to be in control or the bounty pucks. He is the person TM is turning his bounties into and the person that issues out and controls the bounty pucks.  When TM attempts to take the five bounty pucks that Greef has on him, Greef tells him no and that there are other members of the Guild. Greef Carga is the link between TM and The Client. I imagine since Greef appears to be in charge of the Guild, or one of the top bosses of the Guild, that we will see him again in future episodes. Since TM is a bounty hunter and he will need future bounties, we will probably see Greef in future episodes. Also, IMDB.com shows us that he will be in all eight episodes of Season One. He is one of the only characters actually listed in more than one episode.

IG-11

IG-11 is introduced later on in the episode just prior to a grand ol’ shoot out.  IG-11 appears to look like any other assassin droid and I think many fans were under the impression that this was going to be IG-88 from earlier Star Wars movies.  In reality, it is hard to differentiate IG droids from one another.  I like that we get a live-action scene of how IG droids operate and how deadly they can be.  We have seen IG droids in The Clone Wars cartoons but seeing them live-action is just so much better in my opinion.   They try to bring some humor to this character in similar ways that K2-SO brought humor to Rogue One, I’m just not sure if its gonna work like it did the first time.  There are only so many times that I can laugh at the “self destruct” line.  At the end of this episode, we see that IG-11 receives a blaster bolt to the head and lies on the ground with no lights admitting from the droid.  This would seem like the end of the IG-11 however we have seen some photos and videos of another IG droid that do not appear to be from this episode.  Plus he was an important enough character that they put him on a poster.  I think we will see IG-11 back again, obviously rebuilt or parts replaced.  That or we will be introduced to another IG droid in future episodes.

Kuill

We meet Kuill on the unnamed planet (possibly Arvala-7)that TM lands on while hunting for the “asset”. Kuill is an Ugnaught that we have seen in other Star Wars movies and cartoons.  Kuill helps to save TM from the jaws of a Blurrg or two. Kuill offers to be a guide and to assist TM with finding the settlement that the “asset” currently resides.  It appears it is a self-motivated approach to helping TM as Kuill describes that residents of the settlement as troublesome and creating issues on his planet.  Too bad we didn’t get to hear Kuill do the pig squeak that we hear from his species in the cartoons when they get startled.  I definitely think we will see Kuill in future episodes.  There are photos and videos of him that we did not see in this episode.  I imagine in the next episode Kuill will assist TM in getting back to his ship.  I predict that Kuill will turn into TM’s wingman of sorts. Kuill will play the wise and loyal friend.

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian is the main character of the show named after him.  At this time we do not have an official name for this character other than The Mandalorian.  As mentioned earlier in this article I have referred to him at TM.  We know that he is humanoid. And from scenes during a flashback, we see that he is a male human that most likely lost his parents in some type of attack.  The flashbacks of him as a small child are the only backstory that we see on this character at this time.  We also see that TM has a distrust of droids. TM forgoes using a speeder driven by a droid and even makes the comment “No droids” and appears to pay extra for a non-droid transport, even if it’s a worn-down speeder.  We notice that he has no droids on his ship.  And lastly, the tone in which he says “Droids” when referring to IG-11 and the attack on the settlement.  When he is speaking to another Mandalorian character we learn that he is what is considered a Foundling.  Maybe we will find out more about what a foundling is in the future.  I imagine it has to do with him being orphaned and being found. But maybe there is more to the story that we will find out in future episodes.  Maybe foundlings have a special ability or talent.  Maybe they have Mandalorian bloodlines or something to that nature.  We know for sure that we will see more of this character in future episodes.

The Armorer

We see that this character is just one of the many Mandalorian characters we get to see in this episode. Granted the other Mandalorian characters are just background characters, it is still nice to know that there are other Mandalorians out there.  The Armorer’s talent lies in being able to turn Beskar into Mandalorian armor.  If I had to guess I would say that she has an important role amongst the tribe.  Whether or not she is a leader is hard to say at this point, however, she is the only other Mandalorian with a speaking role in this episode.  I say for sure we see her in future episodes as TM gets upgrades to his Mandalorian armor.

Stormtroopers

The Stormtroopers we see in this episode look worn down and out of place.  The armor they are wearing almost looks baggy on these guys.  The helmets look loose and too big.  It makes you wonder if they were actual Stormtroopers from the Empire or if they are just thugs that have found the armor and are wearing it for their gain.  If they are actual Stormtroopers then they have let their standards go as the gleaming white armor is no more.

 

Other things that we learn from this first episode.

We are introduced to Beskar which is a Mandalorian iron, the alloy used to make Mandalorian Armor that can withstand blaster bolts and possibly withstand a glancing strike of a lightsaber. It is one of the toughest and legendary metals in the Star Wars universe.  We do get to see the armor take a couple of blaster shots throughout the episode.  The best shot we see is when IG-11 shoots TM at close range with enough force it lifts TM off the ground and throws him backward.  This shot also adds another blaster mark to his armor.

Note: After doing some additional research it does appear we learn about Beskar during The Clone Wars.  

While being introduced to Beskar, The Client refers to having “a camtono of Beskar waiting for you”.  After doing some research, camtono is another name for a safe or lockbox type object used in Star Wars.

When TM goes to attack the settlement to obtain the “asset”, he finds an IG droid already on site.  It appears the inhabitants of the settlement are Niktos.  The Nikto species have a history of being servants to the Hutts after the Hutts took over their homeworld and enslaved them.

From pre-show information shared to us by StarWars.com, we know that The Mandalorian takes place seven years after Return of the Jedi or six years after the Battle of Jakku which we learn about in recent Star Wars books and video games. To keep adding perspective to its place in the Star Wars timeline this show starts approximately 23 years before The Force Awakens.

EASTER EGGS

We can see from the promotional posters that The Mandalorian’s gun is a throwback to the same style gun that Boba Fett carried in the Star Wars Christmas Special from 1978.

I’ve heard the rumor that the ship, RazorCrest, flown by The Mandalorian is a throwback to the original artwork of Boba Fett’s ship.  However, I can neither confirm or deny that at this point.  I am still looking for artwork.

We have another character dressed as a Mandalorian using Carbonite on his bounties.  While Boba Fett was not a Mandalorian but wore Mandalorian armor he froze Han Solo in Carbonite after his capture on Cloud City.

We get to see the Kowakian Monkey Lizard not only being utilized as a pet as seen with Jabba the Hutt but also as a food source.

 

One last additional Easter Egg is that the opening scene of The Mandalorian is reminiscent of the bar scene from A New Hope when Luke enters the Cantina.

 

 

Continuity Corner (A place that we find bloopers)

Do you see it?
So if you start watching at around 11:07 you will see that there are credits already sitting on the table prior to The Mandalorian sitting down at the table.  During the next scene when he places the trackers on the table, the credits are no longer present.  Followed by another scene of Greef Carga placing the credits on the table.

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