A+E: The Mandolorian Offers a Fresh New Look at The Star Wars Galaxy
by Ryan Tavera
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was a lone gunslinger known as the Mandolorian, played by Pedro Pascal, first appearing on November 12, 2019, on the launch of Disney’s new streaming device known as Disney+.
When Mando’s character was introduced, it is revealed that he is from a creed known as the Mandalorians, a group of people who are distinguished by their distinct armor and impressive combat skills. Mando is a bounty hunter for a living and takes up a job from a shady ex-empire official, who directs Mando to obtain an asset with the promise of a large fortune.
Mando is helped by IG-11 a bounty hunter droid and Kuiil a resident of the planet, as they shoot their way through countless guards to obtain the target. As Mando slowly creeps up to the floating orb at the climax of the mission, his device begins to beep faster and louder. He opens the orb to find perhaps the show’s most talked-about character, the notorious Baby Yoda that has spread through the internet like wildfire. Thus at the end of the pilot, a worldwide obsession with baby Yoda was born.
Since episode one, the story has been quite simple and easy to follow yet remains interesting and fresh. Mando returns Baby Yoda to the shady ex-empire official and claims his immense sum of rare Mandalorian steel named Beskar. Mando then fashions it into some bright and shiny new armor but decides that Baby Yoda is too adorable for him to let go so Mando returns to the ex-empire official’s hideout and picks off his guards one by one as he attempts to claim the child back.
The plan doesn’t go so well and Mando is being cornered by a surplus of blaster fire. The music begins to rise, and a handful of powerful and elite leveled Mandalorians help Mando out so he can achieve his righteous quest of leaving with Baby Yoda to protect him. Mando and Baby Yoda leave, making countless friends and enemies along the way trying to protect the mighty yet minuscule Baby Yoda.
In episode 4 “Sanctuary”, Mando and Baby Yoda land on a remote planet named Sorgan which is sparsely populated, and perfect for hiding. The pair encounter an ex-soldier named Cara Dune (played by Gina Carano) who is taking refuge on the planet as well. They team up and talk to two villagers from a nearby town, who show up to ask Mano and Cara Dune if they can help defend their village from a club of raiders who keep terrorizing their home. Mando and Dune accept and help train the village in hand to hand combat along with how to shoot a blaster. The village succeeds in defending themselves from the raiders, but end up forcing the Mandolorian to desert the planet with Baby Yoda since their cover is blown.
Mando grows as a character along with Baby Yoda who’s not the same vulnerable kid when we first met him. Baby Yoda begins to use the force in small bursts force choking Cara Dune and force healing Greek Karga.
The pair travels through the galaxy, and The Mandolorian ends up reaching out to his old friend Ran, who has assembled a crew consisting of ex-Imperial sharpshooter Mayfield, the Devaronian strongman Burg, the droid pilot Zero, and the knife-wielding Twi’lek woman Xi’an, to rescue Xi’an’s brother Qin.
This episode takes a more horror movie type approach. The mercenaries turn on Mando and attempt to lock him in the ship to be captured. The plan doesn’t exactly work out though, as Mando breaks out in one of the most chilling shots of the show. The ship’s lights are blinking red, the sirens are letting out an eerie and nerve-racking screech, and Mando one by one hunts each of the mercenaries taking them out with stealth and precision.
The last two episodes of the Mandolorian are easily the strongest, as the show concludes with a bang. Mando is called to help Karega’s town, which has been overrun by Imperial troops led by the Client, who is desperate to recover the child, baby Yoda. Karga proposes that the Mandalorian use the child as bait in order to kill the Client and free the town. In return, Karga will square things out with the Guild, which would allow the Mandalorian and the child to live in peace.
Things don’t go so well and Mando, Greef, and Cara are surrounded by stormtroopers and death troopers commanded by Moff Gideon. Mando orders Kuiil to take Baby Yoda and leave the planet urgently. As Kuiil hustling back two scout troopers take off in an attempt to capture Baba Yoda.
I was on the edge of my seat as the music rises and Kuiil is running his hardest in his best attempt to protect Baby Yoda. The screen cuts to black and Mando’s voice fades over as he yells at Kuiil asking if he made it. Our view then pans over to Kuiil’s slumped over the body, only a couple of feet away from the ship, as scout troopers pick up Baby Yoda.
The season finale Chapter 8 “Redemption” is exactly what it says it is. While the Mandalorian, Dune, and Karga are trapped, IG-11 rescues the Child. Gideon gives them until nightfall to surrender, or he will order his troops to fire. The Mandalorian and IG-11 remain behind while Dune and Karga take the Child into the sewers. IG-11 removes the Mandalorian’s helmet to treat his injuries before they join the others in the sewers.
As the group is escaping from the Empire’s grasp, they take an underground lava river where they find out they’re going to be ambushed by a large group of stormtroopers. IG-11 elects to sacrifice himself for their safety, and walks through the lava while self-destructing, succeeding in protecting the group. All the troopers are gone due to IG-11’s heroics, and The Mandolorian departs from the planet taking Baby Yoda, as the episode ends in redemption.
Overall The Mandolorian is a breath of fresh air for Stars Wars fans and a good one at that. The show has many things going for it Baby Yoda, Mando, and the support of many Star Wars fans. I can easily recommend The Mandolorian to any Star Wars fan who is seeking for more content to satisfy their itch.