TV Review – The Mandalorian Season One, Episode Five

The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Season One, Episode Five – “Chapter Five: The Gunslinger”
Written & Directed by Dave Filoni

The opening of this episode delivers a promise that we are in for something a little more exciting than the last chapter. Dyn Jarren is pursued by one of the bounty hunters following the Guild’s call to arms. It’s a fun short dogfight in space that ends with Jarren’s ship broken down and seeking repairs on a familiar planet, Tatooine. The Mandalorian needs to seek out money to pay for the repairs and skulks through Mos Eisley for something under the table. The result is a decent episode, but still, one lacking the forward momentum of the core story. The ending does hint at a more significant arc happening here, but it’s very procedural.

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TV Review – The Mandalorian Season One, Episode Four

The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Season One, Episode Four – “Chapter Four: Sanctuary”
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard

The Mandalorian showrunners aren’t trying to hide from its roots in the American Western genre. That’s perfectly fine, Star Wars has always been less hard science fiction than a repurposing of other styles into a science fantasy environment. The original Star Wars was lifted heavily from Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress and classic Buck Rogers serials. This could be why the prequel trilogy, seemingly unmoored by familiar genre tropes, sputtered for so many audiences.

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TV Review – The Mandalorian Season One, Episode Three

The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Season One, Episode Three – “Chapter Three: The Sin”
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Deborah Chow

My question about the expansion of the Star Wars canon has always been, “Are there interesting stories to tell in this universe outside of the Skywalker saga?” The Mandalorian is becoming the first show to prove to me that there are corners of this world are worth exploring further. It also proves that despite staying masked for what appears to be the entirety of the series, Dyn Jarren is a very compelling character with a clear motivation and viewpoint. This doesn’t mean you will be surprised by a single thing that happens in this episode, it’s evident the arc being told, but it is satisfying and has momentum towards more significant story events.

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TV Review – The Mandalorian Season One, Episode Two

The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Season One, Episode Two – “Chapter Two: The Child”
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa

The reveal in the final scene of episode one changed my perceptions of what this would be a show about. Now in this episode, we get a better sense that this is a Star Wars on the Japanese classic Lone Wolf and Cub. Dyn Jarren is facing a moral dilemma about the bounty he acquired, questioning what the deposed Imperials plan to do with this very vulnerable person. He quickly gets sidetracked when he comes upon a group of Jawas stripping his ship. This leads to Jarren seeking aid from Kuiil, the Ughnaught from the last episode, and Jarren learning a powerful secret about his bounty.

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TV Review – The Mandalorian Season One, Episode One

The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Season One, Episode One – “Chapter One”
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Dave Filoni

So…what’s a Mandalorian? It all began with Ralph McQuarrie, and Joe Johnston’s production art during The Empire Strikes Back. The sketches of armored, hyper-weaponed soldiers were thought to be super commandoes from the planet Mandalore, specialized in hunting down and killing Jedi. Boba Fett was the first character to wear the gear, but the name “Mandalorian” wouldn’t be used until the Star Wars comic book in 1983. As the decades wore on, these people were expanded in the comics, particularly in the Dark Horse published material. These ideas were tweaked and some instances overhauled by the Clone Wars animated series.

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Movie Review – Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Written by Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan
Directed by Ron Howard (well 70%, Phil Lord and Chris Miller for the other 30%)

solo

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, lived a young Dickensian orphan named Han who was under the thumb of an alien Fagin. He and his sweetheart Kira plan their escape from the hell of the shipbuilding planet Corellia, and sadly, only Han gets out while Kira is taken by their masters. Feeling lost and alone in the world, the young man joins up with the Galactic Empire with hopes of becoming a pilot. Along the way, he meets Beckett and his crew as well as befriending Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and getting to fly the Millenium Falcon. They all get entangled in debt to the Crimson Dawn cartel that involves a heist which will, of course, go awry.

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Movie Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Written & Directed by Rian Johnson

last jedi

The New Galactic Republic has fallen to the First Order’s Starkiller Station. The Resistance is now fleeing its headquarters as the First Order fleet arrives to decimate them. Poe Dameron, the brash flyboy makes some questionable choices on the defensive strategy and comes into conflict with General Leia Organa. Meanwhile, Rey struggles to convince Luke Skywalker to return with her to the Resistance fleet and help turn the tide against the First Order. She eventually reveals her belief that Kylo Ren could be set back to the Light Side, but will learn the truth behind why Ren turned against Luke and his family. She also discovers the plans Luke has for the Jedi Order which will shake the foundations of the galaxy.

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