The Mandalorian - Seasons 1 & 2 (Disney+)
Updated: Jan 29, 2022
Well, it took a couple of tries to get here, but get here we did, in the end. When the first season of this Star Wars inspired story created by Jon Favreau came around, I was unmoved to be perfectly honest. I watched the first few episodes but wasn't moved enough to continue. I may be the only one to believe that my time is valuable, but I have better things to do than watch something I am not interested for hours on end, even if someone is paying me to.
Don't get me wrong, I have been a huge Star Wars fan in my time, since watching the original, A New Hope, back on original release in 1977 as a wide-eyed child. I was hooked on science-fiction and fantasy ever since that day and have George Lucas to thank for that fact. I enthusiastically introduced all of my children to these stories and they came became bigger fans of the franchise than I had ever been, embracing prequel after sequel, spin-off and TV special. But after the original trilogy, every iteration and group of stories have diluted my enthusiasm to the point that I now only view Disney's purchase and any output thereafter to really be nothing more than an accumulation of wealth provided by those that love this galaxy, far far away.
So taking nothing away from this effort here, as it takes convincing this wizened, fusty cynic full of rose-tinted nostalgia a bit more effort than most to be really, properly moved, perhaps. Honestly, I wasn't going to bother any further than my experience of it thus far until my eldest son came to me sobbing at the ending of Season 2. Naturally, I had to check this somewhat remarkable achievement for myself.
So, I spent the last three days, on and off, dutifully going through all sixteen episodes of The Mandalorian, piecing together the time and places visited and how all this stacked up against what was already canon. I'm happy to say that this passes any queries I may throw at it, which may not be exhaustive, so story-wise, I don't really have anything to add. I have questions of course, but I expect Disney know this already and are preparing answers that I and many others will already have asked. Continuity has never been an issue of theirs, so far as I can tell, so would have to assume these are threads left purposefully dangling, rather than merely overlooked.
As an episodic television series, it does what it needs to, taking our hero on a collection of different exciting adventure within this galaxy that we are now so familiar with one over-riding narrative thread throughout. This seems a little repetitive at times. Mandalorian meets up with someone unexpectedly on the way to do something else, gets into a bit of a scrape and then needs help from this new found friend or foe. In return they need some kind of help from him and so begins the next thirty odd minutes. All very simple, not altogether inventive at times, but it passes the time of getting to the inevitable denouement. Nobody in this universe just got what they wanted without jumping through a few hoops after all.
Entertaining throughout and on at least one occasion, edge-of-the-seat riveting with an excellent finale. Just a shame we have to labour through what seems, with hindsight, some pointless adventures. I would much have preferred this condensed into a two hour movie, but here we are.