Disney+ has not arrived in Pakistan officially, but its Star Wars show The Mandalorian has (you know how!). So far, only three episodes of the Space Western have aired but they’re just too good to be ignored. Not only do they take the story from The Return of Jedi forward, they give the fans of the franchise a new hero, who may not be fond of showing his face but knows how to get the job done. Add a few characters from the Star Wars universe and you get a series that shouldn’t be missed for the world. There are Easter Eggs pointing towards the franchise in each of the episodes so far, and you will get many Star Wars references as well, lying around, waiting to be identified.
The first season of the series revolves around a Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) who, in an attempt to win big, accepts an under-the-table job from a well-connected Client. After he has completed the job, he realizes that he was played by the Client, and goes back to set the record straight. After the third episode (the last one to be aired so far), he is on the run from the law, but with a clear conscience and an ability to save a life, or take one, if the need arises. He is still on the run and no one knows what might happen next, with the bounty hunters he betrayed on his tail. However, one thing is certain that he will do everything in his power to do the right thing, which at the moment seems going off the grid for some time.
If you are a fan of Spaghetti Western flicks or John Wick franchise, then The Mandalorian is the perfect series for you. Pedro Pascal’s character resembles Clint Eastwood’s ‘Stranger’ from his early Westerns; like Eastwood who never removed his Gun, Pedro hasn’t removed his helmet, yet. He is a man of fewer words and uses his fists, legs, guns and head more than his mouth. Think of it as a Clint Eastwood flick set in the future where Space was the final frontier and the good men were hard to find. The third episode of the series has so far been the best, where the Mandalorian decides to take matters in his own hand and rebels against a system he always believed in. The action sequences and choreography reminded one of the classic 1980s when one man was enough to make a difference. Yes, the series hasn’t been groundbreaking like the franchise it is based on, but it has catered to every fantasy a Star Wars fan had for a TV series based on the George Lucas films.
In the second episode, too much time is wasted on the Jawas; although it is essential for the script, a person who isn’t familiar with Star Wars might find it childish. Yes, there are people in the world who haven’t seen any film in the Star Wars franchise, but still, like to experience new things. The pace of the series slows down in a few scenes but it will get better, as the last episode was quick and merciless. So far, not much has been revealed about the flashbacks the title character experiences, the more it is delayed, the worst as people want to know what made the Mandalorian, a Mandalorian. The audience is also waiting for him to remove his helmet, otherwise, the ‘revelation’ might lose its touch.
The Verdict 4/5
The Mandalorian is not just ‘Spaghetti Western in Space’, it is much more than that. It makes Star Wars fans believe that despite hiccups in the past, their future is in safe hands. These safe hands were the reason why The Avengers became so huge because the same person directed the first Avenger flick – writer/director Jon Favreau. He was behind the live-action versions of both Jungle Book and The Lion King and plays an integral part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Happy, Iron Man’s right-hand man.
It seems he carefully assessed the Star Wars series before venturing into The Mandalorian because he hasn’t committed any of the mistakes of the previous Star Wars exploiters. It is due to his screenplay that all directors of the show are on the same page, and taking the series episode by episode. The presence of veteran Hollywood actors such as Nick Nolte, Carl Weathers, and Werner Herzog adds weight to the series that has already been renewed for the second season. It might have something to do with the impressive yet haunting theme that takes inspiration from Ennio Morricone’s compositions for Sergio Leone in the 1960s. Don’t be surprised if it sounds like The Good, The Bad And The Ugly because it is deliberately made to sound like that.