This is a pretty hot take. The whole show is episodic and only moderately deep in the way it was intended, which if you’re a fan of Westerns at all, is exactly that. A hired gun traveling around helping some for money and others (typically poor or needy) for free, killing random bad guys along the way, oh and carrying something with him that’s humanizing while also trying to come to grips with his past. It is, and I’ll stand by this, 100% a Western. Because of that, I’m willing to give the backstory more of a pass if it isn’t 100% up to say, an epic, sweeping space opera storyline. Set in that universe? Sure, go for it. But without a ton of the politics, grand sweeping schemes and most of the battles.
What we have here is and should be a lighter version of that. And to sing its praise, one that is excellently portrayed in beautiful shots, good acting and fun action.
This doesn’t fall apart for adults any more than a Western might, say something like, “Have Gun … Will Travel.” And it’s not any different from something like Yellowstone being a bit of a throwback to family Westerns, ala Gunsmoke. The underlying story is kept more simple so that the action and characters can be the highlight. Who doesn’t love Mando at this point? But yeah, it’s light on Star Wars canon, if that’s your draw, and I don’t really think that’s fair to lay too much of that on its lap.
(Also I understand your love for it while picking on that part, it’s just that I don’t think that part was ever the intention of the show. It’s brilliance IS that it’s removed from the weight of too much Star Wars canon and depth.)
I don’t disagree with this, but I don’t think Have Gun… Will Travel was a very well written show either. As an episodic western from the late 50’s it’s certainly a product of its time.
I’m not going to argue that The Mandalorian needs ironclad lore to work. Star Wars is inherently silly. Andor is right over there if someone wants mature themes and a lot of the Star Wars-iness stripped away to the bare essentials. This is a show about a dude having adventures with a Force-wielding puppet baby and a rotating cast of droids, ships, and ne’er-do-wells. It’s a celebration of Star Wars through Filoni’s and Favreau’s minds. I’m enjoying it just fine as-is.
At the same time, I don’t think it’s unfair to look at The Way or the rest of canon Mando culture and say it’s a bit goofy. And that’s not just in an “all religions are kinda whack” way. I don’t think much of it holds up to even passing scrutiny.
I don’t get this at all. This show is swimming in Star Wars canon links and is basically a fandom wet dream at this point. I’ll grant that I don’t think it has much depth, but that’s just a function of the normal (outside of Andor) Star Wars reticence to examine any of its own beats with any kind of critical eye.
No worries, completely fair. And honestly why we don’t have as many Western shows or themes anymore. Though there are many that are something akin to a, “thinking man’s western,” there is a simplification of life as presented in the whole genre. Really a boiling down to the bare necessities: good guys, bad guys, the dame they save, etc. To that end, it was a product of its time.
And I do agree with the hokiness (is that a word?) of The Way and the faction Mando is a part of. I think, or at least I hope, that this season is an eye opening way for him to see it’s a bit like a caste of zealots. And as simple as it may seem for everyone on that planet, at least we get examples from Bo-Katan, they knew it was bullshit. And yet even she believes in the power of the sword. Maybe this season will flesh that out.
I think so, but I’m a Star Wars fan looking in and getting all those tossed mentions. My wife, on the completely opposite end of the spectrum in love for Star Wars, sat and described this show to her sister last night as we all watched episode 2 together and verbatim her words were: “no you don’t even need to know all that Star Wars bullshit, it’s about this bounty hunter guy who is traveling around with baby yoda and trying to figure himself out.”
And … I don’t think I can fault her in that very rough description. And they both watched and enjoyed the hell out of episode 2 last night. We’ve not watched Andor, so I can’t really compare too much yet there but for my wife to even be happy watching sci fi with me and a Star Wars themed show at that is a huge thing that speaks to the ease by which the show is available. And I guess I just cemented your point about it being kid-like, but for god’s sake don’t tell my wife that.
My wife, who is a much more dedicated Star Wars fan than I ever was, was really disappointed by the recent trilogy of movies. She said that the D+ shows (Book of Boba Fett excepted) are what kept her from abandoning the fandom.
Man I’m so glad you mentioned that. A friend told me about it and it had completely slipped my mind on the radar. I need to queue that up on Hulu.
Get this, I met my wife only 7 years ago. In her 40s then, she had only EVER watched the first Star Wars film. Ever. She would purposefully skip anything shown on channels she had, just almost a hater of Star Wars. And we sat and watched the first 6 movies and when we got to the recent three she has delayed and delayed. I’m happy for what time I get with her and don’t want to force her grumbling through anything. But I’m hoping that her fun with The Mandalorian will carry over to a bit more interest. We’ll see.
WTF, Disney+? When I watch a show, I want to watch that show, not an episode of some other show. It was jarring enough when you jammed episodes of The Mandelorian into Boba Fett, but at least those two had some kind of plot connection. But this time, I show up expecting a bounty hunter fighting monsters and baby Yoda hijinks … and instead get “Have you ever thought about what life would be like as an Imperial war criminal after the rebellion? Make you think, doesn’t it?”
Look, I get it, Jon Favreau. You saw Andor, and said, “I want me some of that.” But you can’t just throw a random episode from a whole 'nother genre in there. Not only do the styles not match tonally, but the team that’s making your spaghetti-western-meets-dadventure probably isn’t suited to making your morally grey tale of postwar ennui. The result, as Telefrog says, comes across as an off-brand knockoff.
I want to live on Coruscant, especially the LED/neon/cyberpunk Coruscant shown in detail in this episode. WOW!
That said, it was kind of a jarring diversion and far too similar to Andor to be coincidence, very out-of-place in the Mandalorian. Hope they go back to Mando Grogu hijinks next episode.
I felt sorry for the doc. He obviously didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Empire and was terrified of Gideon, so with all of that gone he seemed genuine in his desire to make something good out of the research he’d been doing in an effort to atone for that same research having been corrupted by the Empire and Gideon. It was also made obvious that the New Republic has no clue what it is doing and is in woefully over it’s collective head in terms of administrative management. They have all of the resources from the Empire (and much of the Alliance Fleet as well according to the co-worker) and they’re just scrapping it all and tossing it on garbage heaps instead of refitting/reallocating it in useful ways. The same goes for the people…all those Empire scientists, engineers, pilots, specialists, etc…and they just put them to work doing nothing of any real use. Seems like Kane may be trying to work her way up the ladder to gain information for Gideon (assuming he’s still alive and controlling remnants of the Empire’s forces). I hope that doesn’t become a running plotline, but given the appearance of Imperial forces chasing down Bo-Katan and Mando in this same episode, I don’t think it’s coincidence.
I think the TV shows are trying to explain the weird gap between the second and third trilogy, and how the Empire went from utterly defeated to back with the same leader and blowing up planets again. Which honestly I don’t need, and is probably outside the capabilities of a show like this.
This genetic stuff is for bringing back the emperor, right? I’d rather just see these characters drifting around solving small scale problems in backwaters.
The Clone Wars show was basically Filoni trying to make the decades between the prequels and the OG trilogy work somehow, so I’m not surprised he’s trying to do the same thing with the time after the OG trilogy and the Rey trilogy.
What’s funny is that there was a full episode of Mando in there, they just crammed pseudo-Andor in the middle. I think that might have been their longest episode, yet. I’m sure we’re going to get some Ahsoka crammed in at some point, too. The 2-part Mando episode this week was pretty solid.
You’d think that a former Rebel group that spent years in the shadows would have a very good understanding of how espionage works and have a very good idea of the risks of being infiltrated and undermined. But I guess that doesn’t fit their storyline, so they ignore that bit of logic.
So I’m returning to Mando after a couple years away. I thought my kids would be into it, we watched the first three or four episodes, and they just drifted away. No big deal, I figured. It was an amusing Star Wars-flavored spaghetti western, but I can take or leave that. But now for whatever reason my daughter is totally obsessed with Baby Yoda. She’s got a Mandalorian lunch box, baby yoda pillow case, some kind of weird purse/backpack thing with a toy baby Yoda in it. And she really wants to watch the show. This time, it seems it’s taking - we’re up to about the halfway point in the first season and she hasn’t been spooked or bored yet, so hopefully before too long I’ll catch up to the rest of you.