TV: The Mandalorian S01 E01 - Reviewed

Sergio Leone, Akira Kurosawa and George Lucas walk into the most ruthless hive of scum and villainy and run into Jon Favreau. That's what The Mandalorian is. It's lone samurai meets Spaghetti Western with a heaping helping of Star Wars thrown in for good measure, and it freaking works. It's violent while not being too obvious in its violence. It's beautiful without being a static painting. And it's quiet.

When you have a creator like Jon Favreau running a show like this, you'd expect a few of his trademarks to be there, witty dialogue and light atmosphere with a touch of darkness to show you that you're in a story that you want to see the conclusion to. Well, it would appear that Jon figured out that sometimes silence is golden. The dialogue is minimalist, but all of it serves a purpose. 

The acting is solid. There's not a bad performance to be had. My only question is if that has something to do with the lack of dialogue. In a universe known for being over the top, this does the opposite. The lead is emotive though gesture and physicality only, especially with his face never being seen. The supporting cast can't be beat. When you can say that you have Taika Waititi as a bounty hunter droid, you're in for an interesting character. Nick Nolte as a side character, again, interesting. Carl Weathers is possibly the best I've ever seen him in this as well, he's subtle and it's not about how big he is.

The plot moves. And boy, does it move? The show is over before you know it and I don't know about anyone else. It left me wanting another fifteen minutes before my long wait for episode two. The music is perfect for the atmosphere, the visual style is strongly embedded in the western of the '60s and that's a good thing. It has its own feel, a new place in the universe and I can't wait to see where it takes us. 

If this is the future of Star Wars, I'm in. Oh boy, am I in. No Skywalkers, no Solos no Wookies, minimal connections to the 8 movies we've already seen, it's a fresh start. Get ready space cowboys, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

-Trevor West