TV: The Mandalorian - S01 E05 - The Gunslinger - Reviewed

The first season of The Mandalorian on Disney+ keeps ramping up towards what will most likely be an epic conclusion. We can't wait to see what they have up their heavily armed sleeves. Slowly but surely, we're getting character development and a bit of mystery that will hopefully see some resolution. 

At only five episodes in, the show has revamped and reinvigorated the Star Wars mythology by doing what Rogue One did so perfectly. Stepping outside the boundaries of the Skywalker saga, fans are rejoicing at the first live action series that tells a side story that takes place between trilogies of films. For all intents and purposes, Jon Favreau's pet project has become one of the best things to happen to the galaxy in years. 

Picking up right after episode 4, the latest chapter The Gunslinger sees our lead character finding himself in more danger, on a planet we've known since the start. Leaning more towards fan service this week, there was a small dip in quality storytelling but a major build towards interconnecting the show with the movies. Returning to a place we all know and love was a really cool idea midway through the season. Although it's not the strongest of the batch so far, it was a good plateau at the middle point. From here out, we expect it to move at a much more frenetic pace. Sometimes familiarity is exactly what we need. And it worked really well, as this baby Yoda continues to be the really cute star of the show. 

Unlike the last few chapters, episode 5 definitely trades in more of the Samurai feel for the classic Western style. The best part of The Gunslinger was Filoni's total dedication to recreating the feel of the original trilogy. Everything felt spot on, paying tribute to the Lucas creation while it also does something new and refreshing in the chronology of the universe we already know. Adding to the luster of this week's episode are all the pristine callbacks that interweave with the classics. 

If you're not watching this show yet and you're a fan of science fiction, fantasy, action, westerns and samurai flicks, this is the show you want to check out as soon as possible. With only a couple episodes left, The Mandalorian will go down as one of the best new series of 2019 and one of the best Star Wars themed projects in years. For folks that are looking to move outside the boxed in feel of the 9 movies in the Skywalker saga, this is exactly what we needed right now. 

-Chris George