The tricky aspect about exploring a universe and living within it is a sense of expectation. In making the huge Star Wars films, sometimes the texture of the smaller character work like what “A New Hope” gets lost since that was essentially an independent film. Unfortunately as much as creativity can be a spark point among writers creating a bigger structure with such as large company such as Disney can be formidable. What “The Mandalorian” understands in its first episode is that everything doesn’t need to be rushed. While the series boasts more high end effects than most series, it gets what it needs to be. In a way that “The Gunslinger” should be done, it establishes The Mandalorian as a gun toting bounty hunter of old. The setting is basically for crime: The Wild West after the fall of the Empire which while essential has eliminated a certain order, however dictatorial to the Republic.
The first episode sets up a quest without seemingly like a quest. What director David Filoni and, by extension, show runner Jon Favreau has realized is by creating smaller scenes, even if it leads into a bigger showdown it makes the points more specialized. The Mandalorian does that two times after he sets down on planet. The humor is undeniable created in a gunfight of sorts that brings to mind “Way Of The Gun” as an influence…and if Chris McQuarrie ever finds his way into the Star Wars universe… But that said the first episode works because it tempers expectations while also give you enough tidbits of the original IP to engage which is what made “Rogue One” the best Star Wars movie of the new generation but also “Clone Wars” which helped show small character based episodes while balancing with the space opera which people expect.
By TIm Wassberg