The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, used by Disney as a means of attraction for the Disney + streaming platform, was a surprise rather than a pleasant one. And this is said by one who does not have the Star Wars universe at heart, even after the new trilogy is launched. If the films made for the big screen are a shampoo with everything ready to exhaust their audiences (and sometimes provoke them indigestion), The Mandalorian comes with a limited economy of means to tell a simple and engaging story.
Probably the main asset of the series is the nature of the protagonist played (without seeing his face, at least not until the end of the fourth episode) by Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones). A Mandalorian dressed from head to toe in shining armor, the character is a true mystery and benefits from a unique help from the script. Except for a flashback sequence, we know absolutely nothing about the hero and accompany him on his journey through the galaxy without receiving any background information. Without name and without history, taciturn and stoic, the character is only described by facts.
Obviously, a mysterious and solitary hero was not enough to captivate the audience and here the creator of the series, Jon Favreau, came up with a great idea: to include in the story a character who has cast the entire Star Wars fan base in the story. Even though his identity is no longer considered a spoiler by Disney (meanwhile Twitter posts have appeared with the protagonist’s little companion), we prefer not to reveal it yet, out of respect for those who have not started watching the series. Repeat, The Mandalorian could work for both franchise fans and those who are reluctantly (and even a little silly) waiting for each new sequel to the franchise.
There is something incredibly attaching in the connection between the two main characters. One emanates solitude and, raised in the spirit of his fellow men, is condemned to a life of solitude. He is taught not to attach himself to anyone and nothing, but he has a code of honor that makes him jump to the aid of the defenseless. And his friendly companion, who is called, more than cryptically, the “child”, is indeed defenseless, despite his phenomenal powers. The connection between the mercenary who has never been attached to anyone and his protégé is probably one of the most endearing in the series of recent years.
Where the films in the franchise rely on visual excess and sustained the pace, The Mandalorian earns points with – at least comparatively – its formal and relational minimalism. If in the films the stakes are always galactic and the personal sacrifices always serve a purpose on a gigantic scale, here the restrained tone, the honesty of the challenges and their simplicity are the ones that win the affection of the public. The scenario is so simple that you might consider it simplistic, but the story is well adapted to the surprisingly small length of the episodes (between 30 and 37 minutes), each of them having a specific challenge. Yes, sometimes The Mandalorian completely misses the verisimilitude, even in the never-likable context of a space opera (for example, killing a monster with a … knife), but its strengths distract from the shortcomings.
From the chronological point of view, the action of the series takes place between the events of the second trilogy (first released) and the resurrection of 2015 with The Force Awakens. The fact that the story is on the periphery of Star Wars mythology (The Force is never verbally mentioned and no Jedi knight appears in the frame at least) can only help, because these symbols are at least in our opinion. , to the limit of wear and tear after being used and reused by the Disney money factory. Probably if the show had launched in Netflix style, The Mandalorian would have become one of the most dedicated binging sessions this year. Disney preferred the classic broadcast, and the fact that the last episode of the first season launches on December 27 (so a week after the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker megaphone) makes us wonder if it is somewhere between the series and the final episode of the Skywalker there are no more consistent connections than we have at first sight.