Hello Friends! As promised, here is my first review of the Mandalorian Season one, which will cover episode or chapter one of the show. At first, I thought about covering the entire season in one post, but after some consideration, I decided that that is way to much content to cover in one sitting. This post will not have much analysis but will instead be more informative. I will be saving all the analysis for my post on Chapter 8 once we have seen character arcs unfold!
Before we get into it, a bit of a warning is necessary. This post will have spoilers for chapter one of season one, for Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels. I do recommend that you watch episode one before reading this review, but if you want the general review: kid cautions, foul language count, and my rating, just skip down to the end.
Well, I have given my disclaimer…let’s get right to it! Allons-y!
“I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.”Din Djarin from The Mandalorian – Chapter 1
We are first introduced to the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin on the icy planet of Maldo Kries. There we are also introduced to his skill in hand to hand combat as he quickly clears up a rather graphic skirmish in a bar. Promptly he collects his bounty and heads off to his ship the razor crest. We are once again presented with his impressive fighting skills as he barely escapes the jaws of a giant dragon-like, water creature.
His prisoner foolishly tries to escape, as he slips below the main deck of the ship, under the excuse of “bathroom break.” Yet, his efforts are unsuccessful as Mando’s seemingly ruthless behavior is confirmed when he traps him, slipping him into carbon freeze and adding him to rows upon rows of bounties that had met the same fate.
These first few scenes introduce us to Mando as a character, but also to his lifestyle. He is a man of few words, which makes him seem some what mysterious and foreboding. In all honesty his fight skills make him seem quite barbarous and cutthroat. When I watched this first episode with my sister in early September, that is the impression I received until I saw the end…spoilers! However, is there more to this Mando than who he appears to be on the surface level? As the series progresses, we see his character unfold even more until…well…I do not want to get ahead of myself. I’ll save that for a later post. It is quite the show! 😉
After he secures his bounties, Mando returns to the planet Nevarro where the bounty hunter’s guild, of which he is a member, is based. He arrives at a cantina that looks nostalgically like the cantina in the New Hope. In any case, this is where he meets the guild leader Greef Karga. Mando receives his payment and readily wants to accept all the jobs that Greef offers him, yet Greef counters, saying that there are other guild members that need work as well. This indiscreetly shows Mando’s skill at catching criminals.
It is now that Greef offers him a secret job, which Mando refers to as “underworld,” piquing the interests of all the members in the cantina. After receiving the information from him, he sets off to find his secret client.
It is important to note at this time that this is taking place after the events of The Return of the Jedi; thus, it is after the fall of the Empire. Why is this important you ask? Because…
When Mando arrives at his clients location, he is brought in by a droid, but the real surprise comes when he is met by four imperial Stormtroopers in a large room. In the center is an old man, wearing the imperial symbol on a pendant that hangs from around his neck. Hmm…suspicious….
After a “slight” scuffle an imperial scientist comes into the room, and Mando is told of the asset that he must bring back alive at all costs. As down payment he is given beskar, which is a Mandalorian metal, that is used to make a Mandalorian’s armor. It is engraved with an imperial seal, signifying that it was taken during the Great Purge.
It is unclear what the Great Purge is, but what we do know (thanks to Wookiepedia) that it was an event in Mandalorian history that killed most of Mandalore’s people during which the Empire took beskar as spoils.
Before Mando leaves to find the asset, he visits a Mandalorian covert that he is apart of. Apparently, they are all in hiding, which took me by surprise. I will explain why in a moment.
He takes the beskar to a Mandalorian woman, who we know as the Armorer, and out of it she forges him a new shoulder plate.
However, what beskar is not used they save for the “foundlings.”
The foundlings are the hope and survival of the Mandalorian race. If a Mandalorian warrior discovers a child, they are to unite them with their kind or raise them as their own, acting as the child’s parent (once again thanks to Wookiepedia). Once a foundling is of age, they can become a Mandalorian or go their own way; it’s their choice.
At the sight of Imperial beskar, one Mandalorian, Paz Vizsla, becomes annoyed, and this is when we first hear reference of the Great Purge. The Armorer calms him down, and this interesting dialogue follows.
“Our secrecy is out survival. Our survival is our strength.”
“Our strength was once in our numbers. Now we live in the shadows and only come above ground one at a time. Our world was shattered by the Empire, with whom this coward share tables.”The Armorer and Paz Vizsla – The Mandalorian Chapter 1
Here is my question: what happened to Mandalore?
If you have not watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars: Rebels, (I have not seen this show but know much about it. It is on my watchlist!) then let me catch you up on a brief history of Mandalore and its people. Spoiler warning! Skip down if you do not want spoilers for these shows!
The Mandalorians have had a long history of violence and war. However, after the Mandalorian Civil War, they were ruled by the Duchess Satine Kryze, who opposed war and violence. She kept Mandalore neutral during the Clone Wars and established the order of New Mandalorians. Thus, Mandalore flourished under her reign, even amidst the constant threat of Death Watch.
Death Watch was a terrorist organization, formed to oppose Satine’s reign and restore the Mandalorians to their old warrior ways of the past. Eventually, however, they joined forces with the Sith Lord Darth Maul (please don’t ask me how he survived…😳) to form the Shadow Collective that targeted Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine.
Maul and his brother Savage Oppress took over Mandalore and took the Duchess captive. However, to inflict pain upon Obi-Wan for revenge when he attempted to save her, Maul murdered her with the ever mysterious Dark Saber…
Satine’s sister Bo-Katan Kryze, who was formerly apart of Death Watch, betrayed Maul and after Obi-Wan’s capture, freed him while her and her forces, the Nite Owls, took back Mandalore.
She told Obi-Wan to inform the Republic of Maul’s invasion.
“Go back to your Republic and tell them what has happened.”
“That would likely lead to a Republic invasion of Mandalore!”
“Yes, and Maul will die, but Mandalore will survive…we always survive!”Bo-Katan Kryze and Obi-Wan Kenobi – Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 16 – The Lawless
This eventually leads to what is known as The Siege of Mandalore when Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, and the 501st legion capture Maul, and Bo-Katan is made Regent of Mandalore.
Unfortunately, immediately following this Order 66 is declared, Maul escapes, and the Republic transitions into the Galactic Empire. This is where Mandalore’s history ends in the Clone Wars.
Mandalore’s story picks up again in Rebels when the focus shifts from clan Kryze (Satine, Bo-Katan, and Korkie – Satine’s nephew) to clan Wren (Sabine, Ursa, and Alrich). Ursa Wren, Sabine’s mother, was in fact a member of Death Watch when they took over Mandalore under the influence of Maul, the first time.
After the rise of the Empire, Viceroy Gar Saxon was put into power of Mandalore and established the first Imperial Academy. Sabine was a student at this academy, but after helping create a weapon that could potentially destroy the Mandalorians, she felt guilty and left Mandalore and the academy while also earning the title of traitor from the Empire. Although this never actually seen in the show, this is apart of Sabine’s history (thanks to Wookiepedia…again! 😁).
While looking for Darth Maul, Sabine found the Dark Saber, which after some time she learned to wield and eventually used to unite the Mandalorians.
When she returned to her family, she convinced them of the Empire’s treachery and killed Viceroy Saxon in the process.
Mandalore is never actually visited until the fourth and final season of Rebels. After a long battle to destroy the weapon that Sabine had created at the academy, she gave the Dark Saber to Bo-Katan, reassuring her that she was the rightful leader of Mandalore.
Thus, Bo-Katan took her place as ruler of Mandalore and its people, and that is the last we see of Mandalore and hear of the Mandalorians until the Mandalorian came out, that is…
Phew…that was anything but brief, but it is important in order to understand the context on which the first season of Mandalorian is built. Oh, and that is just an overview of Mandalore’s history. To get the full depth and incredible character arcs that are crafted into these shows, you need to watch them!
Some where in between Mandalore’s last appearance in Rebels to the Mandalorian, the Great Purge happens and the Mandalorians flee into hiding. It is not clear what happens to Bo-Katan during this time either, but we can only hope that season 2 will clear this up for us.
There is also no record of Mandalore ever blowing up via the Death Star, so why are the Mandalorians almost extinct and hiding in corners of the galaxy? Once again, hopefully season 2 will not disappoint and will provide us with some much needed answers.
And that, my friends, is why I was so taken aback when I heard that all the Mandalorians were in hiding, but if I missed anything, please feel free to comment below!
Any who…getting back to the Mandalorian, Mando leaves the covert and heads to the planet Arvala-7 where he meets one of my favorite characters of season 1, Kuiil and his deranged T-Rex.
Kuiil claims that he has watched many bounty hunters seek the asset but fail to capture it all the same. However, he has faith in Mando and after teaching him how to rid a deranged T-Rex, which is actually called a blurrg, he leads him to the encampment where the bounty is.
He does indeed find the “quarry” down in that encampment, but first he comes in contact with a bounty droid named IG-11. This droid really surprised me, but I won’t get ahead of myself. Together they are a dangerous duo and take out the whole band of pirates that inhabit the facility in an excellent fight scene that makes you want to YAWP at the end of it!
Immediately, following this, they find the asset…otherwise known to the world and internet as Baby Yoda or The Child…
“Wait, they said 50 years old…”
“Species age differently. Perhaps it could live many centuries.”Din Djarin and IG-11 – The Mandalorian Chapter 1
This is when the first step in Mando’s character arc begins. IG-11 is going to kill Baby when Mando saves him and shoots IG instead. It is a very intense scene, and you almost can see the compassion in his eyes through his helmet.
The episode ends with Mando holding out his hand to the Child as Baby reaches up to grasp his finger.
Perhaps this mysterious and seemingly ruthless Mandalorian has more to him than what he seems to be on the surface. We will definitely see his character grow as the season progresses, and most certainly through the currently on going season 2.
This first episode of the Mandalorian introduces us to Din Djarin and takes us back to the galaxy we all know and love after the fall of the odious Empire. Here is my review of this episode:
9.5 out of 10.0 – Excellent Content!
Kid Caution: High/12+ with Parental Guidance because of violence
Foul Language: Coward…other than that – None
This is a great first episode to set off an epic season! I would recommend this show to anyone looking to watch something extraordinary. Good, clean television is hard to come by these days so strap in and soak up the action, adventure, and the baby Yoda cuteness!
Well, that is all for now, friends! I hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to drop a comment below! I will review the next episode(s) of Mandalorian season 1 in the next week or two, so please stay tuned…
Until next time,
Time Lady of Coruscant 😄