The Mandalorian: Star Wars Live Action Series

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Something about some moments with the music or camerawork felt a little different this episode, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Glad to have it back and looking forward to where they go with it. It seems like a sandbox for stories that they're just having an absolute blast with.



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Fanboying content aside, this was EASILY the best episode this season in terms of the pacing, shots, and overall direction. As soon as I saw Bryce Dallas Howard's name pop up in the end credits it was obvious why. Something about the first couple episodes felt like it had more of a television-type look/feel about it, but this episode was straight-up cinematic from end-to-end. The fact that it was the one that got to deliver some exciting information and context makes it feel WAY better than if it'd've done that in another episode.

It was AMAZING seeing Din Djarin looking like the sort of out-of-place rookie when compared to the Mandalorians who were raised in war and trained to fight as a squad, since he's used to having to carry all the weight on his own shoulders, and not being surrounded by people he can deeply trust with his life without hesitation.

Especially given that the Armorer has a helmet with the spikes that were exclusive to Maul's Super Commandos, and that Paz Vizsla is the one who gets all up in Din Djarin's face about his helmet, especially given Jon Favreau's previous character from Clone Wars Pre Viszla was the leader of Death Watch, who overthrew the pacifist regime of Duchess Satine Kryze. The fact that Death Watch picked up Din when he was a kid is especially key since Bo Katan-Kryze was a member of Death Watch at the time, despite Satine being her sister. It was only after Maul took over that she and the Nite Owls broke their allegiance, hence why she's the perfect character to bring in the connection to Mandalore and the Darksaber. She's also basically the perfect character to provide context around the different clans and how things got splintered after the Empire took control of Mandalore.

The fact that "The Way" that Din knows is driven by a zealous Mandalorian cult looking to follow the old ways was shocking, but it makes perfect sense. It makes even more sense that they essentially only go out one at a time and remain in hiding, and not just because of the Empire, but also because they're likely targeting any Mandalorians who don't follow their creed with the smallest ability to be discovered. I was especially interested to hear that Din's group were told that Mandalore was a cursed world. I'm VERY interested in seeing where/how that rumor originated and why, especially given how adamant both Death Watch and the Shadow Collective were about ruling Mandalore.

Side note, given Bo Katan's presence in the series as Satine's sister, I think that Boba Fett's micro cameo might end up being something more as a little thing seeded for the Obi-Wan show to use later on, since I think that we're gonna see ways that the galaxy tries to look for him or get him involved when he can't leave his duty to watch over Luke on Tatooine.



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When Grogo stole those cookies last episode I was like “hmmm.... dark side point.” He’s not a baby, he‘s 50. His destiny is a struggle between mental immaturity and lived experience. I have been very suspicious of him ever since. Glad to see Ahsoka agrees.

The reveal of Grogo being a youngling during the Clone Wars was wild. The fanfic mind reels.

This show has gotta be my “favorite” SW property, if only because CW has less mass appeal and can’t be as easily recommended. Not all of the humor this season has landed for me, but the drama is exquisite. This episode was great, it wasn’t just an episode with a Jedi in it, this was a Jedi episode. It brought back an understanding and a reverence for the Force as a metaphor that the sequel movies just didn’t understand.
 

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You can literally feel Dave Filoni's undying love of Princess Mononoke in every single moment of this episode. It works SO well because so many of the Lone Cowboy/Outlaw films were adaptations of Samurai films, so the show's lone wanderer shifting from the Western thematic feel into a more Eastern one meshes perfectly with the other elements that initially inspired Star Wars.

Also, the last shot of her looking up at the departing Razor Crest is picture perfect to her character in Clone Wars.

Filoni's definitely gotten tons better as a director since last season. It feels like he's really rapidly picking up on how to bring all of his background in 2D & 3D animation to their full potential in live-action. I think that he's got a really good sense of storyboarding out the content he wants, and I think that once he's got more experience with setting up for action and other things like that, he'll probably be able to get even better with relative ease.

If there's anything that this season has done for me, it's made me aware that you can really feel the differences in who the directors are on something, and this show makes that work in a good way most of the time. Like shortly into The Siege last week, I wondered to myself, "Why does this feel like an 80s action flick?" and then the end credits: Directed by Carl Weathers. :awesomonster:



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You can literally feel Dave Filoni's undying love of Princess Mononoke in every single moment of this episode. It works SO well because so many of the Lone Cowboy/Outlaw films were adaptations of Samurai films, so the show's lone wanderer shifting from the Western thematic feel into a more Eastern one meshes perfectly with the other elements that initially inspired Star Wars.
Yes! Totally.

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Hate to be that person but
Ahsoka's lekku were the only thing I could focus on during my first viewing of this week's episode. If they can do all the way cool things they've done in this show, why can't they make her lekku/montral look real? Also, they grow with age and for whatever reason, they've shrunk back to the size they were when she was a teenager...????

Anyway, they namedropped Thrawn and I'm cool with that. :monster:
 

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Harbinger O Great Justice
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Hate to be that person but
Ahsoka's lekku were the only thing I could focus on during my first viewing of this week's episode. If they can do all the way cool things they've done in this show, why can't they make her lekku/montral look real? Also, they grow with age and for whatever reason, they've shrunk back to the size they were when she was a teenager...????
It's definitely a valid comment as everyone familiar with her seems to've noticed, especially as they're a sign of her age. They did have a practical reason for it, which was:

I think that that's also a facet of Filoni being less familiar with directing stunt work with actors in live-action and not being able to combine the creative direction along with the safety measures so that they matched up. Plus, it's not the sort of thing that you want to have to go in and correct with VFX (although I wouldn't be against it if they ever decided to). That's one of the things that I hope that if she does make an appearance in a later season or something that they'll be able to adjust.



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Oh look, Boba Fett actually gets to be cool :O

Never forget though:


Gotta say though, as much as I enjoyed Mando so far it seems to mostly get by on fanservice rather than interesting stories.
They are doing a fair amount of fanservice, but I think that it's all also important means to an end:
Din Djarin, Bo Katan, & Boba Fett are all slowly being shifted into a space where they operate together against Moff Gideon. Din needs to rescue Grogu, Fett owes a debt of honour to see the Child is protected, Bo Katan needs to reclaim the Darksaber to help save her homeworld.

Yes those characters involve a lot of fanservice, but the three of them serve an important purpose to a story that is central to the core of the show, even before The Child was introduced. They all represent the key remaining archtypes of "Mandalorians" that Star Wars has presented. They're the broken facets of Mandalore that are left having to find a way to reconcile their differences before they can find a way to get their homeworld back
  • Boba Fett is not considered a Mandalorian despite being the most famous "wearer-of-Mandalorian-armor" in Star Wars, and he's very disconnected to them, not to mention being directly related to the Clones that empowered the Empire pre-Stormtroopers.
  • Bo Katan's sister was the peaceful ruler of Mandalore, but Bo was a member of Death Watch. However, she refused to acknowledge Maul's right to rule after he won in combat – specifically because he wasn't Mandalorian.
  • Din Djarin is a foundling of Death Watch who's still tied to the Zealots who likely also stayed loyal to Maul and rigidly followed the older warrior code without exception. However, he is now tasked with protecting a Force-wielding child who were the Mandalorian's sworn enemies.

Central to that point is "The Child" Grogu, because the Mandalorians have a history of an antagonistic history with the Jedi, and with Force-wielders in general. All of that is tied to the legacy of Mandalore the Great, and the history of the Darksaber being tied to the rightful ruler of Mandalore. Moff Gideon having the Darksaber AND Grogu means that they also are likely going to be put in a place where they have to reevaluate what their relationship is towards each other and Force users as the idea of "The Mandalorian" is being reestablished post-Empire by their actions.

What's a version of the Mandalorian Code that they can all agree on? How can they all regard one another as equals when considering who was the right to the homeworld & to the Beskar that was taken from the Mandalorians? What do they have to assess to judge what their involvement is towards Force-users re-emerging in the galaxy? To the oppose it, ignore it, accept it, enable it?

All of those things are hugely important to establishing things about what the Star Wars galaxy is like post-Empire, and is why I think that they're taking time to re-build a lot of elements leading up to telling stories in the post-Empire era again, and are focusing on the High Republic with everything else for the time being.



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@Tetsujin I gotta disagree, this show does fan service right. Even if you only ever saw The Mandalorian, and hadn’t seen a single other Star War, this story and these characters aren’t just comprehensible, they’re compelling. That they are laced with trivia treats for fans mightn’t even occur to a blind watcher.

I think I learned more about who Boba Fett is in this episode than I did in any other thing, especially post Clone Wars, especially post-holiday special. I kind of laughed to myself at how much he was going to town with that glaive, as his little trip to the Sarlaac was caused by an accidental bowstaff thwap.

Another great episode. :)
 
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