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The Pandalorian: Panda Recaps Disney+’s “The Mandalorian”

Okay, okay. Stop me if you heard this one!

So, a Mandalorian walks into a bar…

As clearly the whole world knows by now, Disney Plus or Disney+, depending on who you ask and where you search, launched on Nov 12th, after a bit of waiting, high expectations, and shockingly low cost. So far, the platform is delivering in a big way.

One of the first original contributions comes to us from Jon Favreau. Yeah, that Favreau. Created, written, and produced by him.

So anyway, a Mando walks into a bar…

We see a blue alien individual (Horatio Sanz) in a bar being somewhat harassed or maybe robbed by a group of ne’er do wells.

True to it’s space western stylized sense, when it looks like the recipient of whatever bad thing was coming his way, the doors open and here comes a someone familiar look. That helmet, the armor, we aren’t sure who this Mando is yet, but it’s clear he’s not there for the drink special. Or the galactic nachos.

We quickly come to see a glimpse that Mandalorians probably aren’t to be messed with, as that group is quickly and efficiently dispatched. A sense of relief comes over the creature we saw just moments prior fearing for his life. Then, he quickly realizes HE is the bounty, and we get out first real line from this Mandalorian.

While the bounty tries to cut a deal, our Mandalorian smoothly touches his blaster and ominously warns “I can take you in warm, or I can take you in cold”.

That set the tone for me, I leaned back and said “oh damn”. It wasn’t a threat, it wasn’t brooding. It was just matter of fact.

As his prisoner is secured, he’s transported back to claim his reward. During this sequence, we get introduced to some new faces, and we see some familiar cruisers and speeders, though it’s still difficult to tell where in the timeline this falls. As a speeder driver (Brian Posehn) pulls up in a speeder “hoopty”, I still don’t get a good sense of timeline based on technology. As someone who is not full on smart when it comes to the canon of the Star Wars realms, at this point I can’t tell if it’s 1000 years before the Battle of Endor or 10 minutes after. (Editor’s Note: The Mandalorian apparently takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens)

After handing off his prisoner, he moves on to the next job mentally and starts looking for more bounties to collect. He needS bounties to make money, but, it doesn’t look like business is booming. Then, he gets a bit of an offer he can’t refuse.

It’s clear by the way it’s setup, and when he goes to the deal…that this isn’t just a regular bounty. The payoff is very solid, the people offering it are, well…you’ll see, but a Mando gotta eat!

He gets basic info, everything about this deal should have been a red flag. He basically gets a tracking device, and told the subject’s age so it “shouldn’t be that hard to find” for a Mandalorian. They want them alive, but if the bounty comes back cold there is still a half bounty. So that’s damned intriguing.

At the same time, as a side note…Bitch please, you’re going to send me off with a wonky GPS and relative age? This better be the payoff of the, well, whatever really long time standard is that they use in Star Wars.

Before heading off on the mission, the Mandalorian heads off to get some upgrade to his armor. I’m guessing eventually we will see piece by piece being built or upgraded, I really like this. It shows such development and the struggles he went through even financially just to kind of keep hunting and take care of himself.

During this sequence as our blacksmith works the Beskar Steel, we get a series of flashbacks while the equipment is being forged that gives us some much needed back story into this specific mercenary. With a quick upgrade and some history, it’s back on mission.

Our mercenary heads towards his waypoint, as he touches down we do get to see that this Mandalorian isn’t a complete and total invincible being, he’s introduced the hard way to some of the wildlife of the area, and gets a bit of assistance from a stranger that seems to know quite a bit about Mandalorians.

This stranger guides him a bit and gives a little training as well, our stranger acts as a bit of a historical narrator at parts to tell us a couple things and let’s us know that people have been coming to get this target for years, and there has been no peace because everyone seems to want this target.

After our quick historical lesson wraps, they approach the area where the bounty is secured, our stranger kind of says “yeah, you have fun with all that” and goes about his day. As our Mandalorian does reconnaissance he sees a Bounty Droid (Similar to IG-88 from The Empire Strikes Back) approaching and realizes, he’s about to lose his bounty if that Droid gets to the target before him. 

As for the droid (voiced by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi), holy shit, I loved it. So efficient in movement and operations. A very unique and stellar combat style. Reminded me movement and fight wise kind of how Tick Tock operates in Return to Oz (also available on Disney+!).

The droid and Mando start taking on massive amounts of fire from people within the area. The compound is heavily guarded, so it makes me want to know even more who the hell is this bounty. This many people, the players involved, the money, the stories from the stranger, and now two hired guns taking on 2739 people…who could this bounty be?

The Droid and Mandalorian go hard, just a stellar shootout. That whole scene was just a blast. Okay it was a bunch of blasts if you want to be punny.

As they gain the upper hand and head toward their target, they look confused. The tracker points them to a object that opens. As it opens, it’s quickly revealed that you need to watch this now and see what kind of creature it is…because I’m not going to tell you. 

Trust when I say it makes a lot of other things make sense, and it definitely left me going “awww maaaaaaaan” but simply because there isn’t a second episode yet, and they can’t just leave me like that!

I’ll just sum it all up. I am not a big Star Wars fan, really not a fan of western type films as a whole but this is a stellar initial offering with a fantastic cast, familiar faces, nostalgia, Easter eggs, and the list could keep going.

Honestly, this alone was worth $6.99, and I still have a month’s worth of content left to view on the app!

What did you think? What is still to come? The doors are wide open there is a whole galaxy far far away to explore now! Until next time, I’m the Pandalorian

1 Comment

  1. Dave Larcombe

    November 13, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Very well written, Brother Panda! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

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