by Ray Keating
November 12, 2019
• 5 out of 5 stars for the Disney+ launch
• 5 out 5 stars for first episode of The Mandalorian
So, my day started with a bagel, a caffeinated beverage, and signing up for the Walt Disney Company’s triple combo of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. With no pre-order available for the streaming bundle, I wondered if there would be challenges online. But as it turned out, the process was quick and easy. Kudos to Disney.
Disney+ went live at 6:00 AM EST this morning. I logged on to DisneyPlus.com a few minutes after six, clicked on the $12.99 per month button to sign up for the bundle, and in less than 10 minutes I was set to watch all three services.
In fact, I was watching the first episode of The Mandalorian before 6:30. And yes, this first installment from creator and writer Jon Favreau grabs you. There’s a nice Star Wars feel to it, with action, humor, a cantina, interesting aliens and creatures, mystery and mysticism. Indeed, the Mandalorian not only is a bounty hunter, but he’s awash in questions. He is an enigma, and you find yourself wanting to know more about this character (played by Pedro Pascal) – as well as about what comes next after a “wow” ending to the first episode.
Favreau has created an unmistakable Western in space. That has been tried before, but after one episode, my expectations are that The Mandalorian will do the sci-fi, Western thing better than what’s been tried previously.
In addition, the special effects, including the Mandalorian’s ship, are off-the-charts well done, especially for a small-screen effort. But it has been reported that Disney is spending a rather breathtaking $15 million per episode on this six-episode first season.
If the rest of The Mandalorian sustains and builds on the quality of this first episode – and episodes have a staggered release rather than being posted all at once – then it will be worth every penny.
Here’s to a brilliant start to Disney+ and The Mandalorian.
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at email@example.com.