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Monday, December 30, 2019

6 Big Reasons to Love “The Mandalorian”

by Ray Keating
December 30, 2019

The Disney+ streaming service launched to great success, with the Star Wars show “The Mandalorian” playing a part in that triumph.

Here are 6 big reasons to love “The Mandalorian.”

1. Under the guidance of creator and showrunner Jon Favreau, “The Mandalorian” quite simply ranks as interesting, entertaining storytelling. In fact, “The Mandalorian” is one of the best TV Westerns ever made – though it happens to take place in space in a galaxy far, far away. Viewers are treated to the lone gunman – the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), or “Mando,” is a bounty hunter – who is drawn into taking on powerful forces in order to protect the innocent – in this case, “The Child” who has lovingly become known as “Baby Yoda” among fans. Along the way, we are treated to gunfights, busting broncos, and tips of the hat to particular Westerns, including The Magnificent Seven.

2. “The Mandalorian” ably combines many of the best aspects of Star Wars, namely, adventure, humor, danger, mystery, joy, hope, mysticism, excellent special effects (Disney reportedly spent a staggering $100 million on the first season of this television series!), and characters worthy of being cared about by the audience.

3. “The Mandalorian” stands out as the example of the opportunities available for great storytelling in the Star Wars universe beyond the Skywalker saga and its immediate orbit.  In the right creative hands, Star Wars offers a great deal of potential. 

4. Beyond Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian, we are treated to an assortment of fine performances, including, most notably, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, Gina Carano as Cara Dune, Werner Herzog as The Client, and Nick Nolte as Kuiil.

5. What would Star Wars be without a good droid? In this case, we have IG-11, who not only is distrusted by the Mandalorian, but journeys on an arc of redemption.

6. “The Child,” a.k.a., “Baby Yoda,” was a risky choice to lie at the center of the series. It could have gone badly wrong, especially if the look was wrong. Fortunately, Favreau and Company nailed it, and now “Baby Yoda” is a mega-hit among Star Wars aliens.

We now officially know that another season of “The Mandalorian” is coming in the fall of 2020. For good measure, two more live-action Star Wars Disney+ series are on the way – a Rogue One prequel and an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor. If they pack half the punch of “The Mandalorian,” the future of Star Wars via Disney+ looks bright.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solutionand the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

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