I was so excited, I made my own Mandalorian costume. Complete with fancy shoulder plate.
I am what you would call a casual Stars Wars fan. I’ve seen them all, one or two several times. I get the pop culture references (Han shot first!) and I follow some of the actors on Instagram. (Mark Hamill is a national treasure.)
When I decided I wanted to watch The Mandalorian I decided to do so not as a Star Wars fan, but as a TV fan. I love TV, y’all. I love watching shows, talking about shows, and writing about shows. The Mandalorian is a hit, with a second season coming, so as a TV devotee, I needed to figure out what everyone was so crazy about.
I will be watching and recapping all eight episodes of Season 1 and before I dive right into it (the galaxy waits for no one), let’s set some ground rules. Firstly, there will be spoilers for the episode I am recapping, but please, no spoilers for future episodes. If you’re reading this on the blog and want to drop comments that include episode appropriate spoilers, awesome. Let’s chat. If you’re reading from the Facebook group, no spoilers in the thread, please. It’s harder for people to avoid those in their scroll. Lastly, I welcome any and all Star Wars corrections from die hard fans, as long as they’re made in respectful and courteous ways. I know that I don’t know all that I don’t know, but tell me what you know kindly, please. Or I’ll set a bountry droid on you.
Let’s jump in!
Episode 1: The Mandalorian
Oh, I’m so excited. There’s a beeping noise. Oh, and some helmets and droids. Is this a logo or an opening credits? What am I looking at here? Who cares, STAR WARS!
The beeping reveals a man in some terrible weather. He is looking for something. Looks like he found it, because he starts striding purposefully towards…
A bar! Where some Space Bullies are picking on a Fishy Blue Alien looking guy. The purposefully looking guy enters, and the whole vibe of the room changes. The main space bully identifies him as “mando” so this must be the Mandalorian! Hey, buddy!
There’s some bar shenangingans where we learn that the Mandalorian is not one to be trifled with and Fishy Blue actually has a bounty on his head. So the Mandalorian is a bounty hunter. The show is doing a very good job of explaining things to newbies like me, while not going overboard on the exposition. The Mandalorian says, “I can bring you in warm or I can bring you in cold.” What a baller! Then we get the title card.
The Mandalorian and Fishy Blue need to get back to his ship, and there is a Pied Piper alien who can summon space ubers. He summons one that the Mandalorian rejects because it is driven by a droid. He gruffly says, “no droids.” Hopefully we get more on that later. A not droid in a rambly space craft pulls up and we learn that this cold planet is dangerous territory for space jargon reasons I don’t fully understand. The Mandalorian pays Space Uber Driver and then the Space Uber Driver is PROMPLY eaten by an ice monster thing. I did not see this coming! I was freaking out right alongside Fishy Blue.
Okay, so we’re all safe in the Mandalorian’s ship. Fishy Blue is really charming me. What could he have done that’s so bad? He goes to find a bathroom (backtube?) because, “I’m molting.” Many chuckles from me. I love epic space fighting as much as anyone, but I also love when Star Wars is funny. Fishy Blue does find a bathroom, but he also gets a nasty shock when he finds a bunch of other bounties frozen in carbonite! And guess what, here’s the Mandalorian and now Fishy Blue is in carbonite, too. I forget the rules of carbonite. It doesn’t kill you, right? Because Han Solo was it in at some point?
So now we’re at another bar on another planet, though this one looks way friendlier than the last one. The Mandalorian meets with a guy who tries to pay him in Imperial Credits. “I don’t know if you heard, but the Empire is gone.” The Mandalorian is so sassy. Where is the Empire? More specifically, this is a post Rise of Skywaker world? What’s the timeline here? There was no opening scroll to tell me the “previously on Star Wars” of it all.
So times are tough for bounty hunters and the guy tells him that there is “one job”, no puck (?), direct commission, deep pockets. What’s a Mandalorian to do?
He takes it, duh. And he winds up in a back alley hideout greeted by Storm Troopers. Storm Troopers! Guess the Empire isn’t that gone? The Storm Troopers seem to work for Werner Herzog, who is the best at being the mysterious worst. There is also a doctor, whose name I didn’t catch and I watched this episode twice. Okay, I looked it up. Dr. Pershing. Werner Herzog is just “The Client”, so I’ll keep calling him Werner Herzog.
Werner Herzog gives him a very challenging job to find a thing. In payment, he gives him something called a “bescar” (sp?) that looks like an ipod. But it’s not an ipod,. It’s a metal of some kind, because the Mandalorian takes it to a furnace, where a Lady Mandalorian turns some of it into a cool shoulder plate and tells him the rest of it will go to help foundlings. This makes the Mandalorian happy (I think? Hard to tell) because he was once a foundling. We get some sad foundling flashbacks of the Mandalorian losing his parents in some kind of raid/fighting/conflict. The shoulder plate is a big deal, because there is epic music, but I don’t know why.
The Mandalorian is back on the case with his new armor. On this new planet, he is attacked by things that look like a cross between a land shark and a rhino. The land sharks are about to take him out when he is saved by a frontier alien who looks like a cross between Papa Smurf and Professor Flitwick. This is Kuiil and he is great.
Kuiil tells the Mandalorian he will help him because he wants the people who are on his frontier planet gone. He has this endearing habit of ending conversations with “I have spoken” and I think I might start doing that. But first the Mandalorian needs to learn to ride a blerb. Blerg? The land shark. Kuiil suggests the Mandalorian remove his helmet and this is the second time this episode a character has referred to the Mandalorians not removing their helmets. Is there a reason for this? Also, I have to say, it puts things in perspective. I haven’t loved wearing a mask to the grocery store, but at least I’m not wearing a full helmet all the time.
The Mandalorian learns to ride a Berb and Kuiil takes him to where he will find “the quarry.” I like Kuiil. I hope we see more of him. I have spoken.
The Mandalorian does some recon, but what’s this? Someone else beat him to it. “Oh no, a bounty droid.” The Mandalorian REALLY does not like droids. We get a very fun action set piece where the droid (IG Unit?) and the Mandalorian team up to get the bounty. Is it a rule that all droids in the Star Wars universe be charming? Because IG is a treat.There is a delightful runner where the IG unit keeps threatening to turn on its self destruct protocol. The Mandalorian steals a very big laser machine gun. It’s a good time. Space battles!
The Mandalorian and IG win! There’s a nice friendly moment and then they laser into the room with the bounty. IG senses there is a life form present. They approach the bounty. It appears to be some kind of space Igloo cooler. The Mandalorian opens it and we meet….
Yoda Baby! Star of the internet! Apparently, this little cutie is 50 years old. But IG informs the Mandalorian that species age differently…as he attempts to murder Yoda Baby. What? No! The Mandalorian shoots IG instead, and while I am sad to lose IG, we must protect Yoda Baby at all costs. The Mandalorian and Yoda Baby share at ET moment, and credits!
Well that was fun! That was everything I want in a Star Wars: space battles, awesome aliens and creatures, heart, humor. As far as a tv show goes, it’s a pretty solid setup. We have a very detailed, lived in world. We have a protagonist with a very clear objective/goal. We have funny and interesting side characters. There is a central mystery around the identity of the Client. Pretty solid opener. I’m excited for Episode 2: The Child.
I’ll leave you on three questions: What are your thoughts about this first episode? Are all Mandalorians bounty hunters, or just this one? Which droid is the best droid in the Star Wars Universe? I have spoken.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!