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Every time an episode of The Mandalorian lands, Fantha Tracks will be giving their responses, and here are our initial gut feelings, deep dives and thoughts on the debut episode – simply titled Chapter 1. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.

Sheila Wright
Highly entertaining and flavorful!

The music and certain scenes gave an impression of classic westerns with nostalgic splashes of the 70s show, Kung Fu, which I really enjoyed! As an older fan, those touches as well as the nostalgia for Star Wars served as a unifying element that maybe younger or not-obsessed fans might not feel, but I don’t think that will detract from their enjoyment. I admit I clapped when I saw stormtroopers and the Imperial insignia.

I loved the armory scene! Their armor lore and culture are details I have been craving. I know the animated series Rebels touched upon it, but forging armor looks so cool in live action! I really liked how they undercut the Mandalorian’s mysteriousness, coolness, and bad-assery with his attempts to ride the blurrg and his soft-spot for his bounty at the end. Although I felt he got the hang of blurrg-riding too quick, that all it took was for the guide to take a dig at his Mandalorian-ness for him to get it right. Although, maybe that’s all it takes for a Mandalorian to regain his bad-assery.

I loved his ship: a Phantom Menace-era-ish/steampunk piece with a mobile carbon freezing unit! How f-ing cool was that!?!?!

I thought they were trying a bit too hard putting recognizable Star Wars elements in the beginning, particularly with the Kubaz selling speeders. His lines seemed identical to the Kubaz, Garindan’s lines in A New Hope. But I also realize that not everyone has seen Star Wars a gazillion times like me, so that detail would likely not seem overdone and would actually seem a subtle, familiar enough connection since Garindan was not a major character in the first film.

And the sprinkles of humor and memorable phrases were just right.

The show had an authentic flavor to it: an entity to stand on its own but also just enough tidbits and teasers to let us live in the Star Wars galaxy, again.
I have spoken.

For now.

Paul McQue
Within the first few minutes of the new Star Wars show the tone was firmly established of what was to come in Chapter 1. Using a cantina setting was an inspired choice by Favreau and Filoni that allowed them to drop us straight into familiar underground territory like Mos Eisley and Maz’s Castle by using creatures and aliens to introduce us to The Mandalorian.

I thought F&F got the numerous call backs to previous lore just right. They were subtle enough for fans (especially those that like to deep dive) to get excited yet at the same time they wouldn’t alienate new viewers whom perhaps this is there first introduction to Star Wars via Disney+.

All I’ll say about the cliff hanger for now is it’s the greatest first episode ending since Charlie Pace said “Guys, where are we?” And just when my mind was yelling WTF they went and gave us the stunning concept art as the credits rolled. What an unexpected bonus that was.

Lugwig Göransson’s music style was a brave choice but I thought it fits the tone perfectly.
I’m excited to learn more about these new characters as each chapter unfolds in this Mando: a Star Wars story.

I have spoken.

Matt Booker
So, so good. Glad to see classic era Star Wars back. Lots of helmet nods to the fans and plenty of aliens and creatures vehicles and more populating the show. Gimme more!!

Greig Robertson
What an incredible kick off to the first live action TV show. Loved the feel of the show, the classic trilogy feels and the soundtrack was beautiful. A tasty western vibe which left me wanting more now. Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau – I friggin love you!

I have spoken.

Mark Mulcaster
An considered and steady opening episode with some great layered world building from the get go that not only delves in to Star Wars Legends but the new lore doesn’t feel remotely out of place. There’s definitely a original trilogy vibe yet the cinematography is closer to Rogue One and lit in a similar way to Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Drawing on the inspiration of Star Wars rather than just taking inspiration from Star Wars makes this feel authentic and not derivative. The first episode has set the bar high for the rest of the season.

Adam O’Brien
Best Star Wars I’ve seen! This is the kind of thing I expected to see back in 2015. Feels closest to Solo and a little of Rogue One, but the darkness, mixes with the wry sense of humour gets that bounty hunter tone spot on, along with a Sergio Leone spirit right down to the music. It certainly has that “Man with No Name” flavour. For a roughly 30 min runtime it’s nuts! Plus what cliffhanger!! True cereal story style! I want more!!!

Matt Neve
Wow! I was gripped from the opening line of The Mandalorian to the cliffhanger ending, this felt like a true “moment” in Star Wars story-telling.

I was taken back to the original trilogy by the sets and reminded of Rogue One in its grittiness.

I loved the dry wit and the mystery of the lead character with just an inkling of back story to keep the viewer tantalised. This was helped by clever world building and a sense of intrigue throughout.

More please!

Sergio Lopes
I went to watch the first episode of The Mandalorian very suspicious, but guys … I can not doubt Filoni, the crazy is too genius. He can bring out the good old Star Wars, that of George Lucas, the famous “root”, and the main one, he’s not afraid or ashamed of it, Filoni can produce Star Wars-looking Star Wars content. In The Mandalorian you can feel the connection with the saga, it’s all there … in the smallest detail, we don’t feel alien in our beloved universe.

The script of the first episode is well tied, the effects, photography and soundtrack owe nothing to a Star Wars production, but what draws attention here is the performance of Pedro Pascal, even without showing his face, he acts impeccably , he can make us believe that we are facing a Mandalorian.

Clair Henry
If this is what Star Wars on the small screen is going to look like then I’m in! It’s got the Saturday morning TV feel that Lucas wanted Star Wars to have, it’s violent without the violence, Star Wars without all the main characters (like Rogue One ), and just fantastic! Already looking forward to seeing episode 2.

Paul Naylor
SW = Spaghetti Western
SW + SW = The Mandalorian

A fantastic first episode. Edgy and confident. It just goes to show, Star Wars is about more than the Skywalker lineage.

Rogue One and Solo – and now The Mandalorian – respect the original and prequel trilogies by giving a rich background. Jawas, gonks, R2s, rodians – all scene setters. Star Wars isn’t about one family. That is actually contrived marketing. Star Wars is about a galaxy. Once the Story Group understand that, the tales will open up and become amazing tasters that will – in time – lead us back to the big screen.

Andrew Walker
Having seen the early footage at Star Wars Celebration Chicago back in April, I was really excited about the release of The Mandalorian. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were so passionate about it and then to see the cast get super-excited really got me going. And then to hear that my brothers and sisters from the 501st Legion were going to be featured pushed me over the edge (and kicked my jealousy into overdrive). I’ve been trying to keep my hopes and expectations in check but I’m not sure I succeeded…

Has Season 1, Chapter 1 delivered? Yes, yes it has!

The minimal dialogue from the title character is exactly how I wanted him to be. His costume is so cool, I really want to make it for myself! The humour was bang on for Star Wars and I loved all the side characters. Let’s hope they develop more in coming episodes.
All in all, this is a great start to the expanded Star Wars universe on the small screen. Let’s hope they can keep it up.

I have spoken!

Andy Lyth
The Mandalorian is off to an incredible start with its first episode, striking the perfect balance between familiar settings, aliens and droids and new characters, locations and stories. I loved watching this with my own tribe, and the reveal in the final minutes of the episode was mind blowing! Can’t wait to see where Favreau and Filoni take us next.

I have spoken.

Jonathan Hicks
This really is a spaghetti western, especially the final scene with the huge gunfight because the compound reminded me of the Rojos end of town in A Fisful of Dollars, even down to the well/fountain. It’s just brilliant. It was well shot, the music was great and the visuals and action were simply amazing. It was different enough to be its own thing but it had the familiar Star Wars trappings that really sold it to me.

Most of all, though, this is the sort of show that appeals to me as a Star Wars and a darker sci-fi fan. It’s the underbelly, the seedier side, the side we used to explore and play around in in our games back in the 80s and 90s. Although I feel our setting was the higher side of organised crime – the Goodfellas and Untouchables side, with high-fliers and faux-businessmen – The Mandalorian just gets down into the dirt which is where we had some of our best games. If Setnin was a TV show, this would have been half of the episodes, with the other half in the cut-throat world, surrounded by glitz and glamour.

The Mandalorian has dropped that flashy side of things. This is our guys out on the job doing the dirty work for the people living the high life, doing the deeds in the shadows where the beneficiaries of our labour don’t want to look, or even acknowledge its existence. This feels like the later stages of the Setnin campaign, where things got nasty and the underworld showed it’s true face.

This is an amazing show. The first episode has just blown me away and I can’t wait to see the next episode.

Darren Hayes
I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. The trailers seemed to suggest a more sombre, HBO type gritty experience, and while there are elements that lean toward that tone, (casting of Werner Herzog, for example) the show is surprisingly fun, has great humor and is very, very Star Wars. The action was fantastic, the visual effects of cinema quality and there are so many visual nods to the classic trilogy, this old fan was very happy indeed.

Can’t wait for more!

Joey Clark
The wait is finally over! The Mandalorian’s first episode, Chapter 1, was launched last night with Disney Plus. Now we must ask ourselves whether or not the wait was worth it? Honestly, it’s extremely difficult to say at this point in time. There is quite a bit to be unpacked and it can’t simply be done by watching it once. The trailers for the first live action Star Wars series promised an action packed, gritty, story post Return of the Jedi and to some extent it delivers to that effect.
Is it good?
Upon my first viewing I could not fully understand how I felt, but as I began to play the episode on repeat, the more I found myself becoming enamored with every detail. The first episode was directed by fan beloved, Lucasfilm veteran, Dave Filoni. For the most part, Filoni has been able to effortlessly tie together lore that spans across various media platforms within his projects, even being bold enough to incorporate past legends material into existing canon. Thankfully, that interconnection of content is still present in The Mandalorian. Filoni has captured my attention, and peaked my interest in this project. While I was curious to see what this series would be like, especially in the hands of Favreau and Filoni (whom I greatly admire), I tapered my expectations. Constantly I questioned myself whether or not original Star Wars programming had a future on a Disney Plus? After last night I must admit I still hold some reservations, but I am optimistic for what’s to come.

Is The Mandalorian for everyone?
As a hardcore fan who consumes a lot Star Wars content, I felt this debut episode definitely
catered to those who have been actively immersed in the myriad of canon material. To a casual fan, or average Disney Plus subscriber it may be a bit too much for them to comprehend without any prior knowledge. I feel the first episode of the series could have benefitted from a crawl or similar opening that indicated the time period in which these events take place. With that said, I believe the show has the potential to spawn new fans. One could say there is enough to grasp onto for the casual viewer. However, if they’re willing to invest the time into watching the saga, and more importantly the animated series’ they will have a far greater appreciation of the show.

Standout moments?
Without diving into too much spoiler territory I will say there were some key moments that
assured me Star Wars could thrive on a platform like Disney Plus. The Client’s (Werner Herzog) speech that has been teased in a lot of the promotional material was absolutely phenomenal. His voice alone enraptured me, but Herzog’s performance in the scene anchors you into the story. Villains in Star Wars have a track record of being beloved characters, and I think the Client will certainly fall into that category.

Nick Nolte as the ugnaught, Kuiil, was a major highlight for myself. The character carried a lot of emotional weight, and Nolte’s voice is what attributed to that. Kuiil serves a guide for the Mandalorian in the episode, and to some degree acts a mentor as he inspires our Mando with the tales he has heard about their culture. I hope we get to see more of the character down the line, as the Mandalorian and him already seem to have forged an interesting bond.

Mandalorians have a special connection with their armor, and this episode has a wonderfully crafted scene that showcases that connection. For me this scene supersedes anything else within from the episode, as it begins to peel back the layers of who our Mandalorian is beneath that helmet. Forging Mandalorian armor has been described as a near spiritual experience for the wearer, and I feel that sentiment has been beautifully depicted with the promise of more to come.

Does it leave you hungry for more?
Most definitely! With this only being the introductory episode to the first live action Star Wars series of course I want more! What I love most about this series so far is its potential. There is so much depth that can be explored. I feel the series still has to find its legs and once it does we will be in a full on sprint towards the finish line of this first season, clamoring for the second (which is already in the works.)

Mark Newbold
Where do you start with a debut episode like that? Steeped in the style and feel of the OT, absolutely reeking of late 80’s West End Games, Western vibes with samurai elements, Chapter 1 was the perfect debut episode for the show. It introduces the main character in an environment where he most likely does the majority of his work, on the Outer Rim where folks live hand to mouth, scrabbling for an existence. He’s a man of few words – there’s nothing more annoying than a garrulous Mando – and lets his actions speak for themselves, and what actions. Director Dave Filoni knows how to frame a shot – he’s a master at laying out a beautiful scene – but what we didn’t know for sure was if he could translate that keen eye to live action, with physical actors rather than voice actors. We needn’t have worried. This is pure fillet mignon Star Wars, served with chunky chips and a good red, and once again he shows just why he’s such a keeper.

We planet hop – three, to be exact from an ice world to the township where we meet Greef Karga and the sunbaked landscape of Arvala-7 – and meet a series of fascinating characters including IG-11, showing us just how deadly IG-88 was in The Empire Strikes Back thanks to 2019 visual effects, Werner Herzog who almost steals the show as the Client, his influence and power evident by his bodyguards, and Nick Nolte as Kuiil the Ugnaught who has already given us a classic Star Wars quotable (“I have spoken”).

To say much more would give away too much, but the firefight at the end is a thing of beauty, and that final scene when his bounty is revealed….Chapter 2 cannot come quickly enough.

Carl Bayliss
What can I say? 40 minutes into this journey and I’m hooked – action right out of the gate, no flabby exposition, great characters, awesome visuals, fabulous soundtrack and just felt like Star Wars.

Obviously there’s a lot riding on this series, and as the debut episode and one of the big ‘carrots’ for Disney’s subscription service this had to impress die-hards fans and try to pull in subscribers who have joined for other non Star Wars content.

The design is classic OT fare, with plenty of nods to other eras of the timeline and a few familiar faces along the way help the show reassure the die-hards, whilst not being so awkward as to confuse the more casual viewers.

My biggest compliment to the team is that we don’t get lots of unnecessary back story or scene-setting, we dropped straight into the story and the number of questions which will presumably play out over time is a surefire way to capture your audience and keep them coming back. A solid start to a new era of Star Wars storytelling and makes me keen to see the previously announced Cassian Andor and Kenobi series when they air.

Dave Tree
With so many things covered by others already, I am just left wanting one thing, a snoot flute.