It arrives on the Disney+ streaming service, one of the most awaited works by fans of the old guard of the Star Wars franchise – The Mandalorian, produced by Jon Favreau, one of those responsible for kicking off the MCU Era in theaters. Favreau is an actor who became a director and producer, a super-well-liked figure for celebrities who perform with or for him.
Many know him for playing Pete Becker, the modest millionaire who falls in love with Monica on Friends, or the clown Eric from Seinfeld. To me, I had a remarkable presence in one of Doug Liman’s early works, Swingers – Enjoying the Night (1996), a work about breaking up with Las Vegas dating that at the time, I confess I went behind because of the remarkable presence of the band from neo swing “Big Bad Voodoo Daddy”. Soon after, he became director of films and series until he was able to direct his first feature film (which also performed) for the movie by repeating his partnership with Swingers actor Vince Vaughn, Disorganized Crime (2001). The film was well received by critics and audiences alike and began a career that went from being in front of the camera and behind it in both cinema and TV.
His films always varied in genres and his first foray into the fantastic universe was Zathura – A Space Adventure (2005), prone to garnering nerdy fans of board games. Shortly afterwards, he risked facing just two years in a row the first two Iron Man (2008 – 2010), some TV shows, Cowboy vs Aliens (2011)’s aesthetic boldness and the versatility of driving and acting in a light family movie of a chef abandoning haute cuisine to venture into a food truck in The Chef (2014).
The main reason why we see Favreau spearhead such a project is that he was the voice actor of Mandalorian warrior Pre Vizla in the animated series The Clone Wars, by creator Dave Filoni, which aired in 2010 and extended with appearances until 2013. Filoni is one of the leading creators of the expanded Star Wars universe and sometimes fulfills the mission of reconciling elements of the ancient expanded universe, which we now call Legends, and part of what thickens the broth of the new canonical expanded universe with its three. Respectful animations: The Clone Wars and Rebels for “old guard” fans and Star Wars Resistance for young fans of the sequel trilogy. All animations can reach the limit of the closest we can know as crossmedia and transmedia. These crossovers or media transformations have disrupted some timelines in the film’s timeline, but can also create theoretical underpinning of all the weaknesses that the prequel trilogy presented in George Lucas’s return to directing. Perhaps here Filoni’s successful path has brought prestige and reliability to Lucas himself and now to Favreau who has invited him to write some and direct two of the eight episodes of this first season of The Mandalorian.
A sonar noise begins and in time with the change of a metallic helmet change we know the new vignette of the saga that certainly moved each one whose heart was beating next to the animated sound pulses and soon afterwards discovered that it is actually a auditory reference to a beacon that our character carries on a monochromatically cold planet. The ambience of a bar or canteen already pushes us into a bully of a humanoid and a quarren to a new race and stopping to watch the warrior enter the bar. The typical Western contextualization makes it necessary for a good, well-recited cliche to repeat itself as we see the implicating group trying unsuccessfully to intimidate the Mandalorian. The swift action scene already indicates that the death of the challengers contradicts that the series obeys one of the most constant requests of the creator George Lucas, and with that we notice that the series does not really aim at the 12 year old preteen.
Established that our character seeks his rewards in scenes based on the imaginary power of scene connection and understanding for editing, he leaves the unnamed planet for his contractor. Here again we are inserted into an economic and political contextualizing dialogue without the didactics of Lucas’s films. There is talk of a falling Empire, uncredited coins, and a worthwhile reward. In less than five minutes we are contextualized of what these five years of a post Return of the Jedi era are and how it has impacted the universe. Today’s nerd universe seems to have been enslaved by the extreme need for fan service, as if by fulfilling these demands all the logic of character building, historical context, and atmosphere creation are thrown out the window. This is the difference from those who for a franchise fall in love with movies, films and series and their language to those who just want their ego massaged with references to their nostalgic past. The fan service should have to be something organic, without forcing the bar, but passed with the naturalness of a dialogue that puts us in the frame that the character lives and what surrounds him.
There is a disconnect that distances what works offer and what some people expect from it. At some point there was some noise, either from the works or from the people or from a phase where cinema seems to have dictated a rule in which the basic ideas of a work were ignored. This has become apparent to Star Wars fans as they have lost their ability to analyze and absorb nuances or levels of complexity that contradict what’s on the surface. It is at this time that understanding character development, which is important for the viewer to understand the relationship he has with other characters around him and the relationship of the worlds he visits, tells much of the form of operation that traces the profile of the united protagonist. an excellent tribal soundtrack by young and award-winning composer Ludwig Göransson, famous for his Oscar-winning Black Panther tribal soundtrack. It is up to the reader to hint at more trails by this young Swedish artist of just 34 years.
Upon entering the “client” room, a mysterious Imperial character played by giant director Werner Herzog, we are once again riddled with many subtle references, from the stormtroopers (played by members of the US 501st), the scientist who carries a symbol of Kamino, Beskar payment and the information about your new collection. We are barely leaving a familiar environment and the character enters a block demarcated by the bone symbol of a Mythosaurus, the Mandalorian symbol, and there we see children in helmets, other characters with their Mandos. so far that a female character in the forge, with a helmet design similar to Sabine from Rebels, who takes her Beskar plate and forges a Paldron while flashbacks from our protagonist’s past remind us of the moments that John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian film reveals how the character can be predestined by being driven by some experience that has marked him greatly in a past of family breakdowns.
Here, our protagonist travels to the only planet announced by the stories we accompany in the series, Arvala-7, with subtle references left when he is attacked by the Blurrgs, in a scene almost identical to that Luke is attacked by Tusken Raiders while looking through the monoculars through the arid immensity. As we have seen before, he is saved by a mentor character and this time, Kuiil, an Ugnaught we had watched on Bespin when they set up the carbonite chamber to function in The Empire Strikes Back. This bonnet interpreted and made almost like his voice actor, actor Nick Nolte, is a perfect supporting character to meet the challenges the protagonist needs. Once again the creators even seem to show how far western movies are part of their repertoire. The sequence the Mandalorian must learn to tame a Blurrg is very similar to many films in which the simple act of riding a horse becomes an important part of a character’s willpower, such as John Huston’s 1961 Misfits where even Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable hunt wild horses.
The arrival at the collection site is surprised by the arrival of another guild member, an android bounty hunter, the IG-11 (voiced by director and actor Taika Waititi), which shows us a skill we had only previously seen in the book and game Shadows of the Empire (book from 1996, game from 1997) when smuggler Dash Rendar faces the well-known IG-88. In the most dynamic sequence of this pilot, filled with ironies and comedies that do not exceed the moment limit for the grumpy on duty, both hunters manage to surpass the number of guards on site and in a strategic onslaught, reversing the picture recalling great moments of “My Hatred Will Be Your Heritage ”(1969) by Sam Peckinpah, especially with a floating machine gun.
The heroic act finally brings us to the reward our protagonist was after, which turns out to be a kind of baby of the same race as Master Yoda. Again, only supported by dialogue, we notice how the order given to the android is different from that given to the Mandalorian, an act that forces him to take a drastic measure that only in western spaghetti films do we know the good guy and bad guy duality of the protagonists. The final scene is one of the most touching planes of delicacy in image, the protagonist extends his fingers to the small creature that in backlight and in silhouette, we can see the small hand coming out of the floating cradle to make a contact, typical act that even in E.T., Spielberg’s Extraterrestrial, plunges us into tenderness.
Even in the series’ end credits, the arts featured us in the fantastic 60s and 70s fantasy and sci-fi series such as Star Trek, Buck Rogers and Lost in Space. The premiere of the series began with a good reception from critics and audiences, which was presented with a beautiful production reflected in Andrew L. Jones’ competent art direction, something extremely different that until then we only saw an investment like this in HBO series. If the path continues at this level, we can be sure that it will be a fan reconciliation product that has been out of step with current productions for some time.
By: Prof. Me. Vebis Jr
Master of Cinema
Graduated in Audiovisual and Multimedia
Podcaster for pleasure
Article originally posted on Sociedade Jedi on 18th November 2019.