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Friday, June 25, 2021
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Disney+'s exclusive release, “The Mandalorian,” struggles to find its footing in this dark, mysterious mission that could have lasting implications. 

‘The Mandalorian’ pilot impresses old, new fans

Disney’s streaming service has finally launched, and with it comes “The Mandalorian” — one of this year’s most anticipated shows. Though it has a few kinks that need to be worked out, the pilot episode presents a fun and promising adventure with plenty of exciting elements for fans to look forward to.

“The Mandalorian” stars Pedro Pascal as a mysterious bounty hunter who works in the outer reaches of the galaxy — far from the authority of any government. He is offered a mission from a man known only as The Client, tasked with bringing in an unknown asset for a high price. For the sake of avoiding major spoilers, I will not say what this asset turns out to be, but rest assured, its identity has massive implications for the rest of the franchise.                                                                                                                                                                                      

As its plot hints, the show builds an air of mystery around its story and characters, leaving viewers speculating over what might happen next. Though this can be frustrating at times, this atmosphere helps keep the audience invested in the show, making them eager to see what comes next.

In addition to this atmosphere, the series should be praised for the world that it builds. With this first episode alone, the planets and cities we see feel lived in, and the characters we meet feel distinct and thought-out — as if each of them has their own story to tell. Most of the “Star Wars” franchise does a great job of building and expanding the overarching universe, and “The Mandalorian” is no exception, as series creator Jon Favreau presents a world viewers will love.

The show’s fight scenes are similarly spectacular. Every time The Mandalorian pulls out his gun, the audience gets treated to a spectacular firefight that rivals those seen in the franchise’s films. I was immediately engaged during every shoot-out and left each of them wanting more.

Though the series does much right in this pilot, “The Mandalorian” had issues with its pacing during the episode. It drags you in immediately with some spectacular action, but then drastically slows down when The Mandalorian gets his mission, and nearly grinds to a halt altogether midway through the episode. Fortunately, the pilot does pick up in a great way at the end, but the series will need to work on its pacing going forward if it wants to be truly great.

The pilot episode also seems to have a problem with including needless elements that bring the show down overall. Most notably, the episode takes a break midway through to show us The Mandalorian learning to ride a space creature. Moments like these are unnecessary, and hopefully will be avoided in the coming episodes.

Despite the growing pains this first episode presents, “The Mandalorian” excels on account of its interesting story and its spectacular world. The series is a must-watch for “Star Wars” fans and should be eagerly watched going forward.

Final Grade: B


Joseph Marz is a TV columnist for The Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.

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