To tell you the truth, Star Wars is one of my favorite topics to write about. And especially Star Wars Classic Collection. Why? Because the bundle offers so much to a writer in terms of inspiration, and I presume to a gamer as well.
But as you can probably tell, this is not my first post about Star Wars. I already introduced the new upcoming movies and TV shows, but I also did a nice throwback on the old trilogies. Which brings me to the topic of this particular post. The first season of The Mandalorian. Yes, the second season is arriving at Disney Plus at the end of this month. But I figured that it’s the best time to do a nice look back at the previous season. Why? Because it’s probably the only decent thing on Disney +, and I’m dead serious about that statement.
Star Wars Classic Collection Is The True Inspiration For My Mandalorian Post
Indeed. And I already mentioned some of the good, the bad and the new of the upcoming season in my previous post. But this is something different. This is a retrospective look at season 1, and what made it so good. And furthermore, not only we do have Star Wars Classic Collection bundle available for purchasing at IndieGala, but we have plenty of other great Star Wars games. Check them out here, and pick the best ones for you.
But What Does Star Wars Classic Collection Contain?
Star Wars Classic Collection is a bundle developed by Lucasfilm, Totally Games, Coolhand Interactive, Ensemble Studios, LucasArts, Factor 5 and published by Disney Interactive. It contains 8 separate games and it’s truly awesome. STAR WARS™ – X-Wing Special Edition, STAR WARS™: TIE Fighter Special Edition, STAR WARS™ – X-Wing Alliance, STAR WARS™ X-Wing vs TIE Fighter – Balance of Power Campaigns, STAR WARS™ Rebellion, STAR WARS™ Galactic Battlegrounds Saga, STAR WARS™: Rebel Assault I + II and STAR WARS™: Rogue Squadron 3D are part of the bundle. Take a look around, and make sure you cover your Star Wars needs. But back to the topic at hand. The first season of The Mandalorian.
Mandalorian Is Awesome!
I must admit. I had little to no hope that Mandalorian would be even a remotely decent TV show. Considering the state of the Star Wars cinematic universe after the last trilogy. Oh great, Disney is milking yet another part of the franchise I thought. But I gave It a chance and I must say… I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the show and I’m here to mention some of the positives. And the negatives as well, but I’ll focus more on the good, rather than the bad.
The story of Mandalorian takes place after The Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Empire. But still long before The Force Awakens and the rise of the First Order. And it revolves around Din Djarin. The Mandalorian or Mando in short. He’s a bounty hunter who goes from an assignment to an assignment. Collecting the bounty and turning in the outlaws, fugitives and the low-lives. And on one such job, he’ll encounter the baby Yoda. He’ll also rescue The Kid (the nickname for Yoda) and the cutest little Yoda you’ll ever see will become his constant and unlikely companion. But over here in The Mandalorian, the adventures along the way are what count.
It’s A Space Western In Its Essence
First and foremost, I loved how the show doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. No. Eight episodes (most of them written by Favreau) are perfectly enough to tell a good story. I also appreciated the fact that there’s an episodic format to the show. The format allows each episode to have it’s own side-characters, villains and heroes. And aside from the stellar main actor (the incredible Pedro Pascal), there’s an array of fantastic supporting actors to love and hate. Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, the pitch-perfect Werner Herzog and the incredible Giancarlo Esposito offer real gravitas to the story.
And the voices of Nick Nolte, Taika Waititi, Jason Sudekis are awesome as well. But what I also loved in terms of the story and how it’s told. Just by watching the show, you might say that The Mandalorian is reminiscent of a good old fashion western (similar to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone). Or even the Joss Whedon’s space western Firefly. And you get to appreciate the moody, more toned-down scenes. Yes, there are scenes with fast-paced action, fantastic shoot-outs and even great combat. But for the most part, is a great and composed dialogue that holds the episodes like glue.
Fantastic Lead Character
How can an actor make a great impression and give a terrific performance at the same time without using his face? Well, it’s hard work, but Pedro Pascal does it effortlessly. And yes, until the very last episode, Mando does NOT takes his helmet off. Which means that he has to rely on smart writing, his gravely and stoic voice and the great direction to make an impact. And he does just that. He’s fantastic.
Mando is a man of few words, and slowly throughout the season, you’ll even get to know him. In his own way that is. He lives by the Mandalorian creed. He’s got a deep dislike for droids and for the most part, he’s content for being a bounty hunter. It’s his religion, his life and he knows of nothing else. But if you think about it, it’s his encounters, interactions and alliances that tell so much more about his character. And I love that. Especially his caring and nurturing nature which really shines when he’s around the kid. Pay attention to that. He’s basically every parent and Yoda is every curious baby on the planet. Stop that. Don’t touch that. Not that’s not a toy.
The Directors Are The Low-Key Stars Actually
And I’m not even joking about this. Some do a fine job (like Dave Filoni), some (Bryce Dallas Howard for instance) not so much. But out of the 8 episodes, some do an exceptionally good job in the visual immersion to the story and I have to single out Deborah Chow and Taika Waititi for being true champions of the first season. The “Chapter 3: The Sin” and “Chapter 7: The Reckoning” episodes directed by Chow are probably the best in the season. With Waititi’s season finale coming in at close second. And in true Waititi fashion, the finale is funny, emotional and sets the tone for the second season beautifully.
I can hardly wait for October 30th, to be honest. But for the most part, Chow and Waititi managed to keep us entertained with well-directed action, and engaged with well-directed emotional weight. There’s a nice balance between the hard and heavy stuff and the lighthearted humor that should put you at ease. Probably the weakest episode in my opinion is Chapter 4: Sanctuary episode, but that’s not entirely Howard’s fault. The big action set pieces are toned down and a much calm, mature setting is given priority here. I suppose you can see the true colors of the Mando character and despite the calmer setting, this is otherwise well-written episode. Thanks to Favreau of course.
Star Wars Classic Collection and What I’m Hyped About For Season 2?
Well aside from Fraveau, Peyton Reed, Robert Rodriguez, and Carl Weathers are confirmed as episodic directors in season 2 of The Mandalorian. Secondly, Michael Biehn is in the cast of the second season and so are Rosario Dawson, Katee Sackhoff, Timothy Olyphant (I can’t wait to see him actually) and wait for it…. Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett. The notorious, the one and the only bounty hunter is in the second season too. Yeah. I can’t wait for it. How about you? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know all about your impressions of The Mandalorian.