The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1 Review: An Uneven Series With Promise

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There's a new bounty hunter in town, and he's in dire need of some character development.

On The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1, we were introduced to the titular character as hetraveled the galaxy to collect bounties. It's a convincing hook for a series, but the series premiere was all action and minimal plot.

Aside from learning the Mandalorian had a troubled childhood thanks to the war, we didn't learn much about him. While the other live-action media in the franchise have had characters without masks, this one wears a suit that completely covers his face.

Chasing a Bounty

We know he's a bounty hunter who draws the line at killing a baby. That's a start, but unless he does something like that on an episodic basis, viewers will struggle to connect with him.

How do you get on board with a series when you can't connect with the lead character?

Ready for a Fight - The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1

That's the big concern that hung over the premiere like a dark cloud.The character is snarky, but he strikes me as the type of person who only cares about getting his job completed.

He likes to complete a mission and move guns blazing into the next one. It's not going to be easy for the show to keep up the pace if it continues like this, but there was a glimmer of hope by the conclusion.

Mandalorian: Wait, they said 50 years old.
Droid: Species age differently. Perhaps it could live many centuries. Sadly, we'll never know.
Mandalorian: No. We'll bring it in alive.
Droid: The commission was quite specific. The asset was to be terminated.

Saving the baby's life was a step in the right direction. He wouldn't have accepted the job if he knew it was a child, but the hunter wanted to keep himself busy.

He's running from something and is trying to mask his wounds by pushing himself further into work. If he takes the baby with him and refuses to kill it, then that would make for a better show, but we don't fully know why the baby was wanted dead.

An Order - The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1

The Mandalorian and the droid killed the guards with ease, but what does everyone want with this Yoda-like baby?

The child is not Yoda because "Chapter One" took place after the original trilogy of movies, so that theory is a dud. The client didn't see much value in the asset being kept alive, but then there was Dr. Pershing, who was against the idea of killing.

It raises questions about whether they both know what it is capable of, and one thinks it could benefit them more than the other.

The asset bound to have powers like Yoda did, and that could suggest some people were scared of them.

A Droid and a Mandalorian Walk into a Bar - The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1

It's just lucky the Mandalorian was on the case, or the droid bot would have ended the baby on the spot. It can't be a coincidence that the droid appeared on a mission The Mandalorian was working.

It makes me think someone else sent the machine, hoping that it got to the scene before the bounty hunter. There are so many unanswered questions, but the only ones that matter center on this 50-year-old baby.

My senses indicate that there is a life form present.

Droid

We never got much insight into Yoda's past on the movies that came before this series. This alone makes the series a lot more worthwhile, assuming the producers plan to follow up on it throughout The Mandalorian Season 1.

If The Mandalorian does try to go on the run with the baby, then a lot of people will come after him, maybe even other bounty hunters.

A Bounty Collected - The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1

It's the Star Wars mythology fans would like to see explored in great detail.

The major constant throughout was the breathtaking visuals. This is the flagship series for Disney+, and it's set in the Star Wars universe.

It was always going to come with eye-popping visuals, and the result is a world that sets the show apart from others on the small screen. The show also manages to get the tone right.

Droid: Initiate self-destruct sequencing.
Mandalorian: Woah, you're what?
Droid: Manufacturers protocol dictates I cannot be captured. I must self-destruct.
Mandalorian: Do not self-destruct. Cover me!

The franchise has been inspired by classic Westerns from its inception. Fans of the movies will feel right at home in that respect. It will all come down to whether fans can connect with a lead character wearing a mask for the entire series.

He Has Spoken - The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1

As things stand, it's difficult to rule The Mandalorian a success or a failure. It is somewhere in between, and the coming episodes will be the deciding factor.

Disney+ would have been wise to launch more than one episode on launch day to get viewers hooked. We have The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 2 coming up on Friday.

Hopefully, that installment will come in ahead of the premiere and zero in on what the show wants to be.

What did you think of the premiere?

Are you intrigued to find out more about Yoda's past?

Did you struggle to connect with the bounty hunter?

Hit the comments below.

The Mandalorian streams Fridays, exclusively on Disney+.

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Chapter One Review

Editor Rating: 3.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Villain: You spilled my drink.
[Mandalorian ignores him and walks to the bar.]
Villain: Hey Mando! I said you spilled my drink.
Barman: He said you spilled his drink. Fine, it's on me.
Villain: Is that real Beskar steel?

I have spoken.

Creature