I Keep Forgetting That I Never Finished The Mandalorian Season 1

The Mandalorian

I have very specific expectations for any piece of Star Wars media, as longtime Lightgun Galaxy readers probably know. (My opinions on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are quite spicy.) Still, I was actually quite looking forward to The Mandalorian television series initially, and once the intergalactic hype train really pulled into the station, I was on board. For a bit, anyway.

However, I never finished watching Season 1 of The Mandalorian. I got through the first six episodes, and then never went back to it. In fact, I ended up using my Disney Plus subscription mostly for watching the DuckTales reboot, which is actually fantastic.

But I fell off The Mandalorian really, really hard, and I kind of just forgot about it. I tend to stop watching things when I feel “done” with them, and I felt done with The Mandalorian by the end of the third episode. The next three episodes were just me hoping to get another glimpse of Baby Yoda (or “The Child” if you really want to be pedantic about it).

The Mandalorian

After the first episode, almost nothing happens. The Mandalorian shows up in a new location, and he’s either found out so he has to leave, or someone tries to double-cross him. That’s all that happens for a vast majority of the show. It started treading water in its second episode (I think the first episode was actually pretty good). We don’t learn anything new about his character, and we don’t learn anything new about Baby Yoda. There’s no sense of growth or progression, and I would argue that you could watch episodes 3-6 in any order you choose and it would make an equal amount of sense.

People are praising it for harkening back to an older, more simpler era, when television wasn’t serialized and you could jump in at any point. I guess I can see how there’s some nostalgia associated with that, but television storytelling has moved on since then. The stories you can tell in a streaming series are rich and complex. Hell, even the DuckTales reboot, which I mentioned earlier, still feels like it’s going somewhere, with satisfying character arcs, poignant plot reveals, and some really snappy writing.

But The Mandalorian just gets itself stuck in the mud and refuses to move forward. It’s the kind of show that you can just have on in the background, and maybe giggle a bit when you witness Baby Yoda doing something adorable. I simply don’t watch television that way. I pay attention to the details, and I think really hard about the show between every episode. The Mandalorian feels a bit like a middle finger to people like me.

Now, I admit that I don’t watch a lot of television in the first place, because I have a hard time feeling invested in narratives that I’m not an active participant in (directly, in the case of video games, and through the use of my imagination when I’m reading books). I get really bored really quickly. So the glacial pacing of The Mandalorian is enough to put me to sleep.

Maybe the show actually managed to go somewhere in the final two episodes of the season. I doubt it, but it’s possible. I haven’t watched those episodes. Even so, we shouldn’t have had to sit through this many hours of dull, uninspired drivel to get to where we should have been going from the start.

But I love Star Wars so much, and I’m usually willing to plop my butt on the couch and zip through a television series if it’s set in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian just doesn’t feel like Star Wars to me. It has some of the set pieces, and some of the visual cues, but everything feels kind of off. The Mandalorian feels more like a Star Wars play put on by local teenagers than an official part of the Star Wars canon. And sure, the production value is much higher, but the complete disdain for maintaining a consistent body of lore feels careless at best and malicious at worst.

The Mandalorian

You can argue all you want about whether or not a Mandalorian can take of their helmet, or how Jawas emigrated off of Tatooine, but the fact that the showrunners didn’t think to ask those questions in the first place sort of underscores what I’m getting at here. The universe feels less consistent with The Mandalorian (and Rogue One, I might add) as a part of it.

And I don’t know. With so much hype surrounding Season 2, I might try to finish those last episodes so I can see if the second season addresses any of my concerns. I’m sure I’ll have opinions if I do, and that will give me an excuse to write about Star Wars again (which I actually love doing, even when I’m grumpy).

I just don’t have a whole lot of hope for Star Wars in general anymore, and watching The Mandalorian just kind of feels like watching a loved one slowly die. But I suppose there’s always DuckTales to wash the taste of scum and villainy out of my proverbial mouth.

There’s always DuckTales.

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