star wars!

Review: The Mandalorian, chs. 4-8

So, now that I've seen the whole mini-series, I think I'd put it roughly on par with Return of the Jedi. Some of the pacing and dialog is a little stilted, but the characters, cinematography, and overall themes are strong enough to make up for it. And it feels to me 100% like Star Wars in a way that hasn't been true of anything post-original trilogy. I appreciated aspects of the prequels, but they were clearly set in a separate era and social setting; once it got going Rogue One was pretty solid, but it was trying a little too hard to match the OT and so gave us the off-setting digital masks of Tarkin and Leia; the sequel trilogy ... well, bad things happen when you make photocopies of photocopies.

The Mandalorian pretty nearly avoids all of those pitfalls. First, by cleverly using the period just after the fall of the empire, which is something we haven't really seen before, even in the expanded universe novels (which, honestly, I still consider canon in place of the sequel trilogy. Well, some of them at any rate--the characters I grew up loving deserved a chance for happiness), and secondly by going back to the outer rim and sticking with a bunch of backwater planets. This gave us some absolutely stunning landscapes and an aesthetic of well-worn equipment and weather-blasted buildings--all variations on Tatooine, perhaps, but there's good reason Tatooine keeps getting revisited as a location.

Anyhow, this is easily worth giving Disney temporary access to your credit card number so you can use the free 1-week trial. If you do watch it, I'd suggest doing it across three days: episodes 1-3, episodes 3-6, and episodes 7-8.

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