The pilot episode of The Mandalorian, officially titled Chapter 1, was released on Disney+ on November 12, 2019, the same day as the service platform launched. This episode is written by Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and directed by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars).
The Mandalorian is set five years after the defeat of the Galatic Empire during Return of the Jedi. The series follows a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter, played excellently by Pedro Pascal, in yet unseen parts of the galaxy.
This series feels insanely like a Star Wars film. The show’s pilot opens on a snowy planet and the opening shot is of the Mandalorian pulling out his tracker and the camera pans out to an amazing view of him walking towards the bar and trying to capture his bounty.
This episode almost immediately gives off a wild west, lone gunman vibe to the show and helps to set up what could be expected further on. The first action set piece is within the first few minutes and helps tell the viewer that this main character is highly skilled at what he does and gets the job done very well giving him a good reputation.
After meeting his contact, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), and delivering his target, in frozen carbonate, he attempts to get another contract but isn’t satisfied with the payments. After further negotiation they settle on a contract that has no bounty puck so the Mandalorian must talk to the client of the bounty face to face.
The Mandalorian meets with the client for the bounty, played by Werner Herzog, and explains the target is valuable but he will take them dead or alive and can only give a tracking fob and the chain code of their age. As a down payment the client gives the Mandalorian Beskar steel which is sacred to his people and turns the steel into a pauldron.
When he arrives on Arvala-7, the Mandalorian is attacked by two Blurgg and is then saved by a farmer named Kuiil (Nick Nolte). Kuiil directs the Mandalorian to his target’s location but reveals every bounty hunter who has ever attempted to capture the target has died trying. When he arrives at the camp he decides to team up with bounty hunter droid IG-11, voiced by Taika Waititi.
After nearly being over run and clearing the camp, they find the target, a 50-year-old infant of Yoda’s species. IG-11’s orders are to eliminate the target on sight but the Mandalorian thinks otherwise. Right as IG-11 goes to kill baby Yoda, the Mandalorian shoots the droid in the head, which tells the viewers the protagonist is more than just a gun toting bounty hunter, and stands over baby Yoda readying to transport him and the screen fades to black.
This episode was a great start to what is shaping up to be a great series. The first episode was well placed and was an excellent way to introduce the fans to a new part of the Star Wars lore and help tell a new story as well. The end title sequence was cool as well because the way the stills would change as the credits were shown was a great addition to the credits.
I am really looking forward to see where Jon Favreau and Pedro Pascal are going to take this show and how they will further explore this character in future episodes. The action set pieces are executed great even for a small show like this and the character development is great so far. I’m excited to see where episode two will take the story and explain more about why the target of the bounty is baby Yoda.
Have you seen The Mandalorian yet? If so, what are your thoughts on the pilot? Let us know, @TheCinemaSpot, and if you haven’t read our first impressions review of Disney+ go give that a look as well!
The Mandalorian‘s first season will contain eight episodes and is already renewed for a second season. Stay tuned for our reviews of episodes two and three!