THE MANDALORIAN PREMIERES
This week saw the long-awaited release of The Mandalorian. Created by Jon Favreau and executive-produced by Favreau and Dave Filoni, the show, which has released two episodes so far, follows a yet-to-be-named Mandalorian bounty hunter as he makes his way in a post-Empire galaxy. When he accepts a job to find a mysterious target and bring it back alive, his life gets a lot more complicated. But, as Werner Herzog says in the first episode, "Bounty hunting is a complicated profession."
The first three episodes premiered at the El Capitan theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Herzog was on hand at the premiere and talked about how he was new to Star Wars myth but that Jon Favreau dragged him into it.
Gina Carano, who plays the ex-Rebel Shocktrooper Cara Dune, was there as well and offered this homage to Padme Amidala with her hairstyle:
The show itself is excellent so far. The first two episodes take unexpected turns and reveal new elements to both the culture of Mandalore and the Star Wars galaxy at large that I simply wasn't expecting. When the show was teased, I had this idea that it would be self-contained and not really affect the broader universe, but I was wrong and am pleasantly surprised.
Pedro Pascal brings an energy to a character whose face we never see that makes him one of the most expressive characters in Star Wars. That they've allowed the lead to be so mysterious and expressive without dialogue is utterly fascinating. Especially as he faces the dilemma he's been thrust into.
The thing I love most about the show so far, though, is that it has such a compelling underlying mystery driving it. I'm hooked. Who is this Yoda child? Where did they come from? Who exactly did the Mandalorian kill to retrieve the child? Why are all the bounty hunters breaking norms to steal the bounty from the Mandalorian? Why are Jawas such bastards?
My theory about the child? It was part of a Jedi nursery. Their age and abilities make that a very likely scenario. Hopefully, all will be revealed soon.
I would also suggest to those who have seen the episodes to do what you can to keep the secrets of the show off of public posts on social media. Most of the world isn't able to experience this show until March at the earliest and even longer for others. Think about how you'd want to have some of these revelations first offered to you, and remember that the answer is never social media.
The next episode of The Mandalorian premieres on November 22 on Disney+.
J.J. ABRAMS CONSULTS LUCAS
It's been widely reported for the last year that J.J. Abrams consulted George Lucas as he set out to wrap up the final film in the Skywalker Saga, and it makes sense. Lucas was directly responsible for the first six installments, and his ideas were developed into what we got for the last three. Having an idea of what he had in mind and what advice he would have for tying it all up with a nice little bow would be vital to that journey. Now we know some of the content of that conversation.
Abrams revealed to Total Film (via Games Radar) what they spoke about. "He had a lot of things to say about the nature of the Force, the themes that he was dealing with when he was writing the movies," he said. "[And] yes, there were some conversations about Midi-chlorians — he loves his Midi-chlorians. But it was a very helpful thing. Sitting with him is a treat, just to hear him talk, because it's f***ing George Lucas talking about Star Wars. I always feel it's a gift to hear him talk about that stuff. Because the effect that he had on me at 10 years old is utterly profound."
This is great news for Star Wars fans. Abrams seems to be a member of a narrow generational band of fans who reject Midi-chlorians and the nature of the Force as presented by Lucas for what seems to be, in my mind, the most obtuse of reasons. Having them explained directly by George Lucas can only aid in Abrams' understanding of a galaxy far, far away as a mythological experience, rather than just an inspiring film and piece of popcorn entertainment.
We still have just over a month to wait until we see how Abrams incorporated Lucas's advice; The Rise of Skywalker comes out December 20.
STAR WARS RESISTANCE
Another week means another episode of Star Wars Resistance. This week, "The Relic Raiders" brings Kaz and crew to a mysterious planet in search of supplies. Instead, they find a Sith temple and someone who could very easily be friend or foe.
This episode is another fun entry into the Star Wars canon and implies a lot about a post-The Last Jedi galaxy, especially Kylo Ren's quest for Sith artifacts. One of my favorite moments of this episode feels like a direct homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I found very fun since today's episode of The Mandalorian included a sequence that felt like a direct homage to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The new episode of Star Wars Resistance airs on Sunday on Disney and Disney XD.
JEDI: FALLEN ORDER IS RELEASED
EA's new single-player Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order, has been released into the world. Early reviews look good and we're already getting tips from people like Mitch Dyer:
Dyer was one of the writers of the excellent Star Wars: Battlefront II single-player mode. I haven't been able to put much time into the new game yet, but what little I have has revealed it to be gorgeous and very fluid. Watch this space as I progress through the game further and offer analysis on some of the things we're seeing, including on Dathomir.
AND THIS IS BOBA FETT
To celebrate the release of The Mandalorian, I wanted to offer a clip that is important to fans of Mandalorians … even though Boba Fett isn't actually one of them. Few people realize that the first time Boba Fett's name was spoken on the big screen wasn't in a Star Wars movie. Instead, it came in the classic Spielberg film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
This is always a valuable bit of trivia that you can astound your friends with. It will blow their minds, trust me.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!