Reflections on The Mandalorian – Chapter-1

My family and I have recently moved back to Texas. One of the features of our new home is a dedicated movie room. Immediately upon moving in, I went to Best Buy and purchased a brand new 75 inch TV and hooked my Bose Sound system up to it. We enjoyed the Olympics as we unpacked. But one thing was itching in the back of my mind. I could not wait to re-watch The Mandalorian in movie theatre style. Over the several weeks, I will be sharing with you my thoughts, observations, and insights as I re-watch this wonderful show.

The best way to watch The Mandalorian is on a big screen.  My 75 inch isn’t big enough.  Even so, I was drawn in, mesmerized, and enthralled with the story all over again. 

 

The first thing that strikes you is the deliberate and decisive nature of The Mandalorian.  He does not hesitate.  He does not waste words.  He acts.  When he acts, he wastes no action.  Brutal efficiency and calculated precision are his hallmarks.

The show focuses on an area of the Galaxy that is known for its lawlessness throughout galactic history.  The Outer Rim is the home of pirates, gangsters, crime syndicates and the notorious Hutts.  For over 1000 years this area of space has been near impossible to police appropriately.  Individual planetary governments do what they can, but often it isn’t enough.  Lack of order creates opportunities for bounty hunters to thrive.

 

I was struck by the stark and spartan conditions of the three planets featured in Chapter 1.  The planets are remote and isolated.  To survive, you must have a strong sense of self.  You need to be resourceful.  You must be ok with being alone.  As I watched, I felt a small longing for the wide-open unexplored frontier.  The Mandalorian gives us glimpse of the frontier life, in a space western setting.

The mysteries surrounding the Mandalorian culture start to reveal themselves in Chapter 1.  Beskar is not just material to make armor.  Beskar is ingrained into the very fabric of Mandalorian society.  You sense from his voice that beskar is extremely important to the Mandalorian.  Watching the Armorer melt down the beskar and forge the pauldron evokes several thoughts.  First, I was struck with the simplicity of the craftsmanship.  Building on that concept, the fact that such simple techniques could create armor capable of stopping a light saber makes you realize the inherent value of the beskar itself.  Lastly, watching the forging process made me feel as though I was watching a medieval blacksmith forging a knight’s armor.  In a sense, that is exactly what is happening.  At the end of the chapter, you see the Mandalorian’s chivalry in action.

 

Chapter 1 is gritty.  There is a realness to it.  The Mandalorian isn’t invincible.  He is fallible.  Who knows what would have happened to him if Kuiil had not come along and stunned the blurg.  The Mandalorian’s armor is beat, battered and scarred, marking the signs of a hardened warrior. 

The Mandalorian shows the hallmarks of how to survive on the frontier.  He is resourceful.  He knows how to work in a team.  He also knows when to cut his losses.  Finally, we see that the Mandalorian exhibits a soft spot for the youngling.  You are somewhat prepared for his actions at the end of the chapter.  Earlier in the chapter he tells the Armorer that he was a foundling.  You see flashbacks of his time as a child.  Finally, when he acquires the child, he could not bring himself to allow the asset to be terminated.  Instead, he saved the asset and terminated his one-time ally. 

 

All in all, this chapter is a great way to start an epic show.  Watching it on the big screen made me feel as though I was at the cinema.  I look forward to re-watching the remainder of Season 1 and Season 2.

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