The Mandalorian: Chapter 9: The Marshall
October 30, 2020 4:30 AM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The Mandalorian sets out on his new quest and meets some familiar faces.
posted by EndsOfInvention (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
They’re certainly getting more adept at using The Volume. That was gorgeous looking.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:54 AM on October 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


This episode was way too fanservice-y for my taste. I usually enjoy a reference or two, but this was too much HEY! REMEMBER TATOOINE?! HEY! REMEMBER THIS GUY! HEY!

It felt like instead of a taste of a spoonful of fanservice, it was being dumped over my head with a bucket.

Did anything of note happen in the episode? I watched it an hour ago and I can't remember if the overall story arc needle even moved at all. The prequel references left me with a bad taste.

I'm so goddamn sick of Tatooine, you guys.

I hope the rest of the season isn't going to be like this.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:21 AM on October 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


For somewhere that's supposed to be a sleepy middle-of-nowhere backwater, it sure has a lot of important people passing through multiple times.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:09 AM on October 30, 2020 [10 favorites]


We’re back on Tatooine because there are still unresolved plot threads from last season’s episode on Tatooine.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:59 AM on October 30, 2020 [8 favorites]


Maybe I'm in the minority but I really enjoyed the episode, though it felt more like a mid-season episode rather than a premiere in terms of plot and character arcs (though it terms of spectacle and effects definitely premiere worthy). I enjoy Timothy Olyphant in pretty much everything. I was hoping to see Fennec Shand again.

This episode reminded me a lot of Firefly in terms of characters, plot, and feel. This felt like the most space western episode besides the first season finale.
posted by wasabifooting at 11:40 AM on October 30, 2020 [14 favorites]


Also I think we came back to Tatooine to improve on the "Jawa's are people too" thread that was started in passing last season when our protagonist traded with them to pass through their territory.

Although there was a ton of fan-service here, it was, as far as I can tell, all directed at fans of Timothy Olyphant's character on Justified, Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens. I mean a town not connected to any external political structure is going to elect a Sheriff right, not a Marshall? Am I the only one who thinks that particular naming convention was used to not just tip the hat, but in fact wave it vigorously?
posted by tiamat at 2:22 PM on October 30, 2020 [8 favorites]


I didn’t mind the Tatooine stuff tbh, and as someone who’s never watched Justified, I initially thought it was Pierce Brosnan under that helmet! Kinda liked the juxtaposition of a shiny proper Mandolarian and the knockoff Marshall in a “you vs. the guy she tells you not to worry about” way.
posted by adrianhon at 3:56 PM on October 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


Damn, Timothy Olyphant looks GOOD.
posted by cooker girl at 4:57 PM on October 30, 2020 [19 favorites]


I mean a town not connected to any external political structure is going to elect a Sheriff right, not a Marshall

Making him sheriff would be too much fan service when your bartender is already the bartender from Deadwood.
posted by Gary at 4:59 PM on October 30, 2020 [10 favorites]


Chuck Wendig is tickled pink that his character from Aftermath made it to teevee.
posted by whuppy at 5:09 PM on October 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t even care that the fanservice was heavy-handed. As soon as another Mandalorian was on Tattooine you knew they were bringing in Boba. Armor before man was a nice touch. Teaming up with the Raiders against a krayt dragon was fun.

That was totally the same R5 that failed in front of the Skywalker moisture farm, right?

It’s just so much fun to have a non-Skywalker story (with winks to the OT) in this universe.
posted by supercres at 5:14 PM on October 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


Boba or any other clone.

The Marshall's scooter-dingus was totally half of Anakin's pod racer, neh?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:16 PM on October 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


So good to have this series back. A few things:
  • It's nice to see that sound design is paid equal attention to visual effects, a factor that is often overlooked in the original trilogy: most relevant to this show, there's the very subtle jingle of spurs in Boba Fett's walk. Here, it's the Harley Davidson-like "potato potato" burble of the speeder bike at idle as it cruises into town.
  • Little Baby Yoda's ears flapping in the wind when they move at speed!
  • I like that this show was the rehabilitation of the Sandpeople. In the filmic universe they've always been treated as savages, and it's nice to see them fully rendered here.
  • Wookiepedia confirms that the Marshall's armor is indeed Boba Fett's. Appropriate that it's now being returned to its rightful owners, since neither Boba nor Jango were Mandalorian.
  • adrianhon, you're not the only one to think that it was Pierce Brosnan when the Marshall removed his helmet! It took me a few seconds (and that distinctive voice) to recognize Olyphant. He's just a few months older than me, but the man has always been a rail: when he strode in, it was clear that the armor was too big for him. Which, I suppose, was the point.

posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:16 PM on October 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


I don't mind the references - they didn't bring back actual Boba Fett, just a guy who found his armour. They didn't have him riding around in an actual podracer, just using a scavenged engine.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:16 PM on October 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


I rather enjoyed this; from the Raiders to 1970's Antihero's observation about The Volume and Bora Horza Gobuchul's regarding sound design to the straight-up-let's-drop-you-into-the-western-baddy-of-the-week.

I don't need, nor want, it to be all here's-how-it-relates-to-the-movies-in-6-easy-pieces or MCU^H^H^HSW phase 4 or heaven forbid the spectre of a y'know-it-turns-out-that-the-reeeaaal-big-bad-was-really-your-brother.

I like the aesthetic here, I like that it takes a little time and space to play with landscape, the cinematography and that I don't always get all of the references. I like this, I'd like to spend some more time with it and I'm not in a hurry to see it get anywhere in any kind of a hurry.

I feel like this season premiere with a) totally ignored the break between seasons as if it wasn't there or b) was tailor-made for me. Either way I enjoyed the heck out of it and look forward to next week in a way that TV hasn't really encouraged me too since I was a kid.
posted by mce at 6:45 PM on October 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


I don't mind the references - they didn't bring back actual Boba Fett, just a guy who found his armour.

The guy watching them at the end of the episode was either Boba Fett or an old clone trooper, since he was played by Temuera Morrison.

It was good to see Amy Sedaris again. Timothy Olyphant was at the height of his oh my hello daddy powers; his haircut very much works for him and is a great relief after how intentionally goofy he looked in The Santa Clarita Diet.

You could sell me an entire season of just about anything by using the phrase "a Gamorrean performs a very decent topé con giro. I'm in.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:04 PM on October 30, 2020 [12 favorites]


Oh yeah the Gamorrean cage match— those were vibroblades, right? That’s what I took from the subtle SFX on them. Another nice nod to subtle details of the OT.
posted by supercres at 7:18 PM on October 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Was that a pearl inside the dragon?
posted by Night_owl at 7:19 PM on October 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


Yes. Krayt dragon pearls have appeared in Star Wars video games since at least Knights of the Old Republic in 2003.
posted by HeroZero at 7:47 PM on October 30, 2020 [8 favorites]


This was fun!

What Parasite Unseen said above about Temuera Morrison. When he turned around at the very end, all the Star-Wars-obsessed kids on our couch went completely berserk.
posted by jquinby at 8:04 PM on October 30, 2020 [8 favorites]


I have never disappointed my brother more when I said "Wait, is that Nathan Fillion?" at the end. I could feel the withering glare from across the continent.

I am glad it is not Nathan Fillion and is instead almost certainly a Fett! Though, with the tone of this show, it wouldn't surprise me if Nathan Fillion shows up at some point.

(I also got unexpected Audrey II vibes from the Krayt dragon. "Feed me!" "Does it have to be bantha?")
posted by ChuraChura at 8:14 PM on October 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


So, this was a Tremors episode in the SW TV Universe, right?
posted by mikelieman at 8:28 PM on October 30, 2020 [12 favorites]


For sure, Olyphant was channeling Brosnan hard. I think it's the hair. Olyphant is excellent in the role, but kind of a no-brainer nothing-new.

I loved the little detail of a Tusken brushing a bantha's teeth.

Nitpick; serious lack of eye protection all around other than the Jawas (s) and Tusken. I get it, but it's weird to see in the desert. I think The Child must be using Force like a deflector dish for it's eyes, while riding a speeder.

Thought it was cute that some of the villagers celebrated Tusken style.
posted by porpoise at 8:46 PM on October 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


well there has to be a shedload of old clone troopers kicking around; it doesn't HAVE to be Boba Fett.
posted by suelac at 8:48 PM on October 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


it doesn't HAVE to be Boba Fett.

I think once you’ve established that Fett’s gear survived the sarlacc, showing a surviving clone of Jango and then proceeding to tell us, “By the way, this is not the bounty hunter you’re looking for,” would be a bit of a cheat.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:45 PM on October 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


This is a fairly faithful rendition of the novels - at least the Fremen are wearing realistic stillsuits that don't expose their faces to the elements for once. It's unusual that after killing the sandworm at the end they go to extract the pre-spice mass instead of the traditional cryskives though - according to canon, the mass should only form in the larval sandtrout phase of the sandworm lifecycle.
posted by whir at 11:40 PM on October 30, 2020 [34 favorites]


I loved the little detail of a Tusken brushing a bantha's teeth.

Yes! I had the Tusken Raider action figure back in the 70's, and the little pointed end of its stick always reminded me of the doo-dad on the end of my toothbrush, so seeing that used as a Bantha toothpick gave me a huge grin.

Overall, I loved all the fan service as a "welcome back" to the new season, but hope that they'll dial it back in future episodes.
posted by Zonker at 5:35 AM on October 31, 2020 [5 favorites]


Some striking and clearly very confident cinematography here. The sandcrawler rescue moment literally stopped my breathing, and like, it's not as if I've never seen sandcrawlers before.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:36 AM on October 31, 2020 [5 favorites]


You know what would have been smart? Just feeding the krayt dragon a bantha covered an explosives in the first place. That would seem to be the first idea anyone would have come up with.
Although, we would have lost the miners and Tuskens bonding over the shared battle against the dragon.
I expect later episodes will include a confrontation with the Tatooine Society for the Preservation of Krayt Dragons.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:14 AM on October 31, 2020 [7 favorites]


Yeah, ShooBoo, I think much of the viewing audience reacted the same way: "why are they NOT just feeding the dragon that bantha covered with explosives?" It truly was Chekhov's Explosive Bantha.

I'm so glad this show is back!! I like Tatooine and I'm always happy to spend time there. And after the terrible fanservice of episode IX I'm fine with fanservice done well and in the service of a much more interesting and coherent story.
posted by potrzebie at 10:30 AM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]


This whole series keeps hammering on how cheap life is in its universe. It's weird, for instance, that they don't give the people baiting the krayt dragon a speeder to escape, or some other means or getting away faster. They don't use speakers or some other technology to call the dragon once the Bantha bait is in place.

It's of a piece with the Salacious Crumb guy in the first season in a cage, watching his companion being spit-roasted in the market--snacking on sentient beings is apparently par for the course in the Star Wars universe, and no one's much bothered by it.

It's hard not to love Olyphant as a fairly spiffy scrapper, though. Like, that super ugly armor that doesn't fit is still +50 DEF, so yep, wearing it everywhere. Ooh, rare podracer engine? Strap a seat and controls to it, call it a day and zip around in discomfort and unsafety.
posted by pykrete jungle at 10:35 AM on October 31, 2020 [5 favorites]


Timothy Olyphant playing Raylan Givens In Space was fucking fantastic! I also loved the two stormtroopers shooting the breeze while waiting for the all-clear to enter the city.

A comment by the repair lady seemed a bit odd. She talks about (paraphrasing) "a mysterious sect of wizards somewhere called Jedi." I would have thought Jedi would have been pretty well known by this time, this being the post-second-death-star-exploding era.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:39 AM on October 31, 2020 [5 favorites]


I didn't get to watch this in real time for first season, but thanks to a friend I can now, which is great since I dislike binge watching. I can't remember if they did this before (one of the reasons I hate bingeing--stuff starts to bleed together and I lose interest after a couple hours), but I was distracted by the change from ultra wide-screen to TV wide-screen, which seems like a really unnecessary flourish.

I hated all the animal suffering. The great point above about life being cheap is part of what's distancing me from absolutely loving the show: I absolutely love many parts of it, but man, I could really do without all the poor banthas being killed and like last season, killing that poor cave creature mom just trying to defend herself...ugh. Why is this always such a thing with these dudes?

Needs more Baby Yoda to get the taste out of my mouth. Timothy Olyphant definitely helped a little, though. I would watch that man in anything.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:27 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]


took me a few seconds (and that distinctive voice) to recognize Olyphant. He's just a few months older than me, but the man has always been a rail: when he strode in, it was clear that the armor was too big for him. Which, I suppose, was the point.

Really? I thought it looked comically small, like a Halloween costume where the pattern of the armour is printed in two colours on a smock you wear beneath your chafing plastic mask. For what it’s worth, Olyphant is several inches taller than either your classic Fett Jeremy Bulloch or nu-Fett Temuera Morrison. Not that it is the same costume pieces used, but he is notably lanky where those guys are compact.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:41 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]


well there has to be a shedload of old clone troopers kicking around; it doesn't HAVE to be Boba Fett.

The clones aged at twice normal human rate, so wouldn't they probably all be dead now? Jango's bargain to give his DNA was that Boba Fett was specifically made without the accelerated aging and all the mental conditioning of the clones (I think. Despite knowing this nerd fact, it's been a long time since I've paid attention to Star Wars trivia).
posted by haileris23 at 1:36 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]


Welp, I enjoyed it. Very space western "get all the villagers together to defeat the bad guy" predictable and yet I enjoyed it. Love Timothy Olyphant and hope to see him again and again, he was adorable. Baby Yoda isn't really in the plot of this one but certainly looks cute as he watches. And hey, someone somehow speaks the raiders' language, and gets them to stop raiding! Good job!

"You going to do this in front of the little one?" "He's seen worse." (And is smart enough to close his pod at times.)
Also, Amy Sedaris gets to hold him again, awww.

I admit I bought one of those $20 Target Baby Yodas and was attempting to make mine a hat while watching this. This is surprisingly difficult since his body is soft beanbag and his head/arms are quite hard and sculpted, so trying to figure out a hat that goes over the ears--all the ears--is quite tricksy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:46 PM on October 31, 2020 [8 favorites]


$20 Target Baby Yodas

That's... that's... wow.

I need to make a Baby Yoda/ The Child mini backpack/ fanny pack.
posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]


I really loved this episode, but one detail was instructive to me about where my personal line is on callbacks.

When I saw that Vanth had a speeder made out of a podracer engine, I was like “Ah that’s awesome, what a great reference! And it makes sense in-universe that those wouldn’t just be thrown out, plus it matches the Star Wars aesthetic of futuristic technology that’s grungy and taped-together!”

But when I realized that there was a decent chance that the engine used to make Vanth’s speeder was actually from Anakin’s exact podracer: “Eesh, that’s a bit on the nose, innit? You can do better than that, Favs, this isn’t Lower Decks for Christ’s sake.”

(But yeah, that’s just a minor niggle. I thought this was a fantastic return… The whole time it was on I kept saying “I can’t believe this is a television show.“ Very excited about the season. Cobb Vanth spin-off when?)
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:29 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]


> Yes. Krayt dragon pearls have appeared in Star Wars video games since at least Knights of the Old Republic in 2003.
Thank you. At the end of the episode, my spouse said, “What is that? An egg?”

I responded immediately and confidently, “No, it's a krayt dragon pearl,” and then a few seconds later, “How the heck do I know that?” It's good to know that the very important facts about Tatooine zoology that KotOR taught me in 2004 have just been rattling around in my brain taking up space since then, ready to be deployed at a moment's notice.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this one and thought it was a better-than-average episode. It did feel pretty derivative—being the umpteenth Star Wars plot set on Tatooine, and also being kind of a repeat of the plot of “Sanctuary” from season 1 (the Mandalorian teams up with a skilled warrior and teaches the locals to defend themselves against a big enemy). But it was fun anyway, and I'm a sucker for a good story about two hostile peoples learning to work together.
posted by Syllepsis at 8:57 PM on October 31, 2020 [10 favorites]


Once again, I really enjoy the closing credit illustrations calling back to the Ralph McQuarrie pre production illustrations foing back to pre-Star Wars era.

it doesn't HAVE to be Boba Fett.


I don't see how it can't be Boba Fett. In fact, I predict Boba Fett is going to be the big surprise star of this season. They simply can't show us that the jawas had his armor piled among the junk, and tease us at the end, without revealing how he escaped the giant ant lion and ended up separated from/abandoning his armor/identity.

You know what would have been smart? Just feeding the krayt dragon a bantha covered an explosives in the first place.

I thought that was the obvious plan when we saw the banthas being loaded up with explosives. *shrugs*

A comment by the repair lady seemed a bit odd. She talks about (paraphrasing) "a mysterious sect of wizards somewhere called Jedi." I would have thought Jedi would have been pretty well known by this time, this being the post-second-death-star-exploding era.

I thought that was kind of strange, too. And she seemed to act kind of like she'd never even seen Baby Yoda before.

I hated all the animal suffering. The great point above about life being cheap is part of what's distancing me from absolutely loving the show: I absolutely love many parts of it, but man, I could really do without all the poor banthas being killed and like last season, killing that poor cave creature mom just trying to defend herself...ugh. Why is this always such a thing with these dudes?

Oohhh boy, you're watching the wrong show/series/imaginary universe. I mean, mass death and destruction have been part of the franchise since 1977. A whole planet was destroyed on a whim to make a point, back when Princess Leia was a teenager, for dogssakes...

Really? I thought it looked comically small,


Olyphant's frame doesn't fill it out, so it kind of hangs sloppily, and he's way too much of a pencil neck to be Mandalorian. And that little town isn't likely to have a decent tailor.

The clones aged at twice normal human rate, so wouldn't they probably all be dead now? Jango's bargain to give his DNA was that Boba Fett was specifically made without the accelerated aging and all the mental conditioning of the clones (I think. Despite knowing this nerd fact, it's been a long time since I've paid attention to Star Wars trivia).

*...gives you the side eye...*

It did feel pretty derivative


Derivative of Dune, Lawrence of Arabia, dozens of cowboy movies covering the last 79 years... I think that's part of the appeal of the show. It's a novel kind of comfort food, of there can be such a thing.

I responded immediately and confidently, “No, it's a krayt dragon pearl,” and then a few seconds later, “How the heck do I know that?” It's good to know that the very important facts about Tatooine zoology that KotOR taught me in 2004 have just been rattling around in my brain taking up space since then, ready to be deployed at a moment's notice.

OK, OK, you win.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:36 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]


In fact, I predict Boba Fett is going to be the big surprise star of this season.

For what it’s worth, IMDb lists Morrison as playing Boba Fett in this episode.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:34 AM on November 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


The scene of Mando (does our main character have a name? I literally thought he was Boba Fett!) and the Marshall racing across the desert on a speeder and a podracer was so poorly done. There is very little sound design. The two of them are just chatting like they're sitting next to each other in a quiet restaurant. They can easily hear each other without yelling across the space between them. They can hear each other over the sound of their vehicles that are typically very loud (think the podracers in Phantom Menace and the speeders in ROTJ), and over the wind in their faces. I know this is nit-picky but it's this lack of attention to detail that makes the show so cheap and fake looking.
posted by guiseroom at 10:51 AM on November 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


does our main character have a name?

It's revealed in the last episode of season 1: Din Djarin.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:08 PM on November 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


guiseroom, I thought the same thing soundwise.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:33 PM on November 1, 2020


Oohhh boy, you're watching the wrong show/series/imaginary universe. I mean, mass death and destruction have been part of the franchise since 1977. A whole planet was destroyed on a whim to make a point, back when Princess Leia was a teenager, for dogssakes...

Oh gee, thanks so much for explaining that, I never would have known, considering I was actually at the very first showing at the very first premiere in '77. You can detest something or be sick of it as part of the universe and still, you know, have knowledge that it's a part of the universe. It's not like this world and the creators can't stand to be better. Thanks also for reminding me of why I got the fuck out of this fandom after Empire.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:23 PM on November 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


A comment by the repair lady seemed a bit odd. She talks about (paraphrasing) "a mysterious sect of wizards somewhere called Jedi." I would have thought Jedi would have been pretty well known by this time, this being the post-second-death-star-exploding era.

I think one of the (many) mistakes in the prequels was making Jedi into the supercops of the galaxy. They were virtually unknown a mere 20 years later, they should have been an obscure sect in decline, not the sorcerer-generals of the Republic Army.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:24 AM on November 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


She talks about (paraphrasing) "a mysterious sect of wizards somewhere called Jedi." I would have thought Jedi would have been pretty well known by this time, this being the post-second-death-star-exploding era.

If you're on a planet far from the core, where Jedi are seen extremely rarely, if ever, and certainly will rarely make their presence publicly known, it's entirely likely you never heard of them or thought they were made up or exaggerated. I like to think of it as knowing that Nazi Germany lost WW2, versus someone telling you that Hitler had magic powers and right before Germany surrendered, Churchill killed him in a sword duel. You'd think I was talking absolute bullshit. Certainly with the Mandalorians being hunted down and scattered, they would have lost a lot of their knowledge about their own history with the Jedi.

The guy watching them at the end of the episode was either Boba Fett or an old clone trooper, since he was played by Temuera Morrison.

Have to admit I made the comment about actual Boba Fett not being in there before I got to the end of the episode. Oops.

Oh yeah the Gamorrean cage match— those were vibroblades, right?

I think pretty much every bladed weapon in this show has had the same vibroblade effect. I remember reading about vibroblades in the West End Star Wars RPG source book, it's nice that they brought back that detail (a good answer to "why would you use a metal blade in a universe which has blaster-proof armour?").
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:27 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


I think one of the (many) mistakes in the prequels was making Jedi into the supercops of the galaxy. They were virtually unknown a mere 20 years later, they should have been an obscure sect in decline, not the sorcerer-generals of the Republic Army.

They key mistake of the prequels was setting the rise of the Empire such a relatively short time before the fall of the Empire. It's easy to believe that a generation or two of deliberate disinformation and suppression by the Empire would've made Jedi go from supercops to obscure, little-known creatures of myth, it's just hard to believe the same effect could've been accomplished in the 20 years or so the Empire actually lasted. The apparent shifts in Mandalorian culture have the same problem - they're easier to believe if the Empire was around longer. But of course, if you have the Empire around as long as it feels like the Empire should've been around, you run into issues with the Skywalker family timeline not making sense, and we know which one won that fight.

I do agree with EndsofInvention though, Jedi would've been much less a presence in the Outer Rim to begin with. Plus the fact that they were the Generals of the Clone Army is gonna be pretty irrelevant now that all the droids they were fighting against are destroyed or mindwiped and all the clones are dead of (accelerated) old age - there would be surprisingly few people left who have any first-hand memories of the Clone Wars. Add in the Empire hunting down and torturing/killing not only all the Jedi but anybody who knew enough about Jedi to maybe know the location of any hypothetical surviving Jedi post-Order-66 and you can sorta see your way to it, if you squint.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:22 AM on November 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


Maybe years work like parsecs in the Star Wars universe. They just don't make any sense.
posted by ssmith at 9:32 AM on November 2, 2020 [6 favorites]


Maybe years work like parsecs in the Star Wars universe. They just don't make any sense.

New headcanon: the Galactic Empire lasted for 20 years, but every one of those years was as absolutely batshit as the year 2020 in our universe, so to everyone who lived through it, it seemed like 200 years, and most folks aged about 80 years just from the stress.
posted by mstokes650 at 2:04 PM on November 2, 2020 [25 favorites]


Interview with deaf actor Troy Kotsur, who played one of the Tusken Raiders and helped develop TSL (Tusken Sign Language).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:21 PM on November 2, 2020 [14 favorites]


The TSL is so cool it makes me wish they had done WSL for Chewbacca back in 1977. Would have gone a long way to explaining why Han and Chewie can understand each other.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:05 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


New headcanon: the Galactic Empire lasted for 20 years, but every one of those years was as absolutely batshit as the year 2020 in our universe, so to everyone who lived through it, it seemed like 200 years, and most folks aged about 80 years just from the stress.

Flagged as fantastic. I don't know why this didn't occur to me when I was gamemastering SW RPG campaigns. Oh wait, yeah I do: that was long before 2016, let alone 2020. What tender, callow youths we all were eighty years ago.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:27 AM on November 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


The land speeder scene was the worst offender, but there were a bunch of scenes where I got distracted by how obviously they were filming indoors, because they solved the lighting and they solved the compositing but the air is completely still!

My other major gripe also came out in the speeder scene — they keep shoehorning these expository conversations into the middle of “action” scenes, which strikes me as one of those comic tropes (long paragraphs of conversation between people while they pummel each other into submission) that translates really poorly to film.

But I loved the moment when he was fighting with the goons at the cage match, and at one point he shut down a guy’s punch by headbutting his fist with his helmet. Which apparently can work — especially if it’s not braced and ready a fist will lose badly to the hard part of a skull — but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen that move actually performed. And it was as beautifully bad ass as I could have hoped.
posted by bjrubble at 7:23 PM on November 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


the air is completely still!

Or maybe Timothy Olyphant’s hair really is that awesome.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:15 AM on November 4, 2020 [7 favorites]


I loved the bantha! I love all bovine.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:24 AM on November 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


Yeah, not gonna lie, banthas always remind me of the official fan club newsletter I got as a kid, so I have a bit of a soft spot for them.
posted by Kyol at 11:41 AM on November 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


And I don't know if it was simple awareness of the FX trick they're using to make virtual sets or if they changed how they're filming it, but boy howdy it felt like the virtual set was sticking out like a sore thumb a lot this episode. Maybe it was a stylistic choice, but when he walked into that first town I kept kind of expecting him to bonk into the far wall.
posted by Kyol at 11:52 AM on November 4, 2020


Lot's of nits to pick, MeFi, but I get it. It's all part of the fun!

Anyhoo, I really enjoyed this episode and much of the first season for the simple fact that the show retains an element of humor, straight-forward story lines, and the casting is not tone deaf (Amy Sedaris! John Leguizamo!) All of these things were elements that I felt were major problems with the last few movies.

Neither the ponderous/narratively complicated Star Wars nor the slapstick/ pandering to kids Star Wars hold any interest to me. So far, The Mandolorian has found a delicate balance between these two poles.

Yes, I guess there is something significant at stake with Baby Yoda, but the best of the OG Star Wars (as well of the best of these episodes) managed to engage with a sense of "play" that is awesome.

This episode is a great example: it reminded me of a group of kids playing in a sandbox with their action figures. The stakes are high! (But you know it will all work out in the end, it's how you get there that's the fun part).
posted by jeremias at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2020 [3 favorites]


The difference between episodic popcorn TV and a video game cutscene is that in the former, the hero rides into the dusty town, discerns their problem, and offers to help the townspeople if they will help him. In a video game cutscene, the hero rides into town and the townspeople explain in explicit detail exactly what the hero needs to do and kill in order to get his loot.
posted by chortly at 6:27 PM on November 4, 2020 [2 favorites]


I just feel like being able to visit a different galaxy is a balm for my soul right now. Watching baby yoda is good. I don't need anything else.
posted by medusa at 5:29 AM on November 5, 2020 [11 favorites]


Finally watched this, loved it. What struck me most is just how cinematic the thing is. Mandalorian is much more like a bunch of short films strung together than episodic TV. It shows in the writing, but doubly so in the cinematography and editing. Also the casting; bring Olyphant in not for a one-off TV episode, but rather for just one movie. Even the classic Star Trek wipes don't really make sense in a TV show but look great here in these short movies.

I like this choice. As someone who thinks Rogue One is the only recent Star Wars movie worth a damn, I like that they're basically making a bunch of movies like Rogue One. Only shorter, to meet a different format. Still long enough to be a good adventure movie though.
posted by Nelson at 10:08 AM on November 12, 2020 [2 favorites]


In addition to keeping a sense of fun (no, producing Jar Jar for ridicule is not 'fun') the show also drop something important that makes is IMHO much more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been: the tired, cringe-y, heros journey of some naive "the one".

Oh my word - going back to the original trilogy is something I haven't done (despite rewatching them constantly as a teenager) because Luke is so damned annoying.
<aside>I can't help but think that some dude (always a dude) watched the box office return for A New Hope and thought "y'know, in about 10 years there's gotta be a reboot of Star Trek and boy howdy do I have a character idea that will just crush this gifted teenager role. </aside>
I like that, for all the faults of the recent films, Rey was doing ok for herself in difficult circumstances and I wish the writers had leaned into that harder. In the Mandalorian Mando is already a "turned out adult" who can make informed decisions. The child is cute and fun but (thus far) the plot doesn't revolve around dropping baby-yoda into a senior leadership position for no good reason. I like that the series has taken it's time to tell some interesting stories, explore a universe I always wanted to see more of and doesn't seem feel pressured into setting up the next billion dollar extravaganza that's going to buy a studio exec a new yacht.

I'd happily watch the pair for 30, 40, 50minutes (whatever this episode ended up being) go back-o-school shopping, appear on Hot Ones or lear to whistle. Actually, given Mando's helmet the last one could be be particularly funny. I imagine a line like
"No like this - watch me, watch me. Oh. yeah, ok don't watch me but try it like this - no more pucker, ok too much pucker. Sigh. Ok let's start over."
posted by mce at 2:20 PM on November 12, 2020


Mod note: One deleted for having spoilers at the link.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:46 PM on November 12, 2020


I thought this was great fun, at exactly the level that the show aims for: It is pretty and does what it does extremely well. It is well-polished genre fiction.

I found myself, near the end of the episode, wondering how a desert planet has sufficient oxygen for people to breathe... Presumably you need SOMETHING to turn the expelled CO2 from all the scum and villains back into breathable O2 in sufficient density to keep everyone happy.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:34 PM on December 24, 2020


Sandworms.

Oh mighty Shai-hulud
Keeper of balance
Bless the Maker and His water
Bless the coming and going of Him
May His passage cleanse the world

posted by porpoise at 2:11 AM on December 25, 2020


I honestly thought this one was the best episode yet. I was prepared to hate it, since I'm sick of Tatooine. But it was well-acted, well scripted (if a bit predictable to anyone who's ever seen a Western, but that's been a flaw of this series from the beginning), and it picked up the earlier point about Tusken Raiders and went somewhere with it that I appreciate.

I'm not familiar with any deep Star Wars lore, so I missed pretty much all of the apparent fan service except for the foreshadowing of the Return of Boba Fett (junked Mandalorian amor on Tatooine, a dead Sarlacc), which I thought was reasonably well done.
posted by kyrademon at 7:51 AM on March 14


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