The Mandalorian is Disney’s first Star Wars based TV series for their new Disney+ platform. Approaching streaming a bit differently vs. Netflix, the show will release weekly (like Hulu) rather than all at once. I much prefer that format over binge watching, as I typically blow through a season in a matter of days, no matter the episode count.
Lets get this out of the way, episode 2 of The Mandalorian was so much better than the premiere. From start to finish, episode 2 is more in line with what I was hoping this show would be. It wasn’t without its issues, however.
Writing & Story & Acting
Once again, the actual acting and dialog are what drag an otherwise great episode down. I’m having trouble deciding if Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) is the actual problem, or if the writers behind his god awful lines are. Maybe its a combination of both. Pascal’s performance is devoid of any personality or emotion. His lines are delivered with the least amount of effort I’ve seen in some time.
It continues to be disappointing, as he has been great in everything else I’ve seen him in. The only thing I can hope for, is that he finds his rhythm in the next episode or two. Season 2 is already in production, so Disney must be impressed with his performance – I just have yet to see or hear it.
At least we were reintroduced to some one of my favorite Star Wars races again. It was pretty great to see the Jawas back in the Star War universe, even if a few of them got vaporized early on. They took up the bulk of the episode (I keep forgetting these are actually pretty short) but they were very much welcome.
The finale of the episode saw The Mandalorian going up against a space rhino and it did not disappoint. He got his ass kicked BUT luckily for him, Baby Not Yoda did exactly what I thought he was going to do, although I admit I wasn’t expecting to happen for at least another episode. There are huge implications for the Star Wars world now that he (she?) has been introduced. I’m actually more interested to see where it’s story goes, rather than The Mandalorian’s.
Sound & Picture
Thankfully, video quality was much improved over the premiere. Its still lacking a bit but it was much crisper and had less issues with shadows and dark scenes. I’m still not convinced this is actually streaming in Dolby Vision but at least I wasnt’ distracted the entire time. Also, the CGI seemed to get a bump in quality as well – it was much less noticeable vs episode 1.
The audio continues to be adequate and nothing more. With 2 episodes down, I can say I’m not a huge fan of the soundtrack. The Mandalorian’s theme is already overused and becoming somewhat annoying. I don’t necessarily have an issue with the soundtrack as a whole, but it doesn’t have that usual Star Wars finish to it. Overall, the gripes with audio are minor.
Worth the watch?
I’m happy to say that this episode renewed my excitement for the show. I still think it needs some work but this was far more in line with what I was expecting from Favreau and team.
I’m still waiting for the “gritty take on Star Wars” that we were promised (blowing up Jawas doesn’t count) but this is a promising step in the right direction. After today, I’m fully on board with whats to come.