September 29, 2020

First Live-Action Star Wars Show is a Space Western

By Josh “James” Litman ‘21 - Staff Reporter

“The Mandalorian,” created by Jon Favreau, follows a bounty hunter who is tasked by the remnants of the Empire to capture a person, dead or alive. The catch? They won’t tell him anything about his target, he is only given a tracking fob. After the Mandalorian reaches his target, he finds out it is just a child. The rest of the show has the titular main character protecting the child from harm, including competing bounty hunters, stormtroopers, and other malicious creatures.

“The Mandalorian” takes the tone of an old western and flies with it. The “Mando” is a classic example of a gunslinger; he’s just in it for the money. However, he experiences a change of heart, and starts to protect others who need it. The score, composed by Ludwig Göransson, matches this theme. The music of “The Mandalorian” sounds lonely, as if one is walking into a western ghost town.

The cinematography of “The Mandalorian” is fantastic. Each episode has a different director, which results in a different experience each time. The first episode, directed by Dave Filoni plays to its “Star Wars” roots, with some familiar and some new aliens and droids. The second episode, “Chapter 2: The Child,” directed by Rick Famuyiwa sticks out for almost having no dialogue. What little dialogue it has is spoken by the Jawas in a different language. “Chapter 3: The Sin” and “Chapter 4: Sanctuary,” directed by Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard, respectively dips heavily into it’s western theme. “The Sin” features several gunshots reminiscent of old westerns, while “Sanctuary” has the classic western trope of training a group of defenseless people to protect themselves from outlaws.

“The Mandalorian” is a step in the right direction for Star Wars. After “The Last Jedi” polarized its fanbase, “The Mandalorian” has been able to unite “Star Wars” fans. “The Mandalorian” enriches and expands the universe of Star Wars in ways the sequel trilogy couldn’t. I look forward to seeing what Favreau has instore for us with more upcoming episodes of “The Mandalorian” every Friday.

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