Now Streaming: THE MANDALORIAN Kicks Off Another Disney STAR WARS Era
I can't believe it. I may finally be burned out on the sci-fi thing that George Lucas created. Or maybe it's just streaming itself?
Now streaming on DisneyPlus.
I'm so old I can remember waiting in a parking lot for hours to see Star Wars on opening weekend in 1977. And being happy about it!
Nowadays, of course, things are different. I didn't even sign up for Disney+ until late Tuesday afternoon, hours after the new streaming service launched!
Naturally, The Mandalorian was the first thing I watched on the snazzy-looking service. The official description states: "After the fall of the Empire, a lone gunfighter makes his way through the lawless galaxy." Pedro Pascal, who made a great impression in Game of Thrones, right up to the moment when his own face received a deep impression, stars as that lone gunfighter, covered up under an all-enveloping head mask that also muffles his voice a bit.
Running 40 minutes, the first episode feels very much like a pilot episode, swiftly establishing the protagonist's most significant, outward-facing characteristics, and also introducing other supporting characters who may or may not play significant roles. The biggest mind-twister was seeing Werner Herzog in costume; he is awesome, as usual, thanks to his confident physical presence and bearing. His voice cuts easily through the scene, even when he's just giving a few words of exposition about the mission that is offered to a bounty hunter.
Another mind-twister: Nick Nolte voicing an unexpected character. I didn't even realize he was in the episode -- even though it's right there on the show's page, under "Details" -- so that was a delightful surprise for me. A further happy moment comes with that running time, by the way; it flies by, especially in the absence of commercial interruptions, while still feeling more meaningful than a half-hour run-time might have been. (This is a lesson that Netflix show creators should learn.) Dave Filoni directed from creator Jon Favreau's script; Filoni has worked on the Star Wars animated shows and obviously knows how to cut out any unnecessary fat to keep things moving along briskly.
What hit me after the show concluded, as I was poking around the thousands (?!) of hours of content that's available on the service, including all the Star Wars feature films so far, is that the Skywalker Saga is about to conclude, but the universe will continue.
The characters may not ever be as familiar and strangely comforting as they have been to my generation, but maybe they will be to yours. As I watched Disney+, cartoons from past decades in the section "Mickey Mouse Through the Years" caught my eye and I watched three of them. Each includes the helpful and/or inadequate note: "The program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions."
Yeah, like in the 70s, too. Man, I feel old.
Summing up: Help yourself, kids.
Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.