I’ve devoted about two and half hours of my life to watching the first five chapters of Disney+’s The Mandalorian. This morning as I reflected on that, I realized that, for me, this show is developing more slowly than anything else I have ever watched. For some, it’s an enjoyable slow burn; for me, it’s a bit of a drag — especially since I had such high hopes for the series!
In fact, I know many will think “give the show a chance to develop the intricate storyline Star Wars is known for.” Perhaps that is a point to be made; slow, unfolding storylines are part of what franchise fans love. But come on: it’s been two and half hours. Give us something.
We actually don’t know that much about The Mandalorian as a character or person. We’ve seen a few (too few, I would argue) flashbacks of his childhood. But I’m left wanting to know more. Where is he from? What exactly happened to his parents and village? How did he survive? Why did he become a Mandalorian?
We know so little about this guy — the titular character and the point around which the entire story spins — that I find it hard even to feel anything for him — especially since we get so few lines of dialogue from him in each chapter, and they are spoken with so little emotion. While I can understand how this enforces the nature of his work in a way, I am still wanting for more.
I have questions about the scene in which The Mandalorian’s parents died, too. What really happened to them? We see droids attacking the people of The Mandalorian’s childhood village, but it’s not explicitly clear that his parents were struck. On the other hand, the Mandalorian has specified “no droids” several times in the chapters we’ve seen so far; viewers are, I think, expected to make that connection. But I do wonder why his parents’ deaths at the hands of droids weren’t made more explicit and if, in fact, that is why “no droids”.
Moving on to the cutie in the series: Baby Yoda. Sure we all love him (not as much as Baby Groot, personally), but should we love him/her? Who is he? What is he? Where is he from? How is he related to “real Yoda”? Is he good or bad? Why is there a bounty on him? What were they doing to him when The Mandalorian first surrendered him for the bounty?
There are so many questions. And some of you will tell me to be patient. Others will say plenty has been revealed. But we’ve been watching for two and half hours. In that time the Avengers saved half of humanity. In that time we got an entire canonical Star Wars film (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) that included a ton of storyline development — including the death of Luke Skywalker. Compare the two and half hours of the The Mandalorian to your average film, and you start to realize this is the slowest moving storyline in the history of the galaxy.
In the show’s slow crawl, I feel tricked, but I have to admit they’re quite clever. I’ve been bored, waiting for more. But because every once in while a fun gecko scurries by, and I am momentarily entertained, I haven’t noticed how bored I am overall.
I realize this opinion is likely unpopular; I know there are likely reasons for the slow burn — reasons I hope will reveal themselves over the next three chapters. Because I will watch the next three chapters. Because I must know what becomes of The Child and because I need to know if a more compelling storyline develops. I know Jon Favreau is perfectly capable of telling good stories. He is the mind behind the first Iron Man film as well as the remakes of The Jungle Book and The Lion King. I can only hope in the next hour and half of chapters left to this season something more will happen.
Is The Mandalorian going to develop a storyline or not? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Learn more about The Mandalorian here!
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