The Mandalorian: A Space Cowboy
With over four decades of movies, novels and animated series, the Star Wars universe expands with The Mandalorian, the new series on Disney+.
The first Star Wars live action series was created by Jon Favreau and stars Pedro Pascal. It tells the story of a lonely bounty hunter from the dwindling creed of Mandalorian warriors, whose members are scattered throughout a lawless galaxy. The Mandalorian‘s life takes an unexpected turn in one of his missions, where the well-being of a baby of the Yoda character species forces him to decide between betraying his principles or becoming an outlaw.
With a first season that has been better received than the latest movies in the Star Wars franchise, The Mandalorian has become a new hope for the fans. In MFC Editorial we reflect on the first season of The Mandalorian and the things that make it so special.
A new adventure
After a decade without new Star Wars movies, the success of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (J. J. Abrams, 2015) gave Disney and Lucasfilm executives the courage needed to develop new stories about popular characters from the franchise. One of those characters was Boba Fett, the first Mandalorian who appeared in the saga.
The failure at the box office of the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story (Ron Howard, 2018) meant a change of plans that transformed the bounty hunter project into something completely new. The film about Boba Fett became a series that chose to introduce an original character inspired by the mystery surrounding the first Mandalorian during his first appearance at the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, prior to his film debut in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Thus, The Mandalorian was born.
The series stands out thanks to its fresh narrative structure, which is of an episodic nature. Beyond the necessary chapters to establish the general story, each new episode offers a self-contained adventure in which we can get to know the characters through their decisions and personalities. In addition, each adventure is part of a larger story that goes into one of the least explored periods of the Star Wars universe and promises to take us to places never seen before in the franchise.
In addition to its fresh history and charismatic characters, the success of The Mandalorian can also be understood through the cinematographic influences that make it up. A lot of techniques and styles of filmmaking come together in this new Star Wars installment, returning the franchise to the artistic exploration that defined it in its beginnings.
The episodic structure of The Mandalorian is one of the most outstanding features of the series inspired by classic science fiction serials such as Flash Gordon, its essence being fundamental in the creation of the first Star Wars movie. In the story department, The Mandalorian takes direct influence from the 70’s Lone Wolf and Cub movies, in which a samurai without master wanders offering his skills in exchange for money, accompanied by his three-year-old son.
The influence of Japanese cinema is not new in Star Wars. Throughout the saga, we can find similarities with the work of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, specifically in films such as The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Seven Samurai (1954), considered as one of the most influential movies in history.
The lonely but fierce personality of the samurai is also present in the protagonists of the spaghetti westerns. Performed by Clint Eastwood, the Man with No Name of the Dollars Trilogy (Sergio Leoni, 1964-1966) served as a direct inspiration for the creation of Boba Fett and, consequently, the main character of The Mandalorian. In addition, the series borrows framing, sequences and classic motifs of the genre, which adds to the technical and visual richness of the show.
Thanks to the success of the first season, showrunner Jon Favreau confirmed that they are working in the second one and that it will be released during the fall of 2020.
While the main story of Star Wars has concluded with the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (J. J. Abrams, 2019), new movies and series are expected to expand the saga for newer generations, which will take all of us to hidden areas of the Galaxy never explored before and that, like The Mandalorian, hopefully will maintain the essence that originally made the franchise so great.