Force Friday: The Mandalorian Episode 8

  Welcome back to The Real World According To Sam! Today is Force Friday and we're picking up where we left off last week. Today, we are going to talk about the eighth episode of the Disney + original series, The Mandalorian.

Reviews for this first season will be FULL of SPOILERS!!! If you have not watched this show, and want to, then I recommend you just go watch it, and then come back. 
The Mandalorian Poster

Chapter 8: The Redemption

Directed by: Taika Waititi
Written by: Jon Favreau


The Mandalorian and his allies come to know their true enemy, who already knows much about them.


Taika Waititi is a new director for this series, so let's spend a moment talking about his previous work. As far as this show goes, he has actually been the voice of the droid IG-11, which is pretty cool (Ep. 1, 7, & 8). He directed a few shorts, but is probably best known for having directed Thor: Ragnarok (2017). That was a movie I really enjoyed and thought was visually stunning. It really set its own course as a different kind of superhero movie. The tone was incredibly different from previous Thor films, but it still felt like it belonged in the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Considering Thor: Ragnarok as a precedent for directing, I was excited to see how he handled this episode, in order to see if we may see more of him behind the camera for the Star Wars universe. 

When we last saw our heroes, they were pinned down by a bunch of Imperials. The client was dead like planned, but he was killed by a higher up Imperial we are just now meeting. Sadly, Kuill was also dead and the Child was left on its own to be picked up by Imperials. This episode opens up with a couple of troopers on speeder bikes. They have the Child with them and are waiting for further orders. Right off the bat, I already dislike them, because of their physical abuse of our favorite baby alien. Honestly, though, the discussion between the troopers is so amusing. This is a side of Star Wars we rarely get to see and I LOVE IT. It's so amusing and I would honestly love to see more scenes like this, or even a show focused on this kind of interaction. It doesn't really "fit" with the tone of the rest of the show as far as seriousness, but it still feels realistic to the world it is in. What would troopers do while waiting for orders? They would talk of course, but what would they talk about? They just shoot the breeze, do some ribbing, and talk some nonsense until it is go-time. I love it. If they did a Star Wars show that focused on Stormtrooper training that incorporated some of this humor, I would be all for it. I'd eat it up like candy, with no hesitation. This is arguably one of my favorite scenes in the whole show, apart from them being despicable to the Child. I could have definitely done without that component. The humor here is on point, but it also contradicts the tone of the last episode. We ended with the death of a great character, the Child ready to be scooped up by what's left of the Empire, and the rest of our heroes being stuck in what looks to be an impossible situation. This humor is a bit of an affront to that set-up, but it is so satisfying that it isn't the least bit bothersome to me. 

How about we talk about the actual parts of the show we are here for? The very next segment kicks off an amazing transition to the rest of the episode. IG-11 gets the Child back, takes on his role as babysitter, and we get back to the serious stand-off we left our heroes in. The tense tone comes back and we find out a lot, including the actual name of the Mandalorian, himself. We get his "origin story", so to speak, we see why he doesn't like droids, and we get a bit of background on our new baddie, Moff Gideon. He has a large group of stormtroopers and death troopers (first shown in Rogue One) and our heroes are ridiculously outnumbered and outgunned. This episode drops a lot of important information and character development, without ever losing its sense of urgency. When IG-11 comes on the scene, he very quickly steals the show. Major things happen and I'm not going to spoil the ending for anyone so that's as much as I will say. I'll just wrap this up by giving The Mandalorian Chapter 8 a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯✯.

We leave this episode, and the season, with a lot more questions and not nearly enough answers. While a few have been answered (such as who is the Mandalorian?), there are so many more yet to be answered. I am incredibly excited for season 2, to see what new adventures the show will bring. The first season was exciting and rather refreshing. It's the first live action Star Wars show, and hopefully it won't be the last. I hope others can be developed, but they have to be as compelling and enjoyable as this one. Although, I think it'll be tough to meet the high bar this show has set. Especially given the cliffhanger of this episode that presented a very important, but rarely seen artifact (fans of The Clone Wars animated series and Star Wars Rebels will definitely recognize it). 

Honestly, I think Disney+ is worth subscribing to, even if just for a month to completely binge this season (or wait for season 2 to finish and binge both). If anyone has been hesitant to enjoy anything Star Wars, this is the show to present to them. It manages to stand on its own and tell a story largely independent of any of the films (apart from the set up of the timeline where the Empire has fallen, but you don't need to watch the movies to be aware of that--it can be summed up before watching this in a quick conversation). I doubt they would regret it, because who can resist the adorableness of the Child?  

There you have it! We have discussed every episode of the first season of The Mandalorian. I give this first season a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯and highly recommend it to all my friends, whether you're a Star Wars fan or not. Give it a try and see what you think, because it might just surprise you. The first episode of the next season comes out October 30th, and I honestly cannot wait. If you would like me to review the second season as episodes come out, like I did with this season, let me know! Drop a comment below or message my Facebook page, OR... I'll also be opening up a Facebook poll asking the same question, so you can respond that way as well. Whatever works best for you! 

This concludes another Force Friday review. This next month will be 100% focused on books I've selected to fit the theme of Halloween, so we won't have another Force Friday post until November...unless responses for Season 2 come in telling me to jump on reviewing ASAP. Thanks for reading!