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Connor Macgregor Reviws...Star Wars Television

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The Star Wars franchise has spawned multiple films and television series. In this thread, I will review various animation and live action series that are set in the Star Wars universe. No specific order required, but it will be a dumping place for many shows.

So, let me man my keyboard and may the force be with me.





Connor Macgregor Reviews…The Mandalorian
Chapter One: The Mandalorian


INTRO: The Mandalorian was the first signature series for Disney+, and with launching this new Star Wars thread, I thought this series would be a good starting point. It’s one of mystery, adventure and tension throughout.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
Five years after the fall of the Empire, a Mandalorian bounty hunter collects a bounty after a scuffle exchange in a bar on Maldo Kreis and returns to a bounty hunting guildhall on Nevarro in his ship, the Razor Crest. He meets with his guild's leader, Greef Karga, who mostly has low-paying bounties that will not cover travel expenses. Looking to get a bigger bounty, the Mandalorian accepts a mysterious commission for which Karga can only provide an address to meet the Client, who wants the details of the job to be private.

The Client, who uses Imperial stormtroopers as bodyguards, gives the Mandalorian a vague target to bring back alive. The only information he is allowed to give is an age—50 years old—and last known location. In exchange, The Client promises to reward the bounty hunter with a container full of beskar, a rare metal used by Mandalorians to forge impenetrable armor. Receiving a single bar of beskar as a down payment, the Mandalorian meets with the Armorer at an enclave housing fellow Mandalorians. The Armorer, who melts the metal into a pauldron reserved for the Mandalorian, says the metal was gathered in The Great Purge and the excess will sponsor foundlings, as the Mandalorian once was.

The Mandalorian travels to the desert planet Arvala-7—native home of the Ugnaughts—and meets a native named Kuiil who wants to be rid of the criminals and mercenaries who now inhabit the area. Kuiil teaches the Mandalorian to ride a Blurrg, as there are no land speed vehicles to traverse the area, and sends him to where his bounty is located. Upon reaching the hideout, the Mandalorian grudgingly teams up with bounty droid IG-11. They manage to clear the entire facility of its Nikto guards and discover that the bounty is a green, big-eared infant creature. IG-11 plans to kill it, but the Mandalorian blasts the droid to protect the baby and bounty.


THOUGHTS: The debut episode is an excellent set up to the world ahead. One after Return Of The Jedi, the series departs quickly from the fairy taleesque that the original series set up so clearly. There is a more eerie, lawless feeling about the way this series is set up. The mysterious lead of The Mandalorian draws you in quite quickly, due to the iconography of the helmet, and the lore of the Mandalorians which has been built for hardcore Star Wars fans for various years. His face is not seen, yet emotion is all over him in this episode. The episode leads to an ending which turns The Mandalorian’s world upside down, with the introduction of Baby Yoda, a character destined to be the breakout character in this series.

RATING: 87% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 2: The Child


INTRO: Continuing from the strong opener, Episode 2 (or Chapter 2) literally picks up from the last episode and takes the story further as The Mandalorian's entire world begins to change forever.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
While returning to his ship on foot with the Child in tow, the Mandalorian is ambushed by a trio of Trandoshan warriors. He disintegrates one attempting to rush and kill the Child, revealing a tracking fob. Upon returning to his ship, he finds a team of Jawas scavenging it for parts. After a short battle, they retreat in their Sandcrawler and stun the Mandalorian unconscious with ion blasts. He returns to his ship, finding it stripped bare and all of his weaponry stolen. With the assistance of Kuiil, he grudgingly bargains with the Jawas to return his ship's parts in return for retrieving the egg of a Mud Horn, a large horned beast.

The Mandalorian locates and gets thrown around and battered by one such Mud Horn at its den. As the beast charges to finish the Mandalorian, his weapons failing and his armor heavily damaged, the Child uses the Force to lift it, allowing the Mandalorian to go for the kill. He returns with the Egg, and the Jawas cut it open and eat its contents. He and Kuiil repair his ship, after which Kuiil turns down the Mandalorian's offer of reward and crewing his ship. After parting as friends, the Mandalorian takes to space and the Child wakes for the first time after exhausting itself using the Force.


THOUGHTS: Continuing from Episode One, Mando is now in a position where allies need to be built in order for him to escape the planet and end his mission. Baby Yoda is automatically now something of value for Mando to now protect, and this will be the case going forward in the series. Regarding Baby Yoda, we begin to see him grow his ability and the mystery around him continues to deepen. this episode is also a more action packed and fun episode than before, and makes us more eager and anticipating the next episode.

RATING: 88% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 3: The Sin


INTRO: The fallout of the first two episodes takes the story of The Mandalorian on an adventure that will change him completely.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
The Mandalorian delivers the Child to the Client. He asks about the plans for the Child, but is given no answer. When the Mandalorian returns to the secret Mandalorian enclave, his damaged armor is replaced by the Armorer with a new set forged from some of the beskar reward. Another Mandalorian berates him for working with former agents of the Galactic Empire, who are responsible for their predicament; the Armorer defuses the situation by reminding them of the Way of Mandalore. Returning to the guild, the Mandalorian learns from Greef Karga that everyone in the guild had a tracking fob for the child. Greef implores him to take some time to rest, but the Mandalorian insists on taking on another job. He asks Greef if he has any idea what The Client has planned for the child, but Greef says he did not ask as it would be against the guild code, telling him he should forget about it. Despite accepting a new assignment and starting to prepare his ship to depart, the Mandalorian has a change of heart at the last moment, unable to bring himself to leave an innocent baby in the hands of dangerous Imperials, and instead turns back to infiltrate The Client's base of operations.

Killing many Imperial stormtroopers, he rescues the Child from a laboratory. On the way back to his ship, the Mandalorian is ambushed by the other bounty hunters and Greef, who demand he hand the Child over. After he refuses, a firefight breaks out, leaving the Mandalorian heavily outnumbered and cornered, but warriors from the Mandalorian enclave unexpectedly arrive, attacking the bounty hunters and giving the Mandalorian cover to escape. Ambushing the Mandalorian on his ship, Greef gives him one last chance to surrender, but the Mandalorian outsmarts him and shoots him, ejecting him from the spacecraft. The Child's hand appears, reaching up to the console from below; the Mandalorian unscrews a control knob that he had earlier berated the Child for playing with, and drops it into its hand.


THOUGHTS: A conscious comes to The Mandalorian and as a result, he takes himself on a path he never thought he would be on. By double-crossing his clients, he puts himself and the guild at huge risk. I really like the twist and sets up the story ahead and the huge conflict that is about to go down. Pedro Pascal does so much with his voice here, and really creates a character in which the armor does as much character work than what is under it. Shout out also to Werner Herzog who is in a rare acting role here, and does very well at being someone quite villainous and uneasy to be around.

RATING: 89% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 4: Sanctuary


INTRO: Following the mission of the first three episodes, Episode Four moves the story forward and allows Mando to offer his services for other missions, in a bid to keep his wellbeing up and healthy.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
On Sorgan, a sparsely populated forested swamp planet, a village of farmers is pillaged by raiders. The Mandalorian soon lands on Sorgan looking to hide from the Guild with the Child. In a local restaurant, they come across a suspicious mercenary who identifies herself as Cara Dune (Gina Carano), a former Rebel shocktrooper who had left her position and is hiding on the planet, which she asks the Mandalorian to leave. Back at the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian is approached by two of the villagers hoping to hire him to drive off the raiders. He accepts in return for lodging in the isolated village and uses their payment to hire Dune for extra help. Once at the village, a widowed mother named Omera (Julia Jones) takes them in and offers them food. Dune and the Mandalorian find a set of tracks in the mud outside the village and identify that the raiders have a powerful Imperial All-Terrain Scout Transport. Dune insists the villagers leave and make their home elsewhere, but they refuse and decide to fight, which the Mandalorian accepts.

The Mandalorian and Dune show the farmers how to defend themselves and then set up traps in the krill ponds for the AT-ST. The Mandalorian and Dune infiltrate the raiders' camp to provoke them into attacking. The AT-ST then chases them back to the village but stops short of the krill ponds. The Klatooinian raiders then attack the villagers, while the AT-ST shoots the village with artillery fire. Dune then gets beneath the AT-ST, shooting into one of the viewports. The AT-ST takes the bait and steps into the pond, sinks, and then falls over. The Mandalorian then throws a thermal detonator into the walker, blowing it up, and the raiders flee back into the forest. With peace having returned, the Child plays happily with the other children. The Mandalorian tells Dune and Omera that he plans to leave the Child there as he feels it would be a better life. However, a Kubazi bounty hunter from the Guild takes aim at the Child from the trees. Before he can fire, Dune shoots him from behind. The Mandalorian realizes the Child has to stay under his protection. He bids farewell to Omera and Dune, and leaves the village.


THOUGHTS: Episode Four is a standalone story and a good one at that. The community is under siege and The Mandalorian’s arrival is a turning point of their troubles. Devising a plan with another gunslinger, they empower the villagers to fight back against the oppressive forces that have put them down for so long. The episode is wonderfully directed, and Bryce Dallas Howard has inherited the talents of her father with ease. The darkness, the poverty, the angst, the bravery. All of it intertwines together nicely and adds to the ongoing troubles that The Star Wars Galaxy builds. What could have been a new home for Baby Yoda is quickly refuted by the end of the episode, and thus the ongoing story continues on for The Mandalorian, as his future begins to build more question marks than ever.

RATING: 93% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 5: The Gunslinger


INTRO: This is a one off story for The Mandalorian, but ultimately one that keeps the pressure on the central character going forward onto the next episodes.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
The Mandalorian defeats a pursuing bounty hunter in a dogfight, but the Razor Crest is damaged and he lands at a repair facility run by Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in Mos Eisley on Tatooine. While seeking work to pay for the repairs in a local cantina, he meets Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale), a young bounty hunter looking to join the Bounty Hunter's Guild by capturing Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), a well-trained mercenary. Despite having misgivings, the Mandalorian agrees to help him for the bounty, while Calican will take credit for the capture. Peli, meanwhile, has come across the Child and begins to take care of it while working on the ship, growing slightly attached to it.

The Mandalorian and Calican travel into the Dune Sea on speeder bikes, looking for Shand. They come upon Tusken Raiders; the Mandalorian barters with them for safe passage. They eventually come across a Dewback with a dead bounty hunter attached to it, which turns out to be bait laid out by Shand to attract anyone looking for her. The two manage to avoid her attacks and capture her but she manages to destroy one of their speeder bikes in the fight.

The Mandalorian goes to get the Dewback to replace the destroyed speeder, while Calican watches Shand. She tells him that the Mandalorian is a traitor to the guild and that the bounty on the Mandalorian and the Child are worth a great deal more than her bounty. Calican is unconcerned with the bounty, but Shand points out that taking out a Mandalorian would make him a legend. She offers to help Calican capture the Mandalorian if he sets her free. However, Calican shoots her, assuming that she would betray him, and heads to the repair facility on the speeder bike, where he captures Motto and the Child. The Mandalorian arrives, uses a flash grenade to disorient Calican, and kills him. The Mandalorian then gives Calican's money to Motto to pay for the repairs on his ship and he leaves Tatooine. Out in the desert, a mysterious figure is seen approaching Shand's body.


THOUGHTS: This episode is a one off but still a very good one. I like how The Mandalorian is still having to take up tasks to keep himself a float, given how most of the guild and empire are after him. We also return to Tattooine which is much more quieter than we have seen it before, and allows us to be introduced to a new character called Peli who is a mechanic. She is quite a fun nice character to know for an episode, and perhaps someone we may see again. The guest roles are good and I liked the swerve twist also where the ally of The Mandalorian then turns on him. It goes to show that this show is tougher and meaner and how you really cannot trust anyone in the wider realms of the galaxy. The final scene of the episode is very ominous and one to be left with interpretation. Perhaps it will be reexplored in the future.

RATING: 84% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 6: The Prisoner


INTRO: Episode 6 is a fun episode in The Mandalorian, which puts him in a very tricky situation which turns on him in spectacular fashion.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
The Mandalorian contacts his old friend Ran. Ran has hired a crew consisting of ex-Imperial sharpshooter Migs Mayfeld, the Devaronian strongman Burg, the droid pilot Zero, and the knife-wielding Twi'lek woman Xi'an to rescue her brother Qin, a prisoner of the New Republic. Upon arrival on the prison ship, they fight through security droids and make it to the control room where an inadvertent escalation causes a New Republic soldier to trigger a beacon alerting the New Republic. The crew rescues Qin, but double-crosses the Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian escapes, isolates and defeats each crew member, then captures Qin, whom he delivers to Ran in exchange for the money. Ran attempts to send a gunship after the Mandalorian to kill him, but the New Republic beacon had been placed on Qin, leading a trio of X-wings to Ran's station. The X-wings open fire on the hangar. Lastly, Mayfeld, Burg, and Xi'an are shown in a cell on the prison transport, nursing their wounds, having been spared.


THOUGHTS: This is quite the fun episode to watch. It takes place mostly on a prison ship, and sees The Mandalorian team up with some people that are edgy and hard to trust, in order to complete this mission. As expected, it does not go to plan and The Mandalorian has to use his wit to survive this unexpected situation. I found the episode fun to engage with, and at times really suspenseful, especially near the end where the situation becomes very splinter cell esque and everything is very heightened.

RATING: 95% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 7: The Reckoning


INTRO: The two part finale in this first season of The Mandalorian really rounds up everything we have experienced this season with The Mandalorian, and puts him against an extreme test.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
The Mandalorian receives a message from Greef Karga. Karga's town has been overrun by Imperial troops led by the Client, who is desperate to recover the Child. Karga proposes that the Mandalorian use the Child as bait in order to kill the Client and free the town in return for allowing the Mandalorian and the Child to live in peace; Karga secretly plans to kill the Mandalorian and take the Child to the Client. Sensing this trap, the Mandalorian recruits Cara Dune and Kuiil the Ugnaught to assist him; Kuill also brings a rebuilt IG-11, reprogrammed to act as a nurse droid instead of a bounty hunter despite the Mandalorian's apprehension. Upon arrival on Nevarro they meet Karga and his associates, but en route to the town are attacked by large flying reptiles winged creatures. Karga is injured but the Child uses the Force to heal his wound; in return, Karga shoots his associates, unable to go through with his trap.

The group formulates a new plan: Karga will pretend that Dune captured the Mandalorian, and all three will enter the town to meet the Client while Kuiil returns the Child to the ship, where IG-11 is waiting. During the meeting, the Client receives a call from Moff Gideon, whose stormtroopers and deathtroopers surround the building and open fire, killing the Client. Gideon arrives and boasts that the Child will soon be in his possession. In the desert outside town, two scout troopers track and capture the Child, and leave Kuiil dead on the ground.


THOUGHTS: This is as I wrote a finale of two parts. This mainly builds up the anticipated battle between The Mandalorian and The Empire over The Child. I like how they play off the characters against one another. The Mandalorian has caused a lot of chaos thus far in the story, and now the opportunity for him to be taken out. But yet, morality and choice for some of these characters makes everything hang in the balance. The climax of this episode is really nailbiting, and the cliffhanger at the end of the episode is very good and makes you eager to jump into the second part.

RATING: 92%





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Mandalorian
Chapter 8: Redemption


INTRO: The Finale Of The Mandalorian is a fun, thrilling and wonderful conclusion to Season One of the series. With teases to Season Two set up carefully.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
While the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga are trapped, IG-11 rescues "the Child". The Mandalorian finds a vent into the sewers, where he hopes to find his people's hidden stronghold. Moff Gideon gives them until nightfall to surrender, or he will order his troops to fire. The Mandalorian recognizes Gideon: Gideon had been an officer of the Empire's secret police when the Empire took over Mandalore. IG-11 arrives on a scout trooper's bike with the Child, blasting through the stormtroopers. The Mandalorian takes down several more but is almost killed by Gideon. As they take cover inside, Gideon orders a trooper with a flamethrower to burn them out; the Child uses the Force to reflect the flames back and immolate the trooper. The Mandalorian and IG-11 remain behind while Dune and Karga take the Child into the sewers. IG-11 removes the Mandalorian's helmet to treat his injuries before they join the others in the sewers.

Arriving at the Mandalorian enclave, they find it abandoned except for the Armorer, who explains that the Imperials found the enclave when the Mandalorians revealed themselves. Upon seeing the Child who saved the Mandalorian from the Mudhorn on Arvala-7, the Armorer is reminded of the Jedi, who Mandalorians see as their ancient enemies. She instructs the Mandalorian to take the Child to the Jedi, wherever they might be; she also carves a Mudhorn signet into his pauldron and gives him a jetpack. While the Armorer remains behind, the Mandalorian, Dune, Karga, IG-11, and the Child escape down an underground lava river. IG-11 decides to sacrifice himself by walking into an ambush and activating his self-destruct. After they emerge from the tunnel, Gideon attacks in the TIE fighter he arrived in. Using his jetpack the Mandalorian plants explosives on Gideon's fighter, which brings down the craft. With the Imperials seemingly dealt with, Karga invites the Mandalorian to return to the Guild, but he refuses as he must take care of the Child. Dune elects to remain behind to work as Karga's enforcer. The Mandalorian buries Kuiil beneath a cairn of stones and departs Nevarro. Meanwhile, Gideon cuts himself out of the crashed fighter with the Darksaber.


REVIEW: The finale of the first season of The Mandalorian is quite a ride. Intense, thrilling, fun and action packed. Disputes are tossed aside as The Mandalorian and Greef Karga ally togehter to fight Moff Gideon and his stormtrooper army. It is wild, fiery and very tense to watch. There is a wonderful moment where the mask of The Mandalorian comes off and we see his face for the first time. It is lovely and emotional but ultimately satisfying. I love also how many twists and obstacles appear that the trio have to overcome. Makes again for quite gripping viewing and a finale that is very exciting to watch. Then there is IG-11 voiced wonderfully by Taika Waititi who goes through a gorgeous little arc in this episode which is admirable and poignant. The final scene is also interesting to watch, with a crucial piece of Star Wars Mythology being introuduced which may set the stage for Season 2 perhaps.

RATING: 98% - A





The Mandalorian
Season 1 Review


Season One of the Mandalorian is a magnificent and captivating series that breaths new life into Star Wars. With a central protagonist that is mysterious yet inviting, the show is introduced to a new eerieness yet to be tested before with this franchise. Strip away the fantasy and family friendly feel, and suddenly you are presented with a more lawless take on Star Wars, with characters that aren't as trustworthy as you believe. Pedro Pascal is great as The Mandalorian, maintaing his mystery from start to finish. Accompanied is Baby Yoda, a fascinating new character which was likely set up to sell merchandise, and boy did that succeed. But also he is a great value that is constantly at risk from various enemies of The Mandalorian. From there a chase endures, and The Mandalorian finds his world upside down and constantly in danger. The supporting cast is also strong, with Carl Weathers and Gina Carano standing out really well and providing good support to The Mandalorian. Werner Herzog in a rare acting role here does very well even if its brief and only for a few episodes. Taika Waititi also has a voice role as a droid which has its own little cute arc throughout the season. Yet overall, I think Season One of the Mandalorian is a strong start, very strong start. I recommend it highly and am looking forward to Season Two.

RATING: 91% - A





The Mandalorian
Season 1 Review


Season One of the Mandalorian is a magnificent and captivating series that breaths new life into Star Wars. With a central protagonist that is mysterious yet inviting, the show is introduced to a new eerieness yet to be tested before with this franchise. Strip away the fantasy and family friendly feel, and suddenly you are presented with a more lawless take on Star Wars, with characters that aren't as trustworthy as you believe. Pedro Pascal is great as The Mandalorian, maintaing his mystery from start to finish. Accompanied is Baby Yoda, a fascinating new character which was likely set up to sell merchandise, and boy did that succeed. But also he is a great value that is constantly at risk from various enemies of The Mandalorian. From there a chase endures, and The Mandalorian finds his world upside down and constantly in danger. The supporting cast is also strong, with Carl Weathers and Gina Carano standing out really well and providing good support to The Mandalorian. Werner Herzog in a rare acting role here does very well even if its brief and only for a few episodes. Taika Waititi also has a voice role as a droid which has its own little cute arc throughout the season. Yet overall, I think Season One of the Mandalorian is a strong start, very strong start. I recommend it highly and am looking forward to Season Two.

RATING: 91% - A

They succeeded so well that I've only seen two episodes so far, and I already bought these:

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