Disney Plus launched in the wee hours of Tuesday morning!
There were plenty of good reasons to sign up for the streaming service. In my case, they had me at "new Clone Wars episodes."
Those aren't out yet, of course. What is out is The Mandalorian, whose first episode went live at launch.
To say that the first episode was "good" does not do it justice.
Check out our review (and carefully crafted gifs) below and see if Disney's live-action Star Wars series sounds like a hit or miss.
We promise that we've only included minor spoilers.
It's a Space Western
Usually, that would be a critique, but Star Wars has always had strong Western vibes, though that has never been exclusive. Environments like the cantina at Mos Eisley Spaceport on Tattooine are basically saloons, and in his first scene, the titular Mandalorian might as well have pushed through a pair of saloon doors.
It FEELS like Star Wars
We'll talk about this more once we get into the gifs, but this show really feels like it's part of the broader Star Wars canon in a way that the Sequel films, for many fans, have not. The vibe here is definitely more Rorgue One, and that's exactly how it should be.
Aliens are back!
Anyone else notice how there are almost no new Alien roles in the Sequel films? (Holdo should have been a Theelin; fight me, Rian Johnson) Well that last slide showed a Quarren, a classic Star Wars species who share a homeworld, Mon Cala, with Admiral Akbar's species. And then there's this dude, an Alien with an extended speaking role.
Yes, there are monsters
A huge part of Star Wars has been the existence of terrestrial perils unrelated to evil generals or Sith Lords or whatever the heck a Ren is. From "Sand People" to wampas to giant worms that live in asteroids, sometimes planets just have monsters on them. The Mandalorian knows this and we wouldn't have it any other way.
It's a BEAUTIFUL show
This particular beast looks like a blend of a walrus and a hippopotamus, and we learn that it's attracted to the spaceport area because ships dump their gray cargo -- that is, their organic waste -- which attracts a whole food chain of critters. Also, it just looks great. Shows need good budgets to be viable, and we're glad that this show delivers.
The Mandalorian isn't all action
The titular character has some serious childhood traumas -- including an apparent aversion to droids, but one that is not absolute. He also has tremendous respect for Mandalorian culture and traditions, many of which were nearly lost when the Empire (at first, the Republic) invaded Mandalore to oppose Maul's faction of Death Watch. It was many years before his people were free again.