Disney+ has finally launched and with it was the premiere episode of The Mandalorian.
While the show definitely seemed to be a step in the right direction for the Star Wars franchise following Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, there were still some major problems with the first episode of the show.
We are going to break down five of the biggest problems from the first episode of The Mandalorian. Beware spoilers below.
5. Bounty Tracking Devices Can Locate Individuals Across the Galaxy
This might seem like a minor complaint, but it has huge implications for Star Wars lore. How in the world does the Bounty Hunter guild have tracking devices that can locate targets across the galaxy.
It’s a huge shift from how we saw Boba Fett operate in Empire Strikes Back. He used his wits and smarts to track down Han Solo and eventually was able to succeed in capturing him and bringing him back to Jabba the Hutt.
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Now, The Mandalorian doesn’t need to use his wits to track down his targets. He has a nifty doodad that does that for him. Like some of the complaints, it takes away from the mystique of The Mandalorian and the imposing reputation he’s supposed to have in the story.
Anyone can track down a target and become a Bounty Hunter if you have a device that pinpoints exactly where your targets are.
But maybe more importantly is how these devices work. Are all the people of the Star Wars universe now implanted with tracking beacons? It doesn’t really work and appears to simply be a broken plot device to move the story forward. It looks and feels lazy.
4. The Mandalorian Exposes Himself to Carbonite Freezing
Right around the 10 minute mark into the episode, The Mandalorian discovers that the mark he recently captured is wandering around the cargo bay of his ship. In fact, the mark discovers a number of other marks that have been frozen in carbonite.
Upon discovering the mark discovering the other frozen bounties, The Mandalorian shoves the mark into the gas that freezes the mark. The mark is instantly frozen as soon as he is pushed into the machine.
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The problem with this scene is that The Mandalorian doesn’t suffer any ill effects from the machine. It’s out in the open of his cargo bay, and he is just a few short feet away. It’s a little tough trying to suspend my disbelief that he wouldn’t have injured himself freezing the bounty.
But maybe what’s even harder to believe about this scenario is that the carbonite freezing technology advanced so rapidly since Empire Strikes Back.
In Empire Strikes back, they weren’t even sure that the technology would actually be able to freeze a human being. That’s why they tested it on Han Solo first.
Now, The Mandalorian is deploying the technology in a miniaturized format just a couple of years after the fall of the Emperor and the Empire, and with great success.
3. The Mandalorian Takes Half Payment for His Bounties
After The Mandalorian has collected all of his bounties and is reporting to Carl Weathers’ Greef Carga, he refuses to accept Imperial currency.
He explains, “These are Imperial credits. I don’t know if you heard but the Empire is gone.” When he plans on taking his bounties elsewhere Carga pulls out Calamari Flan. However, he only gives him half of what the bounties are worth.
The Mandalorian accepts the deal without any questions.
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When he attempts to get new bounties, he tries to drive a tough bargain noting that the highest bounty of 5,000 wouldn’t even cover fuel. Why would he only take half payment for a bounty, if the highest bounties can’t even cover his fuel costs.
For that matter why would he even bring in the blue skinned alien in the beginning, who claimed to be rather wealthy? Would it not have been better for him to make a deal with the alien to get a higher payment, especially when it appears that The Mandalorian and his tribe appear to be a little down on their luck.
This scene took away a little bit of the mystique the show had built up around him. He’s not as tough as he projects, and will even work for half wages.
2. The Music
The music for the episode, composed by Black Panther’s Ludwig Göransson was uninspiring and even forgetful. One might even describe it as annoying. During my initial reaction, seen above, I couldn’t even recall the music. It didn’t leave an impression on me at all.
However, upon a second viewing, where I was specifically listening for the music, their direction for the music appears to be good, but it’s the execution.
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Now, I’m not the most musically inclined, but the opening scene definitely tried to give us a lone western vibe with the flute. But it comes off as more annoying than inspiring. It definitely has a long way to go compared to Sergio Leone’s classic western sounds.
That trend would continue during the sound effects with the space walrus. It wasn’t terrifying or creepy, just annoying.
It’s almost like Göransson tried to combine the classic western sounds with an industrial vibe, and it just doesn’t work.
The silence of space was actually welcome.
1. The Blurrg Wrangling Scene
This might have been the most egregious part of the episode. There were multiple problems with this entire subplot.
However, I will give kudos for what they were trying to do. They were trying to show that The Mandalorian is not invincible. He gets jumped by the Blurrgs and even requires the assistance of an Ugnaught to save him. That opening part was perfectly fine.
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However, it’s when he is brought back to the Ugnaught’s homestead is where it goes south. The Ughnaught named Kuill tells The Mandalorian he needs to ride a Blurrg in order to get to where his bounty is. This is utterly ridiculous as it definitely looks like a speeder bike or land speeder could have allowed him to get to his target as well. Not to mention he could have just flown his ship closer. It’s not explained why the Blurrg is necessary, it just is. As Kuill says, “I have spoken.”
Not only is the Blurrg completely unnecessary, but we get a contrived horse training sequence. The Mandalorian is tossed off by the Blurrg twice before he then reaches out his hand and “connects” with the Blurrg. He is then easily able to mount and ride the beast.
They should have taken a book out of Yellowstone and had The Mandalorian wear down and break the animal with his iron will.
They could have even included him getting tossed off, but show off his iron will.
Instead, it appears he connects to the animal via The Force similar to Ezra from Star Wars Rebels.
Now, I still have hope for the show, but there are some major problems they need to fix moving forward. Hopefully, they fix these up moving forward and give us a really good, maybe even great Star Wars series.