Welcome back to my series “Why I love Star Wars”. This is a series that was inspired by reading Ken Napzok’s Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built A Galaxy Far, Far Away, a countdown of the top 100 moments from Star Wars that made him love it all, including canon stories from every medium. As I was reading this book, I found myself thinking of some of my own favourite moments and wanted to discuss them.
While there are certainly some films that I do not like as much as others, every movie has some wonderful moments that I would always say outweigh the bad, so for that reason I wouldn’t say that I hate any of the Star Wars films. With the way that too much Star Wars talk has gone down a dark hole in recent years, hopefully reminding ourselves of the great moments and focusing on the positives will help the fandom recover.
Why I Love Star Wars:
- A New Hope
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- The Phantom Menace
- Attack of the Clones
- Revenge of the Sith
- The Clone Wars
- The Force Awakens
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- The Last Jedi
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- The Rise of Skywalker
- The Clone Wars seasons 1-6
Unlike in the book, I will not put the moments in any specific order (I do things like that enough in my Top 10s!) as the order would probably change on every viewing. With all the movies now covered, I have enjoyed doing these so much, I have chosen to carry this on to cover the series. Today I will be looking at the franchise’s first ever live-action series The Mandalorian
Beware: this will contain spoilers for the series!
Now, I will start by making something very clear to pre-empt the comments: I have made a decision to not include any moments where the focus is The Child, or as he has become more popularly known, “Baby Yoda”. The reasoning? As great as some of the Child-less moments are, they would lose out to another moment of him being cute. But don’t worry, everyone’s favourite 50-year-old baby will be getting his own special article in the next couple of weeks.
From “Chapter 1: The Mandalorian”
We knew it was coming from the trailers, but that didn’t make it any less awesome when it happened. The opening scene of the show saw Mando end up in a fight with a bunch of thugs in a bar. Obviously he completely outclassed them and one of them, a Quarren, tried to escape. Mando used his whipcord to catch the Quaren’s leg and started pulling them in, only for the Quaren to take a potshot. Well that quickly changed things for Mando, who shot the door panel, forcing the circular door to close on the Quarren and cut them in half at the waist.
Not only was it a great way to end an opening action sequence, but it straight away sends a message to us that, much like Han Solo shooting Greedo first in A New Hope, Mando is not your classic hero. Not only that, but its also an early warning to you that this show may be a little more adult than some of the other Star Wars stories – though still avoiding gore due to the angles used meaning we cut away just before the Quarren gets sliced and then just see the legs fall tot he ground. And to make it even better, it was just the first of many awesome kills from the titular character.
From “Chapter 8: Redemption”
With the was stories are these days, the audience is getting used to the idea that a character is not really dead unless you see them die. For that reason, I was glad they showed the aftermath of Moff Gideon’s TIE crashing to admit to us he wasn’t dead. Safe to say we all still got a shock though as he cut himself out of the TIE using the Darksaber.
To those who has not watched The Clone Wars or Rebels it was still a shock to see this Imperial have something that looks and acts very much like a lightsaber, but to those of us who knew what that weapon was, its history and its significance, it opened up a world of questions and possibilities in our minds. I can’t wait to see where things go from there!
The Mandalorians attack
From “Chapter 3: The Sin”
With Mando in trouble following his rescue of The Child, he finds himself outnumbered and outgunned… until the covert of Mandalorians come out of hiding in the sewers to rescue him and attack the bounty hunters.
I’ve been rather fascinated by Mandalorians for years due to their history as a warrior race, and seeing Sabine crush it on Rebels got me even more excited. So just imagine how great it was to finally see a group of Mandalorians on the offensive in live action was mind-blowing. Seeing them flying around and outmanoeuvring their enemies on the ground with ease was great. And then to cap it off, seeing the respect between Paz Vizsla and Mando despite their earlier argument was a great way to show the importance of the Mandalorians looking after each other after everything they had lost. “This is the Way”? You’re damn right it is!
From “Chapter 3: The Sin”
The second moment from Deborah Chow’s first episode, shows just how good this episode was. Frankly, I could have very easily just put down the entire second half of the episode! Mando decides to rescue The Child from the Imperial remnant by breaking into their compound. In a great sequence, we get to see just how prolific a warrior Mando is by finding The Child and escaping with him, using a range of weapons and gadgets to dispose of any stormtroopers that get in his way.
While some of the dialogue in the show was great, where it really came to life was sequences like this that required barely any dialogue and could hold their own on the strength of the action. Plus after a couple of teases, it was great to see him using his flamethrower and vibro-blade to good effect. In fact pretty much the only thing we didn’t get was anyone being vaporised by his rifle! This was exactly what I hoped and expected to see from a Mandalorian, but done way better than I could have ever imagined.
From “Chapter 6: The Prisoner”
Finally we come to the moment where The Mandalorian took some horror inspiration. After escaping following the betrayal from Mayfeld and his group, Mando powered down the lighting on the ship and captured the gang members one by one (though it is not initially revealed whether he is killing them or capturing them). After taking out Burg and Xi’an, it was time to take out Mayfeld.
I loved the way that Bill Burr played Mayfeld as jumpy when making his way down the dark hallway, as he knows that he is no match for Mando, while in the flickering lights of the hallway, we see Mando approaching him from behind, seeing him closer every time. It felt like something you would see in horror or even Batman and it had such a great impact as we saw just how easily Mando managed to take out this gang. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rick Famuyiwa’s first episode, but I absolutely loved this one due to moments like this.
What are your favourite moments from The Mandalorian?
Thanks for reading. This is the Way.