baby yoda

‘QuaranTV,’ or What to Watch when Staying Home: ‘The Mandalorian’ Offers a Fresh Look into the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Carly Greaves

“I can bring you in warm or I can bring you in cold”: The first words uttered by the titular character of “The Mandalorian” sum up not only his character but also the gritty, action-filled and often darkly humorous tone of the series.

Made by Disney for their streaming service Disney+, “The Mandalorian” is a Space Western series set in the “Star Wars” universe. The show is about a highly skilled bounty hunter, referred to as the Mandalorian, who travels the galaxy taking on various jobs that range from protecting a small village on a backwater planet to busting an old criminal comrade out of a prison ship. While doing this, he must watch over and safeguard a mysterious alien child from other bounty hunters.

The first season has received positive reviews from both critics and fans, with a current rating of 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website.

The quality of the series can be partially explained by its experienced cast. The Mandalorian himself is played by Pedro Pascal, a Chilean-born American actor best known for playing Oberyn Martell in the award-winning fantasy TV series “Game of Thrones.”

He is joined by Carl Weathers, a long-time actor who had roles in the “Rocky” film series (Apollo Creed) and the first “Predator” movie. Weathers portrays Greef Karga, leader of a bounty hunter guild who hires the Mandalorian.

Another interesting addition to the cast is Gina Carano, a former mixed martial arts fighter who puts her combative skills to good use when playing Cara Dune, a former rebel fighter-turned-mercenary.

While all of these characters have their charms, perhaps the most famous and beloved member of the cast is the Child, a tiny alien creature who is found and cared for by the Mandalorian. The green and adorable being is referred to by many “Star Wars” fans as “Baby Yoda” due to being the same species as Yoda, a famous character in the “Star Wars” franchise.

The Child’s sheer realisticness is helped by the fact there was no CGI involved in making it––the alien is actually a highly detailed puppet, much like Yoda was in his debut, “The Empire Strikes Back.”

The realism of the show’s characters ––both human and alien––underscores what makes “The Mandalorian” so different from other “Star Wars” stories. Most of the films and TV shows that take place in the “Star Wars” universe focus on the grander scheme of the galaxy. There are duels between warriors of dark and light, climactic battles between evil empires and those who wish to overthrow them and characters with grand, mystical destinies that must be fulfilled to save the galaxy.

These epic tales can inspire and delight, but there is also something appealing in seeing characters who are comparatively normal––characters who seem more down-to-earth, as it were––living in this universe. The Mandalorian’s struggle to keep the Child safe and his slowly growing friendships with other characters are are very relatable for many people.

“It’s a bit grittier and edgier Star Wars,” Pascal said in a 2019 YouTube interview with “I realized that in terms of war, family, personal conflict, personal journey and personal relationships, it reflects so much of what our actual reality as human beings on this planet is.”

It might not be full of the typical spaceship fights or lightsaber duels that “Star Wars” is known for, but “The Mandalorian” still offers action-packed and heart-filled entertainment for both hardcore fans and those wanting to watch a good show.