The Mandalorian: A New Hope for Star Wars?

With the newest and latest release of the third episode of Disney+’s Star Wars spin-off show, “The Mandalorian,” the effects of the rose-colored glasses are off from the November 12 premier of the streaming service. When the first episode of the Mandalorian was released, many critics were excited for the show; they called it a revitalization of the Star Wars franchise. The main draw? The simple plot line that was presented. 

An uncomplicated plot with great characters is what arguably makes the story. “A New Hope” (1977) focused on just that gimmick. The original story was inspired by Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero’s Journey.” Much like the movie that started the franchise empire, the Mandalorian aims to do the same with its characters. It is ultimately Star Wars meets Wild West. 

The star of the show, Mando, is a bounty hunter. The antihero’s first introduction to the audience is a bar brawl that goes south but immediately displays Mando’s combat ability. His ability evolves and humanizes Mando although watchers are unable to see his face. Yes, that is correct—due to the Mandalorian religion, which is clarified in the latest episode, the Mandalorians are not allowed to remove their helmets. However, this lack of facial expression allows audiences to notice and connect with the motions and the actions of the antihero. 

The first two episodes expertly exposed audiences to the storyline of Mando and the world of Star Wars in the Outer Rim, which is a place that offers the same atmosphere as the Wild West. In the beginning, Mando is portrayed as a “tough guy,” but the show gradually reveals moments where his limits are tested. Mando is more deeply understood after each encounter with another character as someone who not only has limits but learns how to deal with those limits in the face of danger. 

The latest episode, Chapter 3 “The Sin,”offers more questions than answers. With a heavy climax and an unknown direction of the series, the episode ends with dramatic flare and an action sequence that harkens back to the original trilogy. The episode is short, a brief thirty minutes, but takes a different direction than the previous two episodes. This episode is focused around choice. While the previous two episodes highlight actions by Mando that are expected of a bounty hunter, this episode features his first character reflection. Mando has to choose if he is okay with the life he is living, the one that he has sworn to the Bounty Hunters’ Guild, or if he wants to defy that Guild and protect others. 

Disney is keeping its cable-ready content by only releasing one half-hour episode every week. New episodes release at 3 a.m. Eastern Time every Friday. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of the Mandolorian!

So, why as a student should you invest in Disney+? At $6.99 a month, it beats the cost of Netflix and Hulu and includes more material. The Mandalorian is not the only great title on the new service. Disney+ even contains titles from the 1940’s and 1960’s. As a study break or a guilty pleasure, it is a service that is stepping into the ring to rival Netflix and Hulu.


Amanda Olson ('21) is the Webmaster at The Anchor.

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