Tag Archives: the mandalorian

Disney+ a Year Later — Is It Worth It?

We all waited in anticipation on Nov 11, 2019. As the next day would be the launch of the highly anticipated new streaming service from Hollywood’s biggest studio — Disney+.

I remember vibrating with excitement as I typed in my information to create my account. It reminded me of the excitement of buying tickets to see “Avengers: Endgame,” without the anxiety of seats selling out. To commemorate the event, I made Iron Man my profile picture. But now, it’s been over a year. The excitement has worn off, the hype has gone down, so it’s time to reflect and ask ourselves. Was it worth it?

In short, yes. However, it did take a while for audiences to reap the benefits.

Disney’s pride and joy is their catalog, and it’s the main force driving audiences to their app. All the Pixar classics, throwbacks to Disney Channel favorites and Earth’s mightiest heroes. It’s safe to say you can never run out of things to watch.

That is, if you’re not looking for a new original series. In that department, it’s safe to say that Disney is lacking.

Now we all know about their crown jewel, “The Mandalorian,” the western inspired Star Wars series has been the top dog of Disney+ since it’s premiere last year. There’s also “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” That’s about it in terms of their major new original series.

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” barely counts considering it was originally made by Cartoon Network, but was canceled when Disney bought Lucasfilms. Unreleased episodes were put onto Netflix as a new season. Then Disney finally decided to revive the show for its final season to draw fans to the app.

Two new series and a new season isn’t too bad. When Netflix first started they only had a few original series, “House of Cards” being the most notable. Amazon Prime Video has a few gems too, “Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “The Boys.”

Is Disney only having three new series really that bad? No, but only one of them has expanded to general audiences – “The Mandalorian.” The other two are for more niche audiences or teenagers and young adults. 

In this day and age, new original series are they key to getting audiences to subscribe to a streaming service. One would think Disney would have plans to roll out more original series to compete with  Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

But, Disney could afford to not launch without a vast collection of new content.

They say nostalgia sells, and Disney has nostalgia on lock. 

Many signed up so they could rewatch shows like “Kim Possible,” “That’s So Raven,” and “Hannah Montana.” (Enormous joy ran through me when I heard the “Wizards of Waverly Place” theme song after all these years.)

This was a chance to return to the shows that made our childhood, to be a kid again. For so long we’ve searched for websites that had the entire series or begged Netflix to add the show, but now we have it all in one place. Although I’m still waiting for “American Dragon: Jake Long” to be added.

Millennials aren’t the only ones who benefit. Parents now have a plethora of Disney & Pixar classics to distract the little ones for a few hours.

With the acquisition of 20th Century, audiences can watch icons such as “The Simpsons,” and holiday favorites like “Home Alone.”

The list goes on and on, and not to mention the celebrity collaborations with Beyoncé and Taylor Swift on their projects “Black is King,” and “Folklore: the Long Pond Studio Sessions,” respectively.

Clearly, Disney should not worry that they don’t have enough for audiences to watch. 

If audiences are craving for new content, they do not have to wait much longer.

When President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, announced the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s phase four lineup, there were several limited series planned for Disney+.

After delays due to COVID-19, the first one up is “WandaVision” premiering on January 15 2021. Coming afterwards will be “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Loki,” “She-Hulk”, and “Ms. Marvel,” all of which are scheduled to complete or begin filming in 2021. 

Image courtesy of Marvel

The MCU shows will be a game changer for Disney+, attracting general audiences who love the films and Marvel fans who don’t want to miss a thing.

Signing up for Disney+ on Nov 12 2019 meant waiting a while before we got to the good stuff, but now it’s all about to pay off.

Featured image courtesy of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

“This Is The Way”: “The Mandalorian” Saved George Lucas’s Legacy

Why the Disney+ original show is the best thing to happen to the Star Wars universe since the original trilogy

Source: IMDb

When George Lucas sold his beloved Star Wars franchise to Disney for an absurd amount of money, fans around the world held their breath and braced for the worst. And it happened. “The Force Awakens” was pretty okay. “The Last Jedi” was confusing and unrewarding, but it had porgs. “The Rise of Skywalker” was one of the worst movies I’d ever seen. 

Luckily, Disney hasn’t ruined all Star Wars media. The 2016 film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was praised by critics and die-hard Star Wars fans alike. “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” a prequel film following a young Han Solo, received mixed reviews but was praised for featuring Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. 

Then there came a game-changer: “The Mandalorian.” The Disney+ original show was released in November 2019 and is unequivocally one of the best successes since the Star Wars prequels in the early 2000s. (Of which I am fond of but it’s understandable when they are hated by most audiences.)

“The Mandalorian” has some of the best critical responses the Star Wars universe has seen in years. It has a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 82% rating with audiences. The critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes says, “‘The Mandalorian’ is a welcome addition to the ‘Star Wars’ universe that benefits greatly from the cuteness of its cargo.” (Albeit, that was only for the first season and does not include the first three episodes of season two that have been released in 2020.) On IMDb, it has an 8.7 out of 10 possible points.

The Mandalorian and the Child (Source: Empire)

In 2020, the show was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Unfortunately, the show did not win the award but it did bag seven Creative Arts Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Music Composition for a Series and Outstanding Special Visual Effects. 

Not to mention the fact that the series has been praised by Star Wars fans everywhere. One reviewer on Google called “The Mandalorian,” “an excellent and surprisingly intimate portrayal into just one of the trillions of characters populating the Star Wars universe.”

“The Mandalorian” has an exciting and innovative plot. It follows a Mandalorian bounty hunter dedicated to doing his job in the apocalyptic-like period after the fall of the Empire (after “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”) and before the rise of the First Order (before “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”). 

He is sent to collect a mysterious creature called “The Child” (who we will get to later) and return him to a wealthy client. However, after discovering the Child and growing fond of him, the Mandalorian decides to protect the Child and goes on the run.

The series stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, and Nick Nolte. Obviously, the cast is incredible; and they create such complex and compelling characters.

From left to right: Dave Filoni (director), Carl Weathers, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Jon Favreau (showrunner) (Source: Allen J. Schaben for Los Angeles Times)

The Mandalorian, colloquially called “Mando” by characters in the show and fans alike, is an especially well-rounded character. Even though we never see his face, you empathize with him and his quest to save the Child. The show has been praised for finally portraying a wholesome, positive parental relationship within the Star Wars universe. (See: Darth Vader and Galen Erso.) 

Mando has an elusive past that becomes more clear as the story goes on. Every decision he makes explores a deeper aspect to him that just makes you want to learn more. Kudos to Pedro Pascal for delivering such a powerful performance, all with a giant helmet on his head.

“The Mandalorian” also does something that, I think, the Star Wars sequels failed to do: it plays on the established world of Star Wars while also expanding the already rich universe.

Fans of Star Wars are familiar with bounty hunters because of Boba Fett and Jenga Fett. “The Mandalorian” delves into the untold world of the Mandalorians, an order of bounty hunters, and the code they follow. It takes us to new worlds, like the planet of Sorgan in the fourth episode of the first season. And, of course, it introduces us to original, often unusual characters with every new episode.

“The Mandalorian” doesn’t have to rely on expired, reused antagonists. (Looking at you, Darth Sidious in “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.”) It is aware of the pre-existing plotlines and adds more to the story.

Then, of course, we get to the best part of the show: Baby Yoda. Although not actually called “Baby Yoda” in the series, the name quickly took when the Child was first introduced and fans quickly deduced that he was of the same species as Jedi Master Yoda. And he’s a baby, even though he is fifty-years-old. Thus, Baby Yoda was born.

The Child AKA Baby Yoda (Source: Forbes)

Baby Yoda took the internet by storm. Soon after his Star Wars debut, there were Baby Yoda songs, memes, artworks, videos, clothing, and fan cams dedicated to the adorable green alien. He is one of the newest additions in Star Wars’ vast array of characters but he quickly became the most beloved and most popular.

The mantra of the Mandalorians is, “This is the way.” When it comes to contemporary Star Wars media, there is only one way. The Mandalorian way.

Season two of “The Mandalorian” is now streaming on Disney+! (If you need to catch up, season one is also still available.)