The Disney+ launch was always going to be a big deal -- Marvel, Star Wars, AND Disney's animated movies and shows all in the same place?? But for those of us who like to watch something new now and again, the brand-new streaming service included an extra incentive: The Mandalorian, Disney's extremely expensive live-action Star Wars show, set somewhere between the end of the original movie trilogy and the start of The Force Awakens. All we knew going in was that it had very little to do with the Jedi, and a lot to do with someone who looked a lot like the famous bounty hunter Boba Fett, but definitely was not him (though if you look closely, he IS in the show!).
Now that the service is up (after some early hiccups), we're all able to experience the first episode of the show at the same time: Episode 1 drops on November 12, with weekly episode drops for the seven after that starting this Friday, November 15. Disney+ did not offer advance screeners of the episodes to critics before the launch, which was initially a little worrying, but we needn't have been: The Mandalorian is off to a great start.
It's a tumultuous time in the galaxy. The Empire is gone, what remains of its leaders either dead or split up across the galaxy, Moffs becoming Warlords who rule over individual planets that govern themselves, where, more often than not, crime pays a lot more than following the rules. This is where we meet the nameless (so far) Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), a bounty hunter claiming his prize in a seedy bar on a snowy planet. When he ferries his cargo of carbonite-encased criminals back to his home base, we're treated to a glimpse into how the famous Star Wars bounty hunter Guild system works: lots of chits and credits and fobs and negotiating between Guild members for bounties and fair prices. We love a union. The Mandalorian's boss, Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), tips him off to a hefty bounty set up by a crime boss known only as "the client" (Werner Herzog), who gives the Mandalorian (or "Mando," as the show's cast have nicknamed him) a down payment of a very special kind of metal in exchange for the capture of a mysterious individual.