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The Mandalorian, the epic Star Wars western

A few years after the Battle of Endor, a Mandalorian bounty hunter must protect Grogu, a Force-sensitive child. This is the starting point for 3 seasons of a highly successful epic series set in the Star Wars universe. Let's take a closer look at the ins and outs of this new universe, where Star Wars meets western-style adventure.

What is a Mandalorian?

In the film "The Empire Strikes Back", audiences were introduced to a mysterious and extremely well-equipped bounty hunter by the name of Boba Fett. His impressive appearance and fighting skills had such an impact on the audience that the creators of Star Wars decided to develop the character and his origins further. Thus, in "Attack of the Clones", we learn that Boba Fett's father was also a bounty hunter and had been used as a genetic source to create the clone army.

The Mandalorians hail from the planet Mandalore, where their people were at war with the Jedi until the Empire came to clean house. This event is called "The Great Purge" by the survivors, who fled across the galaxy. Although they have mixed and adopted children from other species, they remain united by a strong and warlike ideology, the Mandalorian Way.

The story of Din Djarin

In the series produced by Disney+ based on an idea by George Lucas, the main character is Din Djarin, also known as The Mandalorian, or just Mando. The role is played by actor Pedro Pascal. As an orphaned child, he was adopted by people from Mandalore and trained according to this ideology, to become a fearsome bounty hunter.

He himself adopts a child with great potential, called Grogu and belonging to the same species as Yoda, Luke Skywalker's former mentor. But when he notices that Grogu, also nicknamed "baby Yoda", is connected to the Force, Din Djarin decides to reunite him with the Jedi... on condition that he finds them, and above all escapes Moff Gideon.

Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito, leads a remnant army of the old Empire. He was responsible for the Great Purge of Mandalore and therefore knows the Mandalorians and their abilities well. He also knows Grogu's secret, and has a plan: he wants to take his blood and mix it with his own clones to create an army of soldiers with Jedi-like powers.

Ambiguous characters

In 1996, the video game "Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire" was released for the Nintendo 64. Although it was a commercial success, it received harsh criticism: it was impossible to empathise with the main character, who was a simple mercenary and bounty hunter.

So it's very interesting to note that the Mandalorian is a bounty hunter, that his series, which began in 2019, has been a great commercial and critical success, and that he speaks very little and doesn't show his face until the end of the first season. The show's success lies in its ability to make the character sympathetic, human and interesting... while keeping him masked.

The sympathy probably comes from the fact that the Mandalorian is an anti-hero. Initially, he is a criminal, terribly dangerous with his weapons, particularly his ship the "Razor Crest". But when he comes into contact with "Baby Yoda" he tends to take the path of goodness, while having to continue his work as a bounty hunter and mercenary... otherwise he wouldn't have any money to feed himself!

His enemy, revealed at the end of season 1, is Moff Gideon. As the Empire's top officer and the man responsible for the "Great Purge", he's bound to be a bad guy, as evidenced by his ruthless methods. But at the same time, he's trying to restore order to the chaos that followed the fall of the Empire, which gives him some good intentions.

Some film legends

While the main roles in the series are played by lesser-known actors, a few film legends do make an appearance:

  • Carl Weathers plays Greef Karga, the leader of a band of mercenaries. The famous Apollo Creed from Rocky played an interesting role in the last years of his life.
  • Werner Herzog plays 'The Client', to whom Din Djarin was supposed to hand over Grogu at the beginning. Herzog is considered one of Germany's greatest directors.
  • Katee Sackoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Princess of Mandalore. Sackoff was the main character in the Battlestar Galactica series.
  • Michael Biehn as Lang, a mercenary. Biehn played important secondary roles in three James Cameron films: The Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss.

High-tech premiere

The shooting of The Mandalorian was notable for the first use of a revolutionary set design technique in a major production. Instead of having the actors perform in front of a green screen, they were filmed in front of a giant LED screen showing the 'real' images of the set and special effects. The StageCraft system was developed by ILM TV, a subsidiary of George Lucas' company Industrial Light & Magic. The process had already been tested in a more rudimentary version on the set of the live-action version of The Lion King.

The Mandalorian at Shop for Geek

Are you a fan of this epic sci-fi series, which fits perfectly into the Star Wars universe? Each episode, full of codes and mysteries, plunges us deeper into the captivating adventures of the Mandalorian and his companion, Grogu, also known affectionately as "Baby Yoda". Star Wars fans can look forward to exciting encounters with Jedi, Mandalorians and other iconic characters from the series. With its unique blend of action, intrigue and nostalgia for fans of the Star Wars series, The Mandalorian continues to add to the Star Wars series archive and captivate viewers around the world.

If you loved the visuals and the characters, you'll be delighted to find the goodies in our geek shop, including Mandalorian figurines and, of course, the famous Baby Yoda.