Just think about this when you consider The Mandalorian…
The egg! We are one month away from Season Two!
Now that is out of the way, let’s get back to the business at-hand. The Mandalorian is Disney Plus’ prize commodity of original content at the moment, and there were several reasons why we should all be excited about Season Two. In fact, I count eight.
Today, let’s investigate The Mandalorian power rankings from Season One and see how giddy that makes you…
8. Chapter Five: “The Gunslinger”
This was a good old-fashioned double crossing. Visiting old friends at a local saloon. Sailing across the dunes of Tatooine. A shadowy figure walking to the sound of spurs chiming. The space western themes and calls of nostalgia continued to shine in this standalone episode of The Mandalorian.
Visiting Chalmun’s Cantina from Episode IV: A New Hope, the same place that first introduced to Han Solo, was a blast from the past. The show’s cinematography shined as we see Mando biking across the sandy dunes of Tatooine.
Unfortunately, Chapter 5 didn’t exactly move the overall plot. We didn’t learn anything more about Mandalore, which struggled to push character arcs forward. In fact, you probably could skip this chapter and not miss anything from Season One.
Other than the amazing cinematography and call backs to A New Hope, this was a very forgettable episode and how we begin The Mandalorian power rankings.
My Grade: 6/10
7. Chapter Four: “Sanctuary”
The fourth chapter of The Mandalorian answered some important questions but also asked some major ones in return. Where does a Mandalorian call home? Does a Mandalorian not deserve happiness?
We finally learned Mando is not actually a real Mandalorian. Baby Yoda playing with different buttons in the cockpit was laugh-out-loud funny — one of the lighter moments during Season One. Chapter Four also featured one of the first season’s visual standouts. The scene of the AT-ST with its dark with the red, beady eyes showing through the trees was extremely memorable and brilliantly crafted by Bryce Dallas Howard.
Watching Mando and Cara fight off the imperial walker alongside the villagers on a forest planet was eerily reminiscent of Han, Princess Leia, and a tribe of Ewoks fighting against the AT-STs in Return of the Jedi. It was a great throwback moment and the screen shared a lot of the same tones and heart filled moments that made me fall in love with Episode VI.
My Grade: 8/10
6. Chapter Six: “The Prisoner”
The next step in The Mandalorian power rankings begin with another side mission for our main man Mando and his adorable companion, Baby Yoda. This episode did not do much in the sense of pushing the overarching plot forward, but the chapter really thrived during the last act.
Chapter Six showcased some of the best action sequences of Season One. Mando ripping a droid apart and using it as a projectile as he throws it into the head of another droid was fantastic.
The last third of Chapter Six was the highlight for me, as the episode quickly turns into a game of cat-and-mouse. After escaping the prison cell, Mando picks off each team member one-by-one that would surely make The Predator proud.
My Grade: 8.5/10
5. Chapter Seven: “The Reckoning”
Chapter Seven opens with Greef Karga offering Mando a deal he simply cannot refuse. Complete a bounty, kill The Client, free Baby Yoda. Aware of the obvious trap being put into place by Karga, who is potentially working for the Empire, Mando realizes this is not a mission he can accomplish on his own.
Mando gets the gang back together! Cara Dune, Kuiil, and hesitantly IG-11 all return and agree to enlist among Mando’s crew. My favorite moment included Cara Dune outright refusing to join until Mando mentions the word “Imperial.” She immediately agrees and joins Mando in his quest to save Baby Yoda and kill The Client.
The end of chapter seven was incredibly emotional. One of my favorite characters Kuiil, played by Nick Nolte, is seen lying dead on the ground as the credits roll. It was a brutal way to lead into the Season One finale.
My Grade: 8.9/10
4. Chapter Two: “The Child”
Chapter Two begins with Mando and Baby Yoda traversing the planet following the events of the premiere. This is a good step for The Mandalorian power rankings because it is clear at this point Mando is a bear in the wilderness protecting his cub (Baby Yoda). Watching Mando and Yoda traverse the desert planet alongside the beautiful score felt like I was watching Frodo and Sam during The Fellowship of the Ring.
Kuiil was the highlight of this episode. The “I have spoken” line was surely one of the most recognized lines from Season One. Kuiil not only embarks on a mission to retrieve the parts stripped by the Jawas, but also repairs Mando’s ship. What does he ask for in return? Nothing other than a simple “thank you” for returning peace to his valley.
Chapter Two gives us some breathtaking action sequences and ups the ante with some high quality character development. However, the biggest event was the massive Force reveal from Baby Yoda! This was also the first time we were exposed to the themes of fatherhood for Mando. This is something surely to be heavily emphasized throughout Season Two.
My Grade: 9.2/10
3. Chapter Three: “The Sin”
“This is the way” to great television. (And was really the inspiration behind The Mandalorian power rankings.)
The third episode of The Mandalorian featured John Wick-ish levels of action sequences and superb pacing. One of my favorite scenes in Chapter Three had to be the forging of Mando’s armor and the introduction of The Armorer, played by Emily Swallow.
Some of the most memorable moments of season one came without any dialogue at all. Watching Mando walk into the cantina with a fresh coat of Beskar was like watching LaVar Ball walk onto the set of ESPN. The flash of Mando’s armor clearly had other bounty hunter’s attention and incredibly jealous.
My second favorite part of “The Sin” had to be the “League of Shadows” style of action scenes in this episode. This episode featured some truly impressive kills, with Mando showing off his elite stealth skills. Episode three established Mando as one of the deadliest killers in the galaxy. From his stealth ability and hand-to-hand combat, this episode really solidified Mando as the John Wick of the Star Wars universe.
My Grade: 9.5/10
2. Chapter Eight: “Redemption”
This is where the Darksaber returns! Season one of The Mandalorian wraps up with an action-packed and emotion-filled episode filled with strong character moments. Directed by Taika Waititi, it is no surprise Chapter Eight is one of the season’s best and one of the top two of The Mandalorian power rankings.
With Chapter Seven setting up a massive finale, it was absolutely hilarious to be given a 5-minute segment of scout troopers bickering about the captured Baby Yoda. IG-11 and The Armorer stole every scene in Chapter 8. IG-11 made his much anticipated return by taking out the two storm scouts who retrieved Baby Yoda during the last scene of Chapter Seven. Given the high emphasis on Mando’s droid bias, it was not surprising at all to see IG-11 make the last sacrifice to save Mando and his friends.
Chapter 8 also gave us the best Mando moments of the season. In one of the last scenes, we see Mando take down Moff Gideon (played by Giancarlo Esposito) and his tie-fighter. The cinematography of this scene was fantastic as we see the tie fighter go down with Mando landing safely on the ground. It was his hands down his most badass moment of the season. Chapter Eight was a phenomenal finale that brilliantly wrapped up an excellent season one of The Mandalorian.
My Grade: 9.5/10
1. Chapter One: “The Mandalorian”
After watching the first episode of The Mandalorian, I couldn’t think: am I watching an RPG video game?
- Breaking down materials to craft armor? Check.
- Vast, incredible world to traverse and explore? Check.
- Companions with varying personalities and character building? Check.
- Quests and a driving narrative? Oh yes. Big-time check.
The Mandalorian was Skyrim & I loved every minute of it.
A significant section of Chapter One is dark and takes us through the underworld of being a bounty hunter. The first three quarters of the episode was so dark that I had to remind myself that I was actually watching Star Wars. In fact, the first half of chapter one felt more like Blade Runner than Star Wars.
Overall, the premiere was just a beautiful first episode. The world building, the action scenes, the tone, the score, the costume design…. All of it made The Mandalorian premiere immediately stand out and memorable. Chapter one made it clear from the start: If you loved A New Hope or Star Wars Rebels, then you were immediately hooked.
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