Adorable spoilers ahead for anyone that has yet to stream The Mandalorian, the first ever live action Star Wars series, available now on Disney+. You've been warned.
Since 1983's Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi introduced Ewoks, a ferocious but cuddle-coaxing teddy bear type Pokémon, audiences have come to expect Star Wars media to deliver at least one good boy per film. Many fans considered that a negative turning point in the franchise, citing Lucasfilm's apparent desire to focus more on selling toys to young children than quality storytelling and world building. So when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, Ewok-haters fully expected the Star Wars franchise to plunge into Beanie Baby fan fiction set in space.
Enter The Mandalorian, an original live action series available exclusively on Disney+, which premiered earlier this week. Everything about the show's marketing portrayed the series as dark, gritty, and tailored to a more mature Star Wars fandom. At the time of this article's publication, we are now 2 episodes into the show's first season, and I can tell you...it delivers! From the opening sequence where a violent bar fight unfolds and a man's body get sliced in half, to the haunting performance of Werner Herzog portraying a member of the Imperial remnant, it's clear this show leans more towards Showtime than Nick Jr.
It's at the end of episode 1, however, where the "big twist" sets this show apart from all Star Wars media, managing to do the impossible: giving fans the most adorable creature imaginable, in the darkest, most violent Star Wars story to date. I'm not going to waste time here speculating on the implications of what a "baby" from Yoda's species appearing in this show has for this series, upcoming feature films, or the franchise as a whole. No. Today we simply behold the unparalleled cutie pie goodness of "Baby Yoda."
Who's got the force? Is it you? Yeeesssss it is! Lucasfilm
Can you say "Mando?" Lucasfilm
Baby Yoda in his floating smoochmobile Lucasfilm
Who me? Lucasfilm
"I want to go to there" Lucasfilm
Yeah, this show is about a Mandalorian, sure. ;)Lucasfilm
The Mandalorian from Disney Star Wars is a promising, welcome addition to the Star Wars franchise. The sequel trilogy has been extremely divisive for fans, and tension is high as we await the release of episode 9 (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) on December 20. However, if you binge YouTube commentary like I do, it's clear that most fans are pro-Mando so far. Sure, one can criticize the show for cashing in on nostalgia like much of Disney-era Star Wars, but when we get something like Baby Yoda (presumably the child of Yoda and Yaddle) it's hard to object.
The Mandalorian Season 1 episode release schedule:
- Episode 1 - Tuesday, November 12
- Episode 2 - Friday, November 15
- Episode 3 - Friday, November 22
- Episode 4 - Friday, November 29
- Episode 5 - Friday, December 6
- Episode 6 - Friday, December 13
- Episode 7 - Wednesday, December 18
- Episode 8 - Friday, December 27