The Mandalorian: The Marshal (S2E1 Ch9)

Streaming services are now offering me new Star Trek on a Friday night an new Star Wars on Saturday! We live in a time of wonders…or at least time of pricey but accessible TV content.

Where Discovery is eminently reviewable, I find that The Mandalorian is not. That is not to say it isn’t entertaining and very nicely put together, it is. However, it’s as consistent as a MacDonald’s menu and while some episodes maybe more filet-o-fish than Big Mac, the premise (a spaghetti Western but Star Wars plus ain’t Baby Yoda cute) is stated clearly and implemented with aplomb.

This first episode in the new series doubles-down on the western theme so much that it almost feels like a parody of The Mandalorian’s aesthetic. Mando returns to Tatooine in search of another one of his kind…only to find Timothy Olyphant. I probably would have waited until the season was finished and done a review of the whole except, Discovery touched on the space western idea last week. It’s interesting how I found that attempt in Star Trek to be unsubtle but The Mandalorian commits to the idea more completely and that somehow works better. Borrowing from Firefly, even the fall of the Galactic Empire now fits in with the end of the Civil War.

Where this episode manages to pull in something a bit more interesting is with the monster plaguing the frontier town. With a sandworm harassing the spice miners of Arrakis, the locals must turn to the Fremen for help…I mean, sorry…with a sand ‘dragon’ harassing the crystal miners of Tatooine, the locals must turn to the Tuskan’s for help. Actually, this weird Beowulf like shift in the plot allows the show to do a far far better job of adding depth to the sand people than we’ve seen before in Star Wars. An additional nice touch is they had a deaf actor work on the sign language used by the Tuskan’s to speak to Mando.

It was good but not great and honestly I prefer the flawed ambitions of Discovery.

Cora has a better and more detailed review here:

5 thoughts on “The Mandalorian: The Marshal (S2E1 Ch9)

  1. I agree that Star Trek is more ambitious. Star Trek has a message and usually manages to be entertaining fun besides. Star Wars wants to be entertaining fun and often has a message as well. And while both universes are full of illogical things that just don’t make sense, Star Trek’s universe has a little more logic.

    However, though both franchises are very different, they both come from the same background, namely the plots, tropes and ideas of the US pulp science fiction infused with the sensibilities and social issues of the 1960s (Star Trek) and the 1970s (Star Wars). The third big SF franchise Doctor Who originates at the same point in time, but offers a British rather than US POV. Both are also feature leftist politics, even though people in certain quarters of the genre are unable to see this.

    Having Discovery and The Mandalorian running at the same time is hard on any reviewer, but it also shows up certain parallels. And while we had two Discovery episodes that were more Star Wars and specifically space western like, we now had an episode of The Mandalorian that went for a very Star Trek “Let’s just sit down and talk it over” solution. So are we seeing a convegence of SFF themes pop culture here or are both franchises just stretching their wings?


    1. Well more of a ‘let’s just sit down, talk it over and then blow some shit up’ solution 🙂

      I have to say, I found the two communities coming together a lot more plausible on the Mandolarian than on Discovery. It felt more real and plausible despite the giant sand worm monster.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the Sandpeople and the miners are not going to be instant friends now and they’re still wary of each other. Also, Mando brokered peace between the people of one small town and one tribe of Sandpeople, not a whole planet and a whole colony like Discovery did. Never mind that it was kind of obvious that the Earth people from Discovery would never have agreed to a truce, until they figured out that the raiders were humans, too. The Sandpeople, meanwhile, aren’t human, but a different species than the miners.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m enjoying The Mandalorian a lot more than I enjoyed any of the movies since Return of the Jedi, with the possible exception of Rogue One. The episodic format and less complex plotting works really with the subject matter.

    I tend to think of Star Wars as “for kids” and Trek as “for adults”, probably because I was a kid when Star Wars came out and in college when TNG was at its peak. I guess Discovery being more ambitious would be consistent with that idea.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.