As soon as I first heard word that Disney was launching its own streaming platform, my shoulders slumped. It’s been years since my wife and I “cut the cord” and ditched cable in favor of digital streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime and I’ve already grown tired of mindlessly flipping through the same few good movies and shows offered by all three platforms alongside the seemingly limitless libraries of stuff nobody would ever want to watch that seems to fill out the majority of each catalog.
Sure, Disney Plus is “only” another six bucks a month — but because I knew already that we weren’t going to part with any of the platforms we’re accustomed to, it means six more bucks a month. In my mind, Disney Plus was something we’d buy into for the sake of my daughter — adding to the options we have when we’re desperate for a few minutes alone to use the bathroom and looking for a useful distraction.
And then I came across episode one of the Disney Plus Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian.” I was hesitant to click at first, admittedly, because I’m a lifelong Star Trek fan that never really saw what all the fuss was about when it came to Boba Fett. Sure, he looks cool, but from the best I could tell in the movies, he mostly just hung out and fell into the mouths of giant sandy butthole monsters — hardly the sort of character that would warrant a full episodic treatment. But after my daughter dozed off to “Finding Dory” and I once again had the TV to myself, I decided to forgo my usual YouTube analysis videos of military aircraft (a guy’s gotta have his hobbies) in favor of this new Star Wars show. And boy did it not disappoint.
If you’re already a Star Wars fan, you’re likely only reading this review to decide whether or not you hate me for having an opinion on the internet — but if you’re not a card carrying member of George Lucas’ fan club and you’re on the fence about diving into this series, I can assure you that it is indeed worth your time. Episode one of “The Mandalorian” is not only aesthetically beautiful, well written, and immersive, it also doesn’t assume you have a working knowledge of the Star Wars universe in order to enjoy it.
To be perfectly frank, I have no idea where this series takes place on the Star Wars timeline, I’m not entirely sure how this story may connect to the greater Star Wars universe as we know it, and I’m not even entirely sure if the protagonist Mandalorian is a “good” guy or a “bad” guy from our Skywalker-centric perspective on this universe… and honestly, none of that mattered at all. The characters are interesting, the action is well choreographed and filmed, and the special effects are on par with what you might find in movie theaters these days. The fact that this series takes place in the greater Star Wars universe is apparent throughout, but never essential to the story telling or character development, at least thus far.
Of course, only episode one has been released so far, so there remains ample opportunity for this series to take a turn and begin to disappoint, but to Disney’s credit, they hit the premiere right out of the park, effectively convincing me to putz around a bit more on their platform to see if maybe this Disney streaming service might have something to offer me (other than the MCU films I’ve already watched to death).
If you’re on the fence about Disney Plus and have kids — it’s my opinion that it’s a no brainer. If you’re on the fence and don’t have any spuds running around, it still might just be worth it for action packed shows like “The Mandalorian” and lovingly weird explorations into culture like “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.” Is it worth scrapping Netflix for? Maybe… but for now, I’m happy to add it to our suite of platforms for the price of a few cups of coffee per month.