That might sound like a insane amount of detective work for fans to uncover something that is otherwise hidden, but there's a zero percent chance show creator Jon Favreau and Lucasfilm would have put this in without knowing it would be found.
As any Star Wars fan will tell you, Mandalorians are an order of intergalactic bounty hunters. The tiny, adorable little creature was revealed during The Mandalorian's series premiere, which dropped November 12 on Disney+.
It may be my new favorite Star Wars property, and I can't wait to see what comes next.
That's a shrewd strategy, not only in keeping with "Star Wars'" roots but emulating the half-hour westerns that populated TV in its infancy - an appropriate analogy, since "The Mandalorian" represents an ambassador for another new means of delivering entertainment. The Mandalorian even loses John Williams' iconic compositions, which have defined the Star Wars universe for decades, opting for a wholly inventive score by Ludwig Göransson. And for many fans, that might just be enough. Attempts to establish a time and place are clunky. He's a well-rounded character with a tragic past, and that's someone we can all rally behind.
The Mandalorian is largely a blank slate; he's mostly silent, always masked, but very good at what he does: hunting down and sometimes killing bail-jumpers and smugglers for money...
The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in Lucasfilm's The Mandalorian - photo: Francois Duhamel copyright Lucasfilm Ltd. There's not a ton of depth... Those techniques come into play with Pascal, who uses well-timed head-tilts to give us a clue about what he is thinking and how he is reacting under the mask. Of course, "baby Yoda" is just a name the internet has given the creature-the Yoda Star Wars fans know and love died at the age of 900 during Return of the Jedi, set five years before The Mandalorian.
Ultimately, as noted above, your level of engagement may ride on how vested you can be in a character who will, reportedly, never remove his helmet (unless you count the harrowing flashes from a childhood that haunts him).
The Mandalorian is off to a great start, and it's perhaps the best proof yet that the Star Wars universe can lead to compelling content that isn't packaged for kids or reliant on Luke Skywalker showing up...
Otherwise, the episode focused on setting up the character of The Mandalorian (yes, his helmet stayed on for now), showing flashes of being separated from his parents as a child amid an attack. In the official Star Wars databank, he is listed as "species unknown". The Mandalorian gets into a bar fight straight off the bat, and appropriately for a Western-influenced story a major showdown is always in the cards. And so every planet, every people, every creature, every droid has such a specific kind of origin story and background. The show looks fantastic; Disney clearly spared no expense.
Which is fine when you're practicing the hypnotic immersion of watching a movie (or binge-watching a series), but may be a tad frustrating given that Disney+ intends us to watch The Mandalorian on a week-to-week basis.