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You have a contract in your soul: a review of the series “Mandalorets”

A sullen Mandalore warrior (Pedro Pascal), who never takes off his helmet (such is the Way), works as a mercenary and gives almost all his savings to his congeners, who, once a great race, now hide underground and quietly restore their former glory. On one of the most expensive missions, the formidable former imperial (Werner Herzog) instructs the Mandalorian to deliver a creature alive or dead. It turns out to be a small sweet child, and the hero – realizing that the client is not going to do anything good with this child – begins a difficult struggle with his own conscience.

Frame from the series “Mandalorets”
Mandalorets is the first serial locomotive of the Disney + service and, in fact, the first attempt by megacorporation to enter the market of large popular shows (large, of course, in terms of budget and not timing). At the same time, the company always looking at focus groups, algorithms, and other complex capitalistic mechanisms took almost an open risk: instead of launching some kind of MCU project in the front ranks – a franchise that is financially absolutely safe – they started with Star wars. ” Which, although they have a loud name behind them, have already brought Disney serious financial (failure of a solo album about Han Solo) and reputation (episode 8) losses.

Frame from the series “Mandalorets”
In addition, the “Mandaloretz”, unlike other “new readings” of the story of the distant, distant Galaxy, does not try to make fresh messages in the setting, but, on the contrary, returns the same quasi-western spirit that was lost by Lucas himself to Star Wars. prequel trilogies. The local hero is a typical bounty hunter from the wild western prairies, who is not afraid to shoot first and, at least conditionally, is led by completely “gray” morality. It’s clear that you shouldn’t expect much cruelty from the Disney series, but as part of the rating, the scriptwriter John Favreau (the poor guy was finally given a break from boring remakes of the cartoons, thanks for that too) walked away as best he could: people, albeit behind the scenes, are cut in half and crowds here turn into cosmic dust.
Frame from the series “Mandalorets”
In this primitive violence, not obscured by the “great goals” of violence, the spirit of the new fronts, the unexplored chaotic space, left without the supervision of the Empire and some kind of entrenched new order, is well felt. Which again successfully rhymes with the frontier of the Wild West, where people also tried to arrange life in a completely hostile and unsettled space. Here, their saloons, Indians and sheriffs – “Mandalorets” exist in the world, which Lucas once left on the periphery, focusing on the magnificent monomyth about the overthrow of tyranny. And although in the “expanded universe”, it was obvious that there was much more and often much more radical and harshly treated there, in the universe of on-screen smoothed “Star Wars” this series looks so far the most shaggy and wild.

Frame from the series “Mandalorets”
“Mandalorets” follows Western canons not only in terms of desert spaces and familiar archetypes, but also quite a plot. In the fourth series, for example, the series directly quotes The Magnificent Seven: the heroes there, hired by a poor village of farmers, are forced to fend off hordes of raiders with an AT-AT that has not come from anywhere. The Seven, in turn, borrowed the plot from Kurosawa and his Seven Samurai, and in this regard, the Japanese classic (amplified by the fact that the Mandalorian code remotely resembles the Samurai) also sees a peculiar curtsy in the direction of the original Star Wars. Which, as you know, borrowed the plot from the “Three villains in a hidden fortress” of the same old Akira.

The fourth episode of The Mandalore (the last of the current ones) seems to be a watershed in many ways. It is unclear where the series in a hurry before this – which, with all the interesting finds, absolutely did not let the audience calmly breathe while overwhelming the hero with problems – finally relented. A place of contemplation appeared in it, a much needed story inspired by westerns and samurai aesthetics. We only hope that this small rhythmic pause is not a symptom of a withering dynamics, but the result of the fact that the Mandaloretz, which has jumped from conflict to conflict all its first half, has finally entered the main story and will no longer curtail. I have said everything.

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