The team over at Disney-Star Wars Incorporated must have listened to us fans that absolutely loved ANDOR. We liked a show that was grittier but also included a lot of corporate Galactic Empire drama. Something that seems like a mundane idea clicked in that show, and it was the best Star Wars/Disney+ outing yet. Over at the offices of THE MANDALORIAN, they saw praises being heaped on ANDOR and thought, “ok, make it like that, but since it’s a decade + later, now it’s office life of the New Republic instead. Unfortunately, lightning rarely strikes twice, and this week’s THE MANDALORIAN was more of a 😴 than anything else. 

I can’t go full 🤮 because I appreciate a good star fight, and THE CONVERT delivers there. Plus, Din and Bo Katan have a great rapport, and coming off last week’s reveal, their situation has become more about what’s unsaid than said. I wish the show had stayed on Din, Bo, and Grogu’s adventure, but instead, it takes a left turn and lands on my favorite Star Wars galaxy planet. I was thrilled to see it again but soon was bored to tears. 

THE MANDALORIAN re-introduces a minor character from seasons 1 & 2, giving us a fuller picture of their back story and where they are now. If you watched ANDOR, and especially if you read my reviews of it, you may recall how thrilled I was learning more about the cogs in the wheel of the Galactic Empire. This series tries to re-capture the magic of ANDOR by showing us what may have happened to the corporate workers of the Empire after it was defeated. From the events of RETURN OF THE JEDI, we know many perished, but what about the rest? As many Star Wars fans know, the Empire was inspired by the Nazi party of WW2. After their defeat by the Allies, many Nazis were tried and either executed or jailed. Some escaped to the Americas, and others, especially scientists and engineers, were given amnesty in the US by our government in what became known as Operation Paperclip.

THE MANDALORIAN is pulling inspiration from this, but since it’s the fictional Star Wars universe, they are taking some obvious liberties. Sadly, the New Republic era portrayed here isn’t nearly as interesting as the backstabbing and infighting happening under Vader’s watch in ANDOR. One bright light of these scenes was the introduction of a character name Elia Kane portrayed by Katy O’Brien, who recently starred in QUANTUMANIA. It appears team Star Wars Cinematic Universe is making a line from the events of this episode all the way straight through THE RISE OF SKYWALKER as well.

As much as I want this series to return to the basics: The Adventures of Din & Grogu, I’m also asking myself: Where does their story go from here? Grogu is still being chased by those loyal to the dark side, but our titular character needs more to do than just “keep Grogu safe” week to week. Perhaps it’s time for another check-in with Cobb Vanth.

THE MANDALORIAN streams on Disney+ with a new episode every Wednesday.

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

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