Spending day after day in the early 80's, trying to invent exciting adventures for my Star Wars bounty hunter collection required a little bit of an imagination. There weren't many external story lines to develop these characters, and I'm not positive the fandom had even realized what was budding right before them. All I had to go on was the mental snapshots I took from my 2 in-theater viewings of Empire Strikes Back and the Star Wars comic Marvel put out. Boba Fett's wardrobe, Bossk's gravelly sneer, and the fact their kind were considered SCUM, even in the Empire's eyes, made this crew star players to me. Over the years I learned I wasn't alone, as the mystique of Fett and his ilk have propelled them to legendary status among SW fans, and they've each lived out millions of adventures in novels, animated series, and video games. Now in 2019, The Mandalorian is reading our minds. LIVE ACTION! The Mandalorian is giving us a glimpse of how our childhood adventures, once exclusive to only us and our bedroom floors, would play out in real life, and as the rapper with perhaps the most Boba Fett references per bar, and certainly the only rapper to ever freestyle in Trandoshan, I couldn't be happier. The first two episodes land us directly in the wild west (of space) and give us a figurative glimpse underneath the helmet of the Mando, revealing a bounty hunter that has the potential to be just as much of a warm-hearted thinker as he is a cold-blooded killer. Despite the Mando's ease in disintegrating those further down the food chain than he (Jawas stripping his Razor Crest ship), his taming of an overgrown lizard as if its a horse (a non-Ikea item called a blurgg) and sparing the life of a wide-eyed baby-bounty really helped me see the softer side of this gun-slinging samurai. Bounty Hunters in the Star Wars universe have long leaned on the spaghetti western aesthetic, as Boba Fett borrowed from a 60's Eastwood and Cad Bane was built on Lee Van Cleef's Angel Eyes, but The Mandalorian captures "Sergio in Space" like no other. The score from Ludwig Goransson set my mind on fire, as it set the vibe as strongly as the set design. The arrangements of harsh metal sounds and organic woodwinds instantly enhanced every inch of the screen and gave me the x-ray vision I needed to read the Mando's covered face as he deals and duels. Although the Bossks, the IG-88's, and the Fetts go by other names and live different stories in this series, it finally feels like the favorite figures from my youth have left the sandbox and hit the main stage. I hope you're all enjoying this show as much as I am, looking forward to chapter 3 this coming Friday!
- Eso aka @czarface_eso