The Mandalorian

Mandalorian meets Jedi in an outstanding episode

On Corvus, Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) arrives at the gates of an occupied city and demands an audience with the Magistrate, Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), with whom she has unsettled business. It’s a standoff, with the guards unable to kill or capture Tano but holding her at bay by threatening the city’s innocent hostages.

In between two nights of this standoff, Djarin arrives at the city and is hired by Elsbeth to assassinate Tano. His reward: a staff made of pure beskar. Of course, since Djarin has come here specifically to bring the Child to Tano, Elsbeth has no idea that she has basically set in motion her own defeat.

“The Jedi” is a masterpiece of cinematic style, mood, and photography, executed in the spirit of an Akira Kurosawa samurai epic, with nods in the editing, cinematography, production design, and the amazing atmosphere that suffuses every scene. I’m no expert on East Asian cinema, and I can’t call out individual shots and match them to their source films, but Dave Filoni has taken an episode of pop-culture television and brought an artistry to it that’s cumulatively effective in how it evokes an overall aesthetic, whether it’s with the composition of particular shots (for example, the long-shot side view establishing Tano about to face off with the Elsbeth on the bridge), or the smoke from the charred forest that hangs in the air in every scene.

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Let’s talk about ‘The Mandalorian’

I’ve opened up a new section on Jammer’s Reviews devoted to The Mandalorian. I’m watching the show, I’m enjoying it a lot, and many of you are too. So why not have a place to talk about it?

Now, before you get too excited, I am not doing full-length reviews of this series. This is something of an experiment. Basically, I will open up a page for each episode when it’s released on Disney+. Then, at some point during the week, I will add a brief review. Repeat: These will not be detailed, full-length reviews in my typical format. There also won’t be big photos on the home page for each episode, nor blog posts here to prompt the RSS feed for the three of you still following my content that way. (That’s an activity which is probably more a waste of my time as it is, and merely an excuse to populate my mostly dormant blog with cross-posts.) (Read more…)

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