Julius

The Star Wars Thread

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7 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Couple more Emmy's last night

Great to see Goransson's work recognised, really well deserved. Love the overall score to each episode and the main theme was instantly memorable.

Yeah, the guy is craaaaaazy talented, well deserved. I mean, he's 36 years old, and off the top of my head he's done the Creed films, Black Panther, Tenet, Community (watching it through for the first time myself - for a sitcom, it's insane just how much variety there is, of course perfectly suiting the variety of antics on the show) and Mando. 

His work on Mando in particular is so distinct in that it kind of throws out all the old and starts fresh. It's such a unique and new soundscape for Star Wars. No Force theme, no Main/Luke's Theme, no Imperial March. The foundational influence from Williams is still distinctly present, purely in it still having memorable leitmotifs, but it changes things. Mando and this corner of the galaxy doesn't know about the Jedi? No Force Theme. Perfection. 

As much as I love John Williams, and the sequel trilogy still has some great tracks and themes (the leitmotifs for Kylo and Rey, I think, are the highlights) it just felt so derivative of the original trilogy, even more so when compared with his work on the prequels. The prequels had a similar soundscape but still had many wonderful tracks (Duel of the Fates, Across the Stars, and Battle of the Heroes of course being the Big Three) and felt like it was still fresh. Like the films themselves in the end, the scores for the sequel trilogy to me just didn't do enough new, and it got to the point where I could predict the Force Theme was coming up (which we were beaten over the head with by the way, and same goes for Rebel Fanfare). The Rise of Skywalker is particularly guilty of feeling like a greatest hits collection in this regard, but how about Into the Death Star bring used in the crystal maze on Crait in The Last Jedi? I still think the sequel trilogy's scores are superb, but it just wasn't exciting enough, and didn't feel like Star Wars for a new generation; it felt like Star Wars remixed for a new generation. 

And it's funny, because I loved Michael Giacchino's Rogue One score which was also very derivative (from A New Hope in particular), but it still felt fresh while being grounded in the old. John Powell's Solo score was also great, though again, too on the nose at times, such as with using The Asteroid Field for the Kessel Run. While Giacchino's and Powell's scores were still great in their own right, if felt like the methodology behind them was strictly to stick to Williams' template: Orchestra + Old Themes + Couple of New Themes + Choir = Star Wars score. 

But I think Mando is probably my favourite Star Wars soundtrack since the Disney takeover, purely because of how much it deviates from that formula (though it's worth mentioning that Rebels and The Clone Wars S7 scores also had some terrific stuff, and were honestly better than the Disney-produced films at times). It mixes the ideas of Williams with composers from Old Westerns and other Sci-Fi films, with Morricone in particular coming to mind for the former. Throw in the freshness of its modern sensibilities, and it's a fantastic melting pot of what influenced Star Wars, instead of being influenced by Star Wars, just like the show. 

I cannot wait to hear what he's got in store for us with this second season. I am still listening to the season one soundtrack on a regular basis, so I'm quite confident it will be great! :D

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10 minutes ago, Julius said:

Yeah, the guy is craaaaaazy talented, well deserved. I mean, he's 36 years old, and off the top of my head he's done the Creed films, Black Panther, Tenet, Community (watching it through for the first time myself - for a sitcom, it's insane just how much variety there is, of course perfectly suiting the variety of antics on the show) and Mando. 

His work on Mando in particular is so distinct in that it kind of throws out all the old and starts fresh. It's such a unique and new soundscape for Star Wars. No Force theme, no Main/Luke's Theme, no Imperial March. The foundational influence from Williams is still distinctly present, purely in it still having memorable leitmotifs, but it changes things. Mando and this corner of the galaxy doesn't know about the Jedi? No Force Theme. Perfection. 

As much as I love John Williams, and the sequel trilogy still has some great tracks and themes (the leitmotifs for Kylo and Rey, I think, are the highlights) it just felt so derivative of the original trilogy, even more so when compared with his work on the prequels. The prequels had a similar soundscape but still had many wonderful tracks (Duel of the Fates, Across the Stars, and Battle of the Heroes of course being the Big Three) and felt like it was still fresh. Like the films themselves in the end, the scores for the sequel trilogy to me just didn't do enough new, and it got to the point where I could predict the Force Theme was coming up (which we were beaten over the head with by the way, and same goes for Rebel Fanfare). The Rise of Skywalker is particularly guilty of feeling like a greatest hits collection in this regard, but how about Into the Death Star bring used in the crystal maze on Crait in The Last Jedi? I still think the sequel trilogy's scores are superb, but it just wasn't exciting enough, and didn't feel like Star Wars for a new generation; it felt like Star Wars remixed for a new generation. 

And it's funny, because I loved Michael Giacchino's Rogue One score which was also very derivative (from A New Hope in particular), but it still felt fresh while being grounded in the old. John Powell's Solo score was also great, though again, too on the nose at times, such as with using The Asteroid Field for the Kessel Run. While Giacchino's and Powell's scores were still great in their own right, if felt like the methodology behind them was strictly to stick to Williams' template: Orchestra + Old Themes + Couple of New Themes + Choir = Star Wars score. 

But I think Mando is probably my favourite Star Wars soundtrack since the Disney takeover, purely because of how much it deviates from that formula (though it's worth mentioning that Rebels and The Clone Wars S7 scores also had some terrific stuff, and were honestly better than the Disney-produced films at times). It mixes the ideas of Williams with composers from Old Westerns and other Sci-Fi films, with Morricone in particular coming to mind for the former. Throw in the freshness of its modern sensibilities, and it's a fantastic melting pot of what influenced Star Wars, instead of being influenced by Star Wars, just like the show. 

I cannot wait to hear what he's got in store for us with this second season. I am still listening to the season one soundtrack on a regular basis, so I'm quite confident it will be great! :D

I wish I had your ear for soundtracks, I'll happily admit that a lot of the intricacies of film score goes over my head (had to look up what leitmotifs are :laughing:). Having said that I pretty much agree with most of the above. A melting pot of what influenced Star Wars, instead of being influenced by Star Wars is perfectly put, and that extends to the whole show. *Spoilers* When Baby Yoda lifted the mudhorn in episode 2, it would have been so easy to use the Force theme but no, they gave us something more in-keeping with the show (and it was fantastic). Really excited to see what he does next year, not long to wait now.

Using the asteroid field theme for the Kessel Run or Into the Death Star for Crait wasn't an issue for me at all, I agree they're safe choices that play on nostalgia, but it's easy to just consider them part of the Falcon's theme ! I do agree the prequels were more ambitious soundtrack wise (and I suppose, in general) than the sequels though. That said Rey's theme is beautiful, and I can't go one week without putting March of the Resistance on.

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The music of Mandalorian was the best thing about the first season. I wasn't that wowed by the rest of it, but kept watching just for that.

I hope season 2 is a bit better.

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According to Deadline, Black Mirror's Toby Haynes is taking over as director from Tony Gilroy on the Rogue One spin-off series for Disney+.

According to their sources it is due to travel and health concerns for Gilroy, and nothing more than that. Would be refreshing to have a director leave a Star Wars project for something other than "creative differences" for a change! :p

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Not watched this yet, but looking forward to it. Always fun seeing behind the scenes at ILM.

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New trailer

Looks great as expected, and I love how little they're really showing. I think the internet is getting annoyed the trailer didn't show enough new material :indeed: a big reason season 1 was so popular was that people went in pretty much blind and not knowing what to expect.

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Rumours going around earlier that Disney is going to be relocating Lucasfilm and it's divisions out of the Digital Arts Center in San Francisco's Presidio (ILM, ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm Animation, Consumer Products, Digital Media, Franchise Management) over to Burbank, along with Skywalker Sound (still located at Skywalker Ranch). 

Only surprising thing about this is that it's taken them this long to (seemingly) make the move. They've been paying George rent all these years and it's a six hour trip or thereabouts on Google Maps from there to the Disney lot in Burbank, but still, it does feel like the end of an era just thinking that Skywalker Ranch isn't going to be the home to any future Star Wars projects. 

Guess we'll have to wait and see, but now that we're just a week away from it being the 8th anniversary of the Disney purchase, I've got to ask: what does everyone think of how Disney has handled the franchise so far? 

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50 minutes ago, Julius said:

what does everyone think of how Disney has handled the franchise so far? 

Brave man asking that particular question on the internet :laughing: 

It's tough for me to separate what Disney has done vs what Lucasfilm has done so I'll just speak in general terms... For me, Disney Star Wars has re-invigorated my love for the franchise after I found the prequels so disappointing. They've obviously made some mistakes and I think if they could go back in time they'd have planned the sequel trilogy to be a bit more cohesive (though I still maintain The Last Jedi follows on from the Force Awakens perfectly well, it's only IX that throws things out the window). Obviously it's hard to talk about the production issues on a lot of films without knowing all the details. Drawing parallels with video games, it's funny to me that people praise Nintendo for looking at Metroid Prime 4's original development, seeing that it wasn't good enough, stepping in and starting over... but when Lucasfilm does similar with Star Wars films, they get criticised. That said I do think they could stand to be a tad less control-freak-y.

Sequel trilogy: Loved The Force Awakens, adored The Last Jedi, liked The Rise of Skywalker. Ok the story-telling overall wasn't the best/most original, but most everything else about the productions were top notch and it's given me some amazing iconic moments that I'll always remember fondly.

Rogue One / Solo: Loved them, Solo especially, and I'd love to see Gareth Edwards direct another film. I really hope we see more spin offs in future.

The Mandalorian: Fantastic, so excited for season 2.

Rebels:heart::heart::heart:

Resistance: I enjoyed it, but it was a huge step down from Rebels (and I assume Clone Wars)

Other stuff: People seem to have a great time at Galaxy's Edge, and EA have finally gotten their act together with Battlefront II, Fallen Order and Squadrons being really popular. Lucasfilm have done a nice job of growing the canon with books/tv series/games all inter-connecting with each other and filling in gaps. 

So yeah overall, I've had a great time the last 8 years. If you look at Marvel, their Phase 1 didn't get everything right either and it's not until the later years that things really took off and the quality was more consistently high. I'm confident Lucasfilm are in a much better position now moving forward with the last 8 years under their belt. Exciting!

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Season 1 recap of The Mandalorian:

believe the first episode will be going up at 07:00 GMT on Friday for us in the UK, as the US haven't changed their clocks back an hour yet (episodes are due to drop at midnight PT/03:00 ET). This will then like change to 08:00 GMT like it was last year once they change their clocks this weekend. 

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Quick and dirty predictions for season 2...

Spoiler

The ice planet from the trailer will be Ilum/Starkiller Base, and 'someone' hint hint will be hanging out there, guarded by the New Republic...

The water world will be Mon Cala.

Title of Chapter 9 will be: The Mission

 

Edited by Ronnie

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Finally got the chance to dig into Chapter 9 of The Mandalorian earlier this evening. I was up and ready to watch it at 07:00, but knew it would just distract me when I started working :p

First, the stuff that doesn't spoil anything. Soundtrack is still solid. Costumes look great. Sound design and effects look great. But boy oh boy did some of those wider tracking CG shots look rough, much more noticeable and much more frequent than it was even in Chapter 1. A case of budget and time going elsewhere, I'd imagine, but I was really surprised by it, considering just how much they nailed it by the end of Season 1. 

Spoiler

Seriously, they just cannot get Tatooine looking right this way, can they? It was the same sort of thing in Chapter 5, but we spent so much more time on it here (and in wider shots specifically) that I stuck it out just as much, but for much longer. A real shame. Even the little guy looked a bit off to me at times...

But anyways, to dig into what actually happened: COBB VANTH! So great to finally see this character brought in, been waiting for him to show up outside of the Aftermath trilogy interludes for five years! So much so that, yeah, it was a pretty popular theory in the early days after The Mandalorian was announced that he might even be the one in this armour :p really liked his character here, solid performance by Timothy Olyphant, worth looking up those interludes for those interested in learning a bit more. Knew it'd be him and not Boba as soon as we heard we were off to Tatooine :grin:

Solid episode all around with a lot of other callbacks too, definitely a lot of fan service here, especially once we reach Tatooine: seeing Massiffs with Tusken Raiders for the first time since Episode II if I'm remembering right (saw some in TCW in season 4 or 5 I think, but weren't on Tatooine or with Tuskens iirc), Cobb having repurposed a podracer engine into a speeder bike, finally seeing a Krayt Dragon (duuuuuude), and a whole lot more. 

Did a really solid job of setting up the reveal of Boba at the end too, first with the introduction of Cobb in his armour, giving those who haven't read the Aftermath books an immediate 'in' to buy into that Boba might have survived; hearing about a sarlacc pit being abandoned for the first time, and the implication that sarlaccs can be killed from inside the pit; and also Mando making his way out of the Krayt Dragon. 

And that shot of Mando riding into the twin suns' sunset, then seeing Temuera turn around...heck yeah. Pretty much confirms who Fennec ended up with at the end of Chapter 5, too (the black outfit, the clink of his boots, etc.). 

Solid way to open up the season, look forward to seeing where it goes next week! 

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That was a LONG day of avoiding the internet!! Just finished watching it, loved it overall. Even more of a space western than season 1! Felt a bit like a bottle episode, but I enjoyed it 10x more than the Gunslinger episode.

It's loads of fun going into something Star Wars having no idea where the story will go. Sure there had been rumours and casting leaks but everything on screen was pretty much a complete surprise, maybe apart from the sequence before the title card.

Some of the CG looked rough and you could 100% tell they were in the Volume, I'm thinking of the close-up shots of the speeder bike sequences, but those are inherently pretty goofy looking so it must be tough to make them look good. Conversely though some of the other shots were stunning...

Spoiler

The Krayt Dragon, holy fuck. That was a pretty stunning set-piece, they nailed the sense of scale. When it finally died all I could think was that poor Bantha :laughing: awesome hero moment from the Mando.

Loved everything about Mos Pelgo (?), visually it looked fantastic, and the cinematography here was beautiful. Though I was a bit confused why the mining guild turned up to kill their slave labour? That was a bit weird.

I read the first Aftermath book and am still on/off reading the second, so was only sort of aware of Cobb Vanth. His intro interlude was pretty memorable though, definitely remember that. 

My main issue with this series continues to be the occasionally cheesy script and underwhelming supporting performances, everything just feels a bit too wooden sometimes. It happened all throughout last season (including Gina Carano) and sort of continued here to some degree. Having the villagers mutter and mumble while the one barman shouts out lines felt really, really dated. Maybe that was the intention :laughing:

Surprisingly little Baby Yoda! But that's probably a good thing, the show needs to stand on it's own a bit more.

Wasn't expecting Boba Fett at the end, figured he'd show up at the end of the season maybe. I hope we get off Tatooine next episode though, new stuff please! Really pleased the series looks like it's staying episodic though.

8/10!

5 hours ago, Julius said:

Cobb having repurposed a podracer engine into a speeder bike

It looked an awful lot like Anakin's!

5 hours ago, Julius said:

Did a really solid job of setting up the reveal of Boba at the end too, first with the introduction of Cobb in his armour, giving those who haven't read the Aftermath books an immediate 'in' to buy into that Boba might have survived; hearing about a sarlacc pit being abandoned for the first time, and the implication that sarlaccs can be killed from inside the pit; and also Mando making his way out of the Krayt Dragon. 

It's a good job I have you to spell out the trail of breadcrumbs they leave cause that all flew over my head haha. Pretty glaring in hindsight! 

Really hope we don't see much more of Fett this season, let him be in the background a bit.

Edit: Also, did you spot this @Julius ?? I noticed it shifting back afterwards, but didn't realise it did during the fight. That explains the enormous sense of scale at the time!!

Edited by Ronnie
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Spoiler

Cobb Vanth is already miles better than one of the worst Star Wars characters, Boba Fett. Hopefully they mange to make Boba interesting somehow or that he's small part.

 

I was more excited seeing R5 (the droid that Luke almost bought instead of R2-D2). 

 

The visuals look amazing.

 

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On 31/10/2020 at 1:56 AM, Ronnie said:

Edit: Also, did you spot this @Julius ?? I noticed it shifting back afterwards, but didn't realise it did during the fight. That explains the enormous sense of scale at the time!!

I did, though admittedly the main reason for me noticing was that I was in a dark room and the change made me a little bit nauseous when it happened :p

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11 minutes ago, Julius said:

I did, though admittedly the main reason for me noticing was that I was in a dark room and the change made me a little bit nauseous when it happened :p

D'oh! :laughing: I'm kind of obsessed with it now, subtle but masterfully done at just the right moment. 

As usual with a SW thing, the more I see it the more I love it. Just need that first 'processing' watch out the way.

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Jesse Harlin, composer for Republic Commando, has teased that Vode An is going to be used in an upcoming Star Wars project. Hell yeah. 

Question is, is it Mando S2, The Bad Batch, both (?), or something else? Do I dare to wish for a Republic Commando remake or an Imperial Commando game? Probably not, because watch it be for a Star Wars video game complication soundtrack :p 

Vode An, for those who have no idea what I'm talking about: 

Man, it's so good. That game has a really solid OST, probably some of the best non-JW stuff in the 2000's. Need to play that game again at some point! 

Edited by Julius

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Confirmation that the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special will be made available on Disney+ on Life Day (November 17th), as well as a new trailer. 

Should be a lot of fun! 

Edited by Julius

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Looks fun but what a shame about the voice cast, that would have really pulled it together. They should have at least gotten Ridley and McDiarmid

I like Finn's yellow lightsaber, looks like Rey hooked him up. 

Edited by Ronnie

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Just finished Chapter 10.

I really liked this episode a whole lot, the incorporation of CGI was much better all around in this episode than the last one I feel, pretty much everything was just right to me. It's funny, because watching the recap of Chapter 9 before this, with my major concerns over that episode being the poor appearance of some of the CGI, I was a little worried that we'd see some more of the same, but glad to be wrong about that. Costumes and sets looked terrific as they almost always are in Star Wars, soundtrack was a step up from last week's (two new variations on the Mando theme from what I could tell, both of which I was a big fan of! Now if only they'd be kind enough to release the albums each chapter like they did with Season 1 :p), sound design was extremely good I felt in this episode too. 

Spoiler

Two things I noticed immediately and wanted to mention off the bat. First up, the species of metal-faced jawa-looking dude who I still don't think we have a name for (from Jakku in The Force Awakens) made a return with those other members of the guild/bounty hunters at the start: 

sw-force-awakens-movie-screencaps.com-1345.jpg?w=800

Always love to see it when a species returns elsewhere in the timeline for the first time!

And then, the one which had me leaping out of my chair in delight: Ralph McQuarrie's Knobby White Spider design from his concept art for The Empire Strikes Back :D

RMQ-KnobbyWhiteSpider.jpg

This episode must have sucked hard if you have arachnophobia, because I don't and it still made me uncomfortable.  I know we got them in Rebels on Atollon, but it's interesting to see them elsewhere now too (krykna if I'm remembering right?), as it's always great to see McQuarrie work brought back and used for the elsewhere, but especially in live-action. Reminded me a lot of a particular scene in Fallen Order too...fun is not the word I would use :p 

A really solid episode, a lot of returning faces! Dr Mandible (love it - and notice Peyton Reed, director of Ant-Man, directed this episode, eh?) we saw last season in the cantina scene in Chapter 5, and if I'm not mistaken, I think we even saw gecko/frog lady too? "Sorry I don't speak frog" is a great line, and those two definitely look like they would have fit into the cantina we saw in A New Hope. Big fan of the start of this episode especially, just diving right into the action with very little nonsense: a quick reminder that, yes, Mando and The Child are still on the run, before we see an inventive use of his jetpack in fighting off those guild members/bounty hunters - always love seeing new ways to use the tech we see in Star Wars!

Was also interesting to get our first real encounter with the New Republic which might tell us a bit about where the NR is at by Mando, in that we get a better sense of their position in the galaxy and how they treat others, more so than just "we are the police of this galaxy" (what we got in Season 1 was minimal at best, and I don't think there was much we could take away from it), and them saving Mando and then just leaving seemed to sum up what we know of the New Republic pretty well: "oh, the problem is gone? I'm sure there won't be any more trouble, see ya!". You know, exactly how they just thought the Empire was finished, and packed their bags, not expecting anyone else to turn up? Funny seeing just how hard they wanted to clamp down on Mando too, loved having him say "May the Force be with you" as his farewell to them - as he didn't seem to know much about it in the first season, I'm guessing this might be the galaxy's equivalent of "God bless you", as a phrase which many use but nowhere near as many understand the actual meaning of? Oh, and shout out to Filoni's code name/call sign being 'Wolf' - that guy sure does love wolves! The Wolf Pack, wolves in Rebels, his concept art of Ahsoka on wolves, his Princess Mononoke t-shirt in the Disney Gallery stuff...and the last thing I have to mention about the NR pilots is that we actually get a very subtle use of the Resistance leitmotif (the first use of any Williams theme in the series as far as I can remember, and if not, then at least the only major one so far), if you listen really closely to when they're leaving Mando at around the 34:14 mark of the episode. I love what he did with it, adding that modern flair and beat that is so integral to the overall Mando score. 

Last thing I wanted to mention: The Child in this episode. Highlighted a lot more than in Chapter 9, some great and funny moments (guess the little guy just like eggs, huh?), but him eating the spawn of the gecko/frog lady made me uneasy more than I found it amusing...which I liked. Here's a reminder that The Child is still a creature getting used to the galaxy in his own unique way, and that it isn't just going to be him being whisked off with Mando - Mando is going to need to do some parenting. Maybe it's a stretch, but the first thing which came to mind was actually that The Child was being greedy, and so probably for the first time in the series, I feel we saw him doing something actually questionable - besides choking out Cara, though I feel that can be explained somewhat by him seemingly misunderstanding that particular situation and believing that Mando was in trouble. I honestly think it's the first sign of them starting to plant seeds that this child is going to need more direction, and so I think it will be interesting to see if anything else similar happens throughout the course of the season. 

Overall, awesome episode, and I honestly think it's one of the tighter paced and better directed self-contained episodes that we've had. Had an awesome time with it, looking forward to next week's episode! 

(But seriously please the release the albums for the first two Chapters of S2 already thanks)

Edited by Julius
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Just watched Chapter 10 too. I think I loved it even more than the last episode! Felt much more tightly directed, with some stunning CGI (agree with you @Julius, nothing dodgy this time!), brilliant audio design and some beautiful shots and pacing. It's also great to have self contained stories, with plenty of continuity thrown into the mix at the same time. Also, and I think this was pretty needed, I grew to love Din a lot more thanks to those 40 minutes. Mostly just thanks to subtle touches, bits of humour etc. He had plenty to do and say this episode and it made his character all the more likeable because of it.

Personally thought the length of the episode was perfect, I don't need 50+ minutes every week. The Marshal could have been trimmed a tad I think.

Spoiler

My first thought... hey the spiders from Atollon. Then I remembered the Ralph McQuarrie sketch. I guess they're the same species though?

RIP the internet's Ilum theory :cry: 

Loved the opening and the disapproving face the Child gives Mando after he killed the bounty hunter anyway. Also the subtle force pull on the jar of Frog lady's spawn :laughing:

The Prisoner from season 1 was one of my favourite episodes last year because it felt really weird and trippy. This gave me a similar vibe. From Peli speaking to Dr Mandible in the cantina, to the hot spring scene, the whole chapter was SURREAL, and unmistakably Star Wars. There were tons of moments I felt like I was watching the OT.

2 hours ago, Julius said:

Oh, and shout out to Filoni's code name/call sign being 'Wolf

I think the pilot's name is Trapper Wolf or something like that. I re-watched the Disney Gallery recently and he brings it up.

As a big starfighter nerd, I had a permanent grin on my face the whole time the New Republic were on screen, like you say we got a lot more to chew on this time. Loved the comm chatter, amazing chase sequence, and the ending with them coming in to save the day and just leaving him to sort himself out, perfect. I chuckled at Filoni's inclusion, but I still kind of wish he'd stop :laughing: or rather, people would stop forcing him to be in it. It really pulls me out of the episode! That said, he somehow looked the part a lot more this time around.

2 hours ago, Julius said:

the last thing I have to mention about the NR pilots is that we actually get a very subtle use of the Resistance leitmotif

Oooh I need to have another listen then! I love the Resistance theme.

Not sure I got a greedy vibe from the kid, more just curiosity/ignorance/cheek, but yeah I'd be surprised if the consequences of following Mando's life aren't brought up at some point, just like what he did to Cara last year.

Anyway...As soon as the spiders showed up I knew who the Director was. Thrilled with his work here, loved it.

Reviews seem good, but the main complaint seems to be that this doesn't advance the larger narrative enough. I just don't get it. ::shrug: I know almost every series these days is one long storyline, but that doesn't mean Mando has to be. Why can't people just enjoy a fun 40 minutes. Do we need answers every week? No. (imo)

Edited by Ronnie
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Chapter 11. It's funny how this is the second episode title of the season to completely give away who'll be showing up :laughing: (only thanks to leaks tbf). Enjoyed this one but probably not as much as the first two, though I suspect a lot of people will really love it. It was the same with Chapter 3 last year, everyone kept saying how great that one was, when it was probably the one I enjoyed least.

Spoiler

The dialogue continues to be so stiff and some of the performances continue to be :hmm: I find it really, really weird given how outstanding the rest of the production is. Thank fuck Sasha Banks wasn't Sabine, even her two lines were terrible. 

What was with that Imperial officer that got blown out of the ship? Another weird performance. Why stand right out in the open to be shot at? It's strange things like that that really stick out.

People online went on about The Passenger being "filler" but I found it way more compelling and worthwhile than the storyline here which basically only existed to introduce Bo Katan. Everything else was of little consequence.

I don't mean to sound too negative, I actually LOVED everything on either side of the attack on the Gozanti cruiser, especially the intro and the smug Mon Calamari mechanic guy. Loved his makeover on the Razor Crest :laughing: The way it was hoisted out of the ocean and plonked onto the dock looked INCREDIBLE. It may as well have been real, I certainly couldn't tell otherwise.

The Quarren all looked great and suitably menacing. Frog Lady and Man were fun too and it was great to see Moff Gideon, great use of his theme as the camera cuts to his face. Ooh check me out noticing a recurring musical cue lol.

6.5/10 for me. Maybe I'll enjoy it more on repeat viewings.

 

Edited by Ronnie
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Was far too tired after I finished playing games last night to watch Chapter 11, so watched it this morning instead. Solid episode all around, I really enjoyed it, and despite only coming in at some 35 minutes or something like that, felt just as long as last week's 40 minute episode, which is pretty amazing considering about two minutes are spent on the recap this time around (which I swear is the longest one we've had so far?). 

Spoiler

Goosebumps seeing Bo-Katan in live-action for the first time, absolutely the right decision to stick with Katee Sackhoff in the transition for the character from voice actor to live-action actor (it was so awesome having her be out of shot and talking, and knowing that yeah, that is definitely Bo), thought she gave the best performance of the Nite Owls we saw here by a long stretch. So awesome for me after more than a decade of seeing this character in her introduction in The Clone Wars way back when, because how Mandalorians were presented in TCW and in the Holocron Timeline Records for The Old Republic had a massive impact on my interest in them. It's so awesome that this show is doing so well because everyone is finally getting to appreciate everything about Mandalore that I and many others - many of us here too, no doubt - have enjoyed for a long time. The armour looked awesome in live-action too. 

Though, I'm not crazy, right? Bo-Katan - in appearance - has aged insanely well for someone who has to be into her fifties at this point. I really was expecting to see a grey hair or too! Thought they might have aged Katee up a bit, but guess not!

It does make me increasingly nervous to see Rosario Dawson as Ashoka the closer we get to her appearance in the show (I'm guessing Episode 5 seeing as Filoni's back to direct that one), though; maybe it's my bias in just wanting more recognition for the actors I grew up with voicing these characters, but that's going to be such a weird adjustment. She really needs to nail it when she shows up. 

Thought this episode had some great action set pieces more akin to Rebels or TCW than we've seen in the show up to this point, great music as always (Gideon's leitmotif and what I think was yet another new variation on the main theme? GIVE ME THE DAMN SOUNDTRACKS ALREADY!), awesome sets and some great costumes (the Quarren and Mon Calamari looked great, thank goodness. Disney has been weirdly inconsistent with their costume quality for classic races in this show and in their films, so it was awesome to see it nailed here), and some great CGI. With how good this episode and the last one looked from a CGI quality perspective, it's either they are having a torrid time getting the look of computer generated sand down, or that first episode ended up a bit more rushed than these. Either way, thank the Force they're back at the higher quality standards we saw for the most part in the first season. 

As we've got deeper into this season, though, and how apparent it's become that we're spending more than half of it tracking people down...after more than half of the first season was spent running away, I'm not too thrilled by that overarching thread. Don't get me wrong, I am really enjoying this season (probably more than I was at the same point at the start of the first season, to be honest), but while I think Star Wars can absolutely have some great stories tracking people down or running away, it just feels like it's going to be a little drawn out. Especially with where I imagine the show is going to go from us meeting Ashoka (I'm imagining something like: "yeah, I was a Jedi, but I'm not anymore. You could try to find a Jedi but the odds are very slim. Why not return the little guy home instead?" and then we get another season of tracking down his home planet).

16 hours ago, Ronnie said:

Thank fuck Sasha Banks wasn't Sabine

My exact reaction was Hey, it's not Sabine! Oh wait, is that Sasha Banks? :laughing:

16 hours ago, Ronnie said:

What was with that Imperial officer that got blown out of the ship? Another weird performance. Why stand right out in the open to be shot at? It's strange things like that that really stick out.

I think it was a cameo, or maybe a case where this guy just really wanted to be in something Star Wars and so they got him to stand out in the open? It's the bartender from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I don't know him from much else off the top of my head! Kind of think it was also just one of those examples of an Imperial trying to be tough and then showing his true colours as a coward, immediately ducking for cover and screaming for the doors to be closed. 

16 hours ago, Ronnie said:

People online went on about The Passenger being "filler" but I found it way more compelling and worthwhile than the storyline here which basically only existed to introduce Bo Katan. Everything else was of little consequence.

I also really enjoyed The Passenger, but I don't know if I agree with the second part outright. Yes, a big part of this episode was the introduction of Bo-Katan, by far the biggest, but it wasn't just a simple case of her being introduced, pointing Mando towards Ahsoka, and that being that. I think there are some larger implications about the direction of the show which we can take from this episode and Bo-Katan being introduced, and it's probably the most we can extrapolate from an episode of the show so far. 

What we learn in this episode is probably going to be the foundation for the rest of Din's character arc, learning that Death Watch - who were basically already a cult as they were - actually splintered off and ended up taking kids into hiding on the foundation of the Mandalorian Creed, while clearly not being honest about their past and seemingly shedding themselves of it, and that this group seems to be viewed as some sort of extremist, cult-like entity by someone like Bo-Katan is probably going to lead to Din questioning himself being saved as a child as some moment which made his life better than it otherwise could have been: they weren't his saviours, and he's turned out to be some brainwashed soldier, trained from childhood to work alone. If the introduction of the darksaber at the end of the first season wasn't enough, the fact that Bo-Katan has been introduced, is actually alive, and is hunting down the darksaber and Gideon, means that not only is there a history there between the two, but I'll be very, very surprised if the show doesn't come to a head with some sort of war involving Mandalore and the remnants of the Empire. And then there's the fact that Bo-Katan, a former lieutenant of Death Watch, is sending Din to Ashoka, a former Jedi - yes that's the information he wanted, but I think they are both characters who are going to show Din that it's okay to turn your back on what you've been taught to believe, for the right reason. I think the introduction of Bo-Katan in this episode has much larger implications for the wider story of The Mandalorian and Din's character arc than the vast majority of what we've seen up until now, which is very exciting. 

Solid episode, not my favourite this season, but far from the worst overall. Really excited to see how things play out over the next couple of weeks! 

Edited by Julius
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