‘The Mandalorian’ Recap: Here’s How the ‘Star Wars’ Series’ Premiere Played Out

     November 12, 2019


Disney+’s The Mandalorian is now live! But in case you missed out on some of the finer points of the storytelling in the early hours of launch day, or just want to revisit it in text form, we’ve put together a premiere recap for you. Spoilers ahead, obviously.

Before the series even starts, we get a slick new Star Wars logo animation; expect to see this early and often ahead of future related content. What follows is the action-packed first 40-minute premiere of The Mandalorian, directed by Dave Filoni and written by Jon Favreau. Here’s how it all went down:

The Mandalorian tracks his bounty on a snowy planet. Two thugs muscle a young alien in a bar, opting to sell his glands on the black market. A very Star Wars-y yet classic Western tune plays as the bounty hunter enters. The thugs get tough with him and end up getting the worst of it. Too bad the Mando is actually after the guy the heavies were roughing up. It isn’t long before he’s in cuffs and headed to the Mandalorian’s ship.


Image via Disney+

A waiting Kubaz calls in a speeder, by use of a flute, piloted by an R2 unit, but the Mandalorian doesn’t want a droid, so they call in a junk speeder driven by an aging pilot (Brian Posehn). The pilot is on the lookout for monstrous creatures that live beneath the ice, beings that are part walrus, part sea serpent. One of them attacks the speeder and sinks it before attacking The Mandalorian’s ship with the bounty on board. The Mando fends it off with his signature weapon and they’re off into space.

The bounty (Horatio Sanz) is a very chatty Mythrol who’s molting, apparently, and trying to talk his way out of trouble; but when he sees the Mandalorian’s collection of bounties on carbonite, he knows it’s too late.

On a more urban planet, The Mandalorian enters yet another bar and delivers his tags to Greef Carga (Carl Weathers). Carga tries to pay him in Imperial credits, but with the empire defeated, the Mandalorian opts for other currency, even if he gets half the promised payout. The two negotiate the next round of bounties, most of which aren’t worth the effort or the cost. Carga gives him a “direct commission, face-to-face, deep pocket” underworld mission. Obviously, our antihero takes it.


Image via Disney+

The Mandalorian passes through into another facility guarded by a door droid and finds a room guarded by Stormtroopers with Werner Herzog‘s character, The Client, waiting. Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) enters unannounced and almost sets off a battle, four armed Stromtroopers to one armed Mandalorian; the latter “likes those odds.” Turns out that Herzog’s shady character and Dr. Pershing have hired him to bring in a bounty, alive; “Proof of termination is also acceptable for a lower fee.” They only give him the target’s age and their last reported position, but leave the rest up to the bounty hunter. Herzog seems to be a pro-Mandalorian operative of some kind, or he’s just playing on the bounty hunter’s nationality and sense of honor.

The Mandalorian travels to a very hip blacksmith shop where a fellow Mandalorian, known only as the Armorer (Emily Swallow) works Beskar steel into masks and armor. She inspects the Beskar that Herzog gave him, saying it was claimed in the Great Purge. She also says a pauldron would be in order and asks if his signet has been revealed: “Not yet,” is his response, to which she replies, “Soon.” We learn that the Mandalorian was once a “Foundling”, along with flashbacks of a Separatist attack on his hometown when his parents secured his safety by hiding him away. He soon receives his shiny new pauldron made of Beskar Steel and he’s off on his bounty hunt.


Image via Disney+

Landing the Razor Crest on a mountainous desert plan, The Mandalorian uses his very versatile weapon to track his prey. He’s attacked by a surprisingly stealthy (and practical effects-driven) Blurrg, and tries to wield his wrist-mounted flamethrower against it, but is ultimately saved by a curious character, an Ugnaught (Nick Nolte). He offers to help him track his bounty at the encampment, but wants only the Blurrg he helped subdue in return. But in order to get his help, The Mandalorian has to learn how to ride the female Blurrg. “Perhaps if you remove your helmet,” is the only advice Nolte’s eccentric alien gives, but no dice there. After peacefully approaching the creature and learning to ride, the two head off through the mountains. Nolte’s character basically wants the encamped aliens out of his territory and hopes that the Mandalorian is the one for the job; he leaves him to it.

Armed and armored aliens guard the place, but Taika Waititi‘s bounty droid IG-11 takes them all out. After a brief argument, the two decide to team up to take in the bounty, but they’re ambushed. A good thing IG-11 packs so much firepower because they’re vastly outnumbered. (IG-11 is a scene-stealer from the title character here.) Unfortunately, IG-11 opts to self-destruct using a chest-mounted thermal detonator rather than risk being captured, but the Mandalorian convinces him to stick around a little longer. An alien soldier arrives with a heavy blaster cannon aimed directly at their position.

Our antihero manages to take over the blaster cannon and turns it on their attackers, laying waste to the lot of them. IG-11 arrives none the worse for wear despite a few close shots. Together, they use the blaster cannon to bring down the heavily reinforced door. Behind that door lies their bounty. Literally. The 50-year old bounty is, in fact, a young, baby-like member of the same species of alien as Yoda (and it’s the cutest thing ever). IG-11 reveals that the terms of the deal were to terminate the target. The Mandalorian terminates IG-11 instead, ending their partnership, but beginning a new relationship between the baby “Yoda 2.0” and the Mandalorian.


Image via Disney+

And that’s where we end the premiere! Have questions? So do we. Check out Vinnie Mancuso‘s write-up here that aims to answer some and clarify more.

Things you might have missed:

  • The Kubaz – This alien species has popped up a number of times in Star Wars lore, most notably as “Long Snoot” Garindan, an unwitting Imperial spy back in the day
  • Beskar Steel – “Mandalorian Iron” ore and metalwork, which becomes a symbol of the Mandalorian people and a running narrative thread through this series; it can even turn a glancing blow from a lightsaber
  • Razor Crest – The Mandalorian’s ship
  • TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid guards Herzog’s meeting area
  • Kowakian monkey-lizards roasted on a spit in the alleys outside Herzog’s meeting place. So this is what’s become of Salacious B. Crumb’s people…
  • The Great Purge – After Palpatine’s Order 66, the Jedi Order was purged; its effects spread throughout the galaxy and touched off many a conflict
  • The Blurrg attack while the Mandalorian is scanning the desert is reminiscent of the sudden Tusken Raider attack during Luke Skywalker’s own surveillance in A New Hope
  • Ugnaughts – Yet another Star Wars species that gets a new chapter here
  • The Mythosaur – The skull of this epic beast may end up becoming The Mandalorian’s signet/sigil.
  • Yoda’s species has never really been officially named or pinned down; maybe that’s about to change with this series

Image via Disney+

Here’s the official synopsis for The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe.  “The Mandalorian” is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

And here’s more on Disney+:

Launching on November 12, 2019, Disney+ will be the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more, together, for the first time. From The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, Disney+ will offer ad-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service will also be the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” “Frozen 2,”and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The service will launch in select geographic territories, including U.S., Canada, and The Netherlands, followed shortly by Australia and New Zealand, with the expectation to be available in most major markets within the first two-years. Visit DisneyPlus.com to learn more.