Disney+ is coming, whether you’re already mentally prepared to fork out for another streaming service or not. Those across the pond have already got access to it.If you’re reading this while already preparing a list of all of the reasons why you won’t be buying a subscription, then we’re sorry to let you know that you’re wrong. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that with Disney+ also comes The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau’s new, live-action Star Wars TV series and we can almost guarantee that you’re going to want to watch it.
What is it about?
Set five years after Return Of The Jedi and 25 years before The Force Awakens, The Mandalorian hones in on the fictional planet Mandalore, following a lone bounty hunter as his job takes him to “the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic”. In other words, we’ll be taken to the Wild West of Star Wars’ universe, a place where bloodied stormtroopers’ helmets are impaled with sticks and impromptu fights with space creatures are aplenty.
The first episode of The Mandalorian also introduces us to baby Yoda – you know, that adorable wide-eyed, green-skinned ball of Jedi wisdom you've seen doing the rounds on Twitter for the past few weeks? It turns out that the titular Mandalorian is sent on a job to retrieve baby Yoda, dead or alive, but when he looks into his cute, not-so-little eyes, he decides to sack off the bounty and bring him along on his own adventures instead – handy considering that baby Yoda is also able to use the force. Contrary to what you might think, baby Yoda is not actually baby Yoda, he is just a child of Yoda's species. Oh, and baby Yoda might just be the oldest infant of all time, at 50 years old.
Who is in the cast?
Expect to see Game Of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal in the titular role, while Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, Deadpool’s Gina Carano and Carl Weathers are among the supporting cast. And it’s also worth noting some big names behind the camera: while Favreau is the show’s creator, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Deborah Chow (Better Call Saul) and Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) have all directed episodes, which means that we’re likely in for a cinematic treat.
How long is it?
The Mandalorian is split into eight episodes, which will drop on a weekly basis on Disney+ up until 27 December in the US.
Will it actually be any good?
Early reviews from critics in the US have been overwhelmingly positive, so it looks as though The Mandalorian will be as brilliant as you’d hope. The general consensus is that hardcore fans of the show will love it, but the high production value and new concepts that are introduced could give it an even more far-reaching audience.
There have been a few negative reviews of The Mandalorian, however, largely criticising the show's lack of emotion that boils down to the fact that its titular character wears a mask for a lot of the action and says very little. While some view this as an obstacle to character development, others see it as a key trait to convey The Mandalorian's lone wolf persona, so it seems as though whether you enjoy it or not will largely come down to personal taste.
How do I get Disney+?
You don’t... yet. Although there isn't yet an official UAE launch date, it's been confirmed that a worldwide roll-out will be complete by 2021. In America, the streaming service will cost $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, but potential prices for the UAE’s version of the platform are yet to be released.