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What the critics are saying about The Mandalorian

The Star Wars franchise is about to venture into territory previously uncharted, but is the high-stakes mission a hit or a miss?

While general audiences won't be able to tune into the first-ever live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian until it hits the upcoming streaming site Disney+ on November 12, a number of lucky critics got to catch about a half hour of footage from the show — which stars Pedro Pascal as the titular space-faring bounty hunter — during a special Disney event held on October 19. Taking to social media, critics have spilled their spoiler-free thoughts on The Mandalorian — and things are looking brighter than C-3PO after a buff and shine. In fact, many have praised the forthcoming series everything they had hoped for... and then some. 

Here's a round-up of the first reactions to The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian 'as awesome as you want it to be'

Right off the bat, one of the biggest and most important takeaways from the early reactions to The Mandalorian is that it's kick-ass, action-packed, and basically everything a Star Wars fan could want from a live-action series. The set pieces, the aesthetic, the characters, and the story all come together to make for a series that Collider editor in chief Steven Weintraub has said is "the Star Wars thing [he's] been waiting for."

"While I love the Skywalker saga, I've wanted to see new characters and places explored in depth which can only be done over multiple episodes in a series format. Cannot wait to see more of @themandalorian," wrote Weintraub on Twitter. He continued, "It's as awesome as you want it to be. Can't say anything specific but one scene answered a question that I don't think has ever been explained/shown in any @starwars movie. Love that it opens up the Star Wars universe in a cool new way."

Meanwhile, Star Wars social media manager Michelle Buchman tweeted that "Star Wars fans will be very pleased" by the Jon Favreau-created series, which she described as "old studio westerns of the 40's and 50's with a dash of samurai movie vibes mixed in a Star Wars-y blender."

Actress and host Jennifer Larda felt similarly, writing that The Mandalorian is "the epic Star Wars show we've been waiting years for." (She then clarified that she has "nothing but love for" the animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Resistance, and that The Mandalorian is the live-action Star Wars series everyone has been holding out hope for.)

The Mandalorian might make you cry — and drop your jaw

Entertainment Tonight producer and online host Ash Crossan was moved to tears after watching footage from The Mandalorian, signaling that the series is powerful enough to make viewers incredibly emotional given its quality and its true-to-Star Wars feel. She tweeted after the exclusive screening event, "Just watched 27 minutes of Mandalorian footage and legit cried. Can't say much but — This is real and it's happening and it feels SO FREAKING STAR WARS."

Drew Taylor, former managing editor at Moviefone and current co-host of the podcasts Light the Fuse and Fine Tooning, was totally blown away by The Mandalorian — for a different reason than Crossan was. For Taylor, the best part of the footage he saw was its twist: apparently, the character played by Nick Nolte isn't who fans might think he is. 

Taylor wrote in a two-tweet thread on Twitter, "Wow. #TheMandalorian is completely amazing. Saw nearly a half hour of footage from what I was told were the first three episodes. Whoever you think Nick Nolte is ... the answer will surprise you. Also it looks as expensive as it is — they didn't skimp with this one. Spaceships, creatures, etc all in full effect. Cannot wait for full episodes."

In a word, The Mandalorian is incredible

Eric Goldman of Get Fandom praised The Mandalorian as "very cool and atmospheric," with Pedro Pascal's titular character having what it takes to immediately captivate audiences. He also compared the series to a couple of action-heavy films that he's a fan of in writing, "[It's] sometimes evoking the vibe of Rogue One (which I adore). The title character is instantly fascinating and there are great action and suspense moments, including some Predator vibes."

Award-winning writer and Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic Rosie Knight gave perhaps the coolest and most promising take on The Mandalorian when she tweeted, "Reliving my childhood Saturday mornings watching Star Wars. The 30 so minutes of #TheMandalorian footage we saw was incredibly cool. The samurai-infused space western you've always wanted with an ice cold lead, a bunch of rad creatures, and a killer score [by] @ludwiggoransson [Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Goransson]." 

IndieWire critic Tyler Hersko tweeted that The Mandalorian exceeded expectations, and should serve as a major hit for Disney+ thanks to its high production value: "I just got out of the Mandalorian press screening and gotta say, really surpassed expectations. This seems like a truly high-budget, movie-like project. If other flagship Disney+ series have a similar production quality, the streaming service will definitely have a strong run."

Added Screen Rant features editor Mansoor Mithaiwala, "Saw almost 30 minutes of The Mandalorian footage this morning. It's truly incredible. It looks like the films, feels innately Star Wars, introduces new concepts, and adds layers that people have been waiting to see for a long time."

Audiences at home can witness The Mandalorianalso starring Gina Carano as former Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Dune, Giancarlo Esposito as ex-Empire governor Moff Gideon, Carl Weathers as bounty hunter guild leader Greef Carga, Taika Waititi as the voice of an innocent droid named IG-11, Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing, and Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Bill Burr, Ming-Na Wen, and more in undisclosed roles — in all its apparent glory when it hits the Disney+ platform on November 12.