This movie does kind of give off this type of vibe doesn’t it, from time to time? Even Scott Snowden of Space seems as though he would agree. The lone Mando, the warrior that has no name, kills for money, and doesn’t really seem to say much unless he has to, that kind of spaghetti western-type feel is very strong in this show thus far. At this point we’ve learned that while the Mandalorian is in fact a tough hombre and a fierce warrior he’s not infallible since he’s been wounded, his armor has been damaged, and he has been taken off guard, which seems very unlike the Mandalorian’s in the Star Wars universe that people have heard so much about. But then again you might be trying to compare everyone to Boba Fett, who’s insanely paranoid and prepared for just about anything unless it’s a half-blind smuggler that randomly activates his jet pack on pure accident. Oh wait, Boba Fett’s not perfect either. That’s the beauty of the Mandalorian’s however, they’re not perfect, but they’re still perfect warriors in that they don’t generally stop until they hit their mark and they don’t give up until the last breath leaves them. That seems reminiscent of the gunfighters that were commonly seen in the old west movies, at least some of them.
The thing about Mandalorian’s is this, if you’re facing one you might as well plan like you’re facing a dozen, since Mando’s don’t typically fight like just a single person. Even Micah Peters of The Ringer seems impressed, and for good reason. As the show has depicted the Mandalorian has an untold number of weapons at his disposal at any given time, and while he’s not the perfect combat machine he’s still skilled enough to take on just about anyone and come out victorious. While the reputation of stormtroopers isn’t all that great the fact that he walks into their bunker and takes out a squad of them is impressive, especially given that on the way out he’s carrying baby Yoda and trying to keep him safe. Then there’s the fact that even after his ship being looted and after he’s blasted by Jawas he still gets up and goes back to get what he came for. So yes, he had some help with the huge space rhinoceros, yes we’re still calling it that, but he did take a few pretty hard hits from it and was still back up on his feet once it was all said and done. In all honesty, bounty hunters are some of the toughest beings in the Star Wars galaxy and there’s a reason why, they usually go after some of the most dangerous individuals and have to be prepared for almost anything.
There are a great number of hunters in the galaxy at any given time, but the difference between them and the Mandalorian is that a lot of the hunters weren’t raised in a strict warrior culture where fighting is a way of life and survival is the one thing that a person needs to think about at all times. Mandalorians are notoriously tougher than most beings and despite any differences in strength or skill they’re also highly resourceful and can usually work a situation to their advantage given enough of a chance and prep time. Comparing them to the hired guns of the old west is kind of interesting really since some would say that bounty hunters aren’t that different across the genres. Okay, I said it but I don’t know if anyone else said it, even though it’s true in a way. A bounty hunter is someone that operates outside the law but is still somewhat bound by it. The big difference is that a bounty hunter will typically go to extremes that law enforcement agents usually don’t get to experience without serious repercussions. In the Star Wars galaxy bounty hunters act with utter impunity at times apart from when it comes to dealing with their own guild, which is the only law they care about. In westerns bounty hunters still have to rely on the law to get paid for their services, which means that eventually they do have to toe the line and follow the rules now and again. But in both westerns and in Star Wars, the general idea is that when a client says dead or alive, either one is just as good, but the former is sometimes preferred.
So far the Mandalorian has been the perfect bounty hunter, more or less, but like those seen in the old westerns he’s also a much more complicated character than he appears to be at times. He has a big heart though he likely wouldn’t admit it, and he has his own set of morals that he doesn’t seem interested in breaking, even when it leads to conflict. As we’ve seen he’s ready to draw down when he has to, but he’s also ready to help when he feels the need. As Ethan Anderton of SlashFilm might agree, that’s one complicated bounty hunter.