The Mandalorian, Disney+ (5 stars)

The Mandalorian, Disney+

Jon Favreau's space Western breathes new life into the Star Wars universe

Over 40 years after the inception of the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker spelled the end of a tale that began (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away) with a crafty orphan boy wanting to pick up some power converters from Tosche Station. The franchise may have directed its live-action storytelling away from the Force-using family with Rogue One and Solo, but the safety-net of fan-favourite characters and iconic moments guaranteed some level of interest.

The Mandalorian, on the other hand, is a completely new and fresh venture. Carrying the responsibility of launching a brand new streaming service on its shoulders with a character that most non-hardcore fans would respond to with 'is that Boba Fett?', the series has a lot to live up to. And who better to start this new Star Wars story than Jon Favreau, the man responsible for kickstarting the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The first episode does not take long to set the tone of exactly what The Mandalorian is about. A fantastic soundtrack by award-winning composer Ludwig Göransson transports you right into the gunslinging mood, as the titular Mandalorian tracks down a bounty to a trouble-filled bar after the Empire's fall. This man of few words is skilfully brought to life by Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal, who infuses this mystery man with a complexity that shines through his Beskar helmet.

The cast of characters surrounding the Mandalorian is diverse and well-developed (with a hilarious cameo by Taika Waititi and a more than adorable 'Child'), filling up a visually impressive world of stunning scenery. Intense gunfighting scenes are expertly balanced with well-timed comedic relief, which will be more than familiar to fans of both Star Wars and Favreau. Free from the confines of lightsabers and Force debacles, The Mandalorian is a welcome breath of fresh air in a galaxy that has had so much to offer for decades. The Skywalkers might have finished their last chapter, but Star Wars has just found a worthy successor.

Episodes watched: 2 of 8

The Mandalorian is available on Disney+, Tuesday 24 March.