Born on this day in 1936, in Billstown, Arkansas, singer and musician, Glen Campbell. Campbell was a Wrecking Crew session guitarist, before beginning a successful solo career with numerous hits, including Wichita Lineman and Southern Nights. He also took naturally to acting, starring with John Wayne in True Grit, and Clint Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can.
Nothing could be more exciting to a kid who grew up in the 1970’s than a new entry into the Star Wars saga. It was from that vantage point, that I excitedly waited to watch The Mandalorian.
From Disney, “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.”
While that official description might not elicit excitement in Star Wars fans, the serial itself will. It does play like a futuristic western, and the character of The Mandalorian (played with Clint Eastwood dryness by Pedro Pascal) is humanized far more than the Fetts. In his quest to obtain multiple bounties, he’s warned by Greed Karga not to bite off more than he can chew. Played with weightiness by veteran Carl Weathers, Karga offers up a bounty that must be done off of the books, and the adventure begins.
Created by director Jon Favreau, clearly a fan of A New Hope, this serial puts the viewer back into the worn-out galaxy that Han Solo and Luke Skywalker came from. The future shown isn’t covered in shiny stainless steel and glass, it’s full of underworld miscreants and horrible weather.
In a nutshell, that’s the thrill for me. As a fan himself, Favreau completely understands our need to not only see new Star Wars stories and characters, but the need to escape life for an hour or two and actually go to the places they inhabit. I’m in.