The Mandalorian appears to be the cornerstone of the original programming available at launch on Disney+. Its enticing mix of spaghetti western, epic samurai, and space wizard movies has an undeniable appeal.
The series is the epitome of visual storytelling and almost eschews dialogue. The tight word economy seems to reflect the tough times we find in the galaxy since the fall of the Empire. It feels like the effort to speak more than the bare minimum exacts a real and untenable cost. The amount of screen time devoted to an image of the blank expression on the Mandalorian’s helmet leaves the viewer to divine what he’s thinking from the slightest head tilt rather than a line of dialogue. This quiet feels both brave and patient.
With that said, there still might be a need every now and then – even in a laconic production like The Mandalorian – to offer an explanation of some terms and phrases, so here’s the first in a series of looks at what you should know:
● Beskar: A metal which has always been closely tied to the Mandalorian people. Known alternately as “Mandalorian iron”, it is one of the most resilient metals in the galaxy, able to protect the wearer from normal blaster fire as well as provide some protection against lightsabers. A look at what beskar may mean in The Mandalorian can be found here.
● Camtono: Round portable lockbox for valuables. This object has a rich and storied history outside of the Star Wars universe owing to its beginning in The Empire Strikes Back as a prop carried by an extra who runs by camera during the evacuation of Cloud City. The prop appears to be a small ice cream freezer that is painted white. To provide an explanation for why somebody might be running around with one, it was decided that it was a small lockbox and eventually called a camtono.
● Fob: A small electronic device used by bounty hunters to locate and track their quarry.
● The Great Purge: An attack that presumably took place on Mandalore after the events depicted in Star Wars: Rebels that scattered the Mandalorian people from their home world and that involved at least one very scary Super Battle Droid. The Empire, or at least a remnant thereof, seized beskar from the Mandalorians during the purge.
● Puck: Small round electronic holographic projector used by bounty hunters to visually identify their bounties. It should be noted that the name is likely an addition by executive producer and director Dave Filoni that reflects his love of hockey.