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 second in a series of looks at what you should know (you can check out the first four editions here, here, here, and here):
● Porringer: Small bowl used to serve soup
● Krill: Large, glowing, blue shrimp used on the planet Sorgan to create a drink called spotchka.
● Spotchka: A blue glowing beverage brewed in large, open-air tanks that use krill as the primary ingredient.
● AT-ST Raider: A light bi-pedal walker, All-Terrain Scout Transports have been in use by the Empire since the uprising on Jedha. More agile than their larger, four-limbed AT-AT brothers, these armored vehicles combine armored protection for the pilot and troops inside with speed that the larger AT-AT cannot match.
The version used by Klatoonian raiders to attack the krill farmers on Sorgan was painted in a red and brown pattern that would not have passed muster back before the fall of the Empire. It recaptures some of the menace and creeping horror that these weapons platforms must have represented to the Rebels, partially because of the red lighting used inside head, which shines out through the twin viewports in the front in a way that suggests a the eyes of a predator.
During the Rebellion, this walker was nicknamed “chicken walker” for its ungainly, two-legged stance but it’s hard to imagine calling this more intimidating Raider version by a name that’s so derisive. It’s also notable that The Mandalorian refers to it as “the mech,” which is common usage outside of the Star Wars galaxy when referring to giant robot weapons piloted from inside but not one that’s commonly employed in Star Wars previously.
● The Way of the Mandalore: The named used by the Mandalorian people for their code of conduct. The Armorer says that following The Way is a choice that makes one both hunter and prey, and that one cannot be a coward if one follows The Way. The Way forbids removal of the Mandalorian helmet by choice or force in front of other people.
Those who have it removed are disallowed from wearing it again. The Way also includes a mutual protection pact for all others who choose to follow it. A reverence and use of weapons appears to also be an important part of The Way. Adherents to this code often affirm their commitment to it by a call-and-repeat of the phrase “This is The Way.”