I watched this last night and I have to say that overall, once again, smudger, you did an amazing job. I’m really just in awe of how brilliantly and seamlessly you worked 8 episodes into one movie. So, so well done. OK, I wrote my thoughts down while writing it.
- Fantastic crawl. It was concise, clear, had enough punch and set everything up beautifully.
- I adored how it went from the Star Wars theme to the end of that familiar SW end note after the crawl to The Mandalorian music. BRILLIANT!
- One of the things I like about making a film from a show is that shows have longer scenes that allow characters and beats to breathe and play out (well, good shows do) and you kept that in certain spots. Like in the intro of Cobb Vance. You wisely kept that whole scene as is.
- On the other hand, I would have cut all but the first scene with the Sand People though. The scenes with the bantha sacrifice not happening and the “negotiations” I didn’t feel were needed because we got all the information that basically happened in those scenes in the town meeting scene–and much more emotionally told. (That the Sand People had studied them for generations, and that the town people would be fighting along side them.)
- I understand why you cut the entire Frog Lady adventure, but the random landing thrust not working really did come out of nowhere, and it really does feel like we missed something with nothing happening other than the New Republic pilots coming upon them. I don’t know… that might just be because I know what’s there. Still, the meeting with her and her husband, and then Mando dropping Grogu off to them later held so little resonance as well. So, yeah, I dunno. That’s a tricky one. I had no problem with the dripping Razorcrest in the background, it looked like it could be another ship. I just think maybe adding a few more scenes during the flight of interaction could have helped to give more resonance, I guess. I dunno.
- The tracking device being implanted also comes out of nowhere. I mean, Mando wouldn’t just let anyone touch his ship for no reason. So I kinda wish you’d kept that part in. Or taking out that scene with the tech telling Gideon. Did we really need it? Obviously Gideon has spies everywhere. Then later when Boba mentioned that he tracked Mando that basically made it clear he could be tracked, so Gideon doing so makes perfect sense.
- By the way…how did Mando find out that Gideon was alive?
- As much as I loved all the stuff with Ahsoka, I agree with your cuts. They weren’t necessary for Mando/Grogu’s story. I would have just added one more tiny cut. Since you went straight from the explaining why she can’t train him scene to their last scene, I would have cut her line “I can not train him” after “you’re like a father to him” and before telling him to go to the mountain. I think based on the shots it would have worked seamlessly and not been repetitious since we just had the last scene of her explaining all of why she couldn’t train him.
- Well, re: the above, the explanation of Mando getting the beskar staff is important, though. Hmm… I didn’t remember him getting the spear from the magistrate until he picked it up in the wreckage. I was like what? where? When he picked it up and had to rack my brains trying to figure out where that came from since it was so noticeable and remarked upon. Then I remembered, and of course, it played such a big part later in the fight.
- I have to admit the whole section with Mayfield and that episode doesn’t feel like it’s missing anything at all. So, I got to hand it to you, it’s completely seamless which means, yup, the Mayfield stuff is completely unnecessary in the first film too. Great, great job. (ETA: Erm… more on that later.)
- That repeat of that speech to Gideon that Mando makes verbatim is gone? That part was awesome! I’m really surprised you cut that. (And bummed.)
- So, obviously this was IN the show but the fact that this is all in one “movie” and it’s called Search for the Jedi, it’s SO INCREDIBLY powerful when THE Jedi shows up. I got full body chills, I was grinning from ear to ear, I was more overwhelmed and excited and utterly beside myself watching every single moment with Luke taking out the Dark Troopers than when I first watched it. I was imagining that if this was in a movie how incredible powerful this would be in a theater. People would be hooting and hollaring and going wild.
- In my opinion, I don’t think that Mando not taking his mask off beforehand works. When you told me earlier that by taking it out we get the full impact of him taking it off with Grogu I thought, ‘oh yeah, that’s true.’ The problem is that it’s not played that way on screen at all… as if Din is dealing with this huge thing of taking off his mask for the first time in front of a lot of people, breaking the code, in fact, taking his mask off doesn’t effect him at all, which makes absolutely zero sense for a guy who has made such a huge deal about it for two straight “movies.” And, of course, anyone who watched the show knows why… he already DID do that when he took his mask off the actual first time. It was hugely difficult for him, he did deal with it, and he realized what mattered was Grogu. So him taking off the mask again so Grogu could see his face was why it was emotionally resonating. That was the beat that hit this time. The first time was about Din and his issues. The second time was all about Grogu and their bond. But if you don’t see Din dealing with all of his mask/face revealing issues it leaves this gaping character hole. Which is why the Mayfield stuff kinda has to be included a bit. I wonder how much of that could be included, but trimming a bunch of the ooh! shocks, near-misses, fake-outs, etc. fat to get to the meat. Hmm…
Anyhoo, even with all the few changes I would have made, still, again, OVERALL… just wow, wow, wow. Once again you have done an outstanding job. Kudos, kudos out the ying yang!
Thanks for the review. Some very interesting points.
Removing the Bantha sacrifice could work. It would mean that I could reinstate the Tuskens arriving at Mos Pelgo.
Lots of the Frog lady stuff had to go in the end because of timing. I kept the Republic pilots in to give her and Mando a little more interaction, but that was the best I could do.
Yes the tracking beacon scene isn’t necessarily needed, but it acts as a spacer scene to give a smoother transition between episodes. And there was plenty of time for it to be planted when the Razor was being repaired on Trask.
With regards to Mando finding out that Gideon is alive. It’s implied in the opening crawl that he finds out off screen. This will flow better when V2 of Episode 1 is released which shows Gideon surviving. I had a version where Bo Katan tells Mando that Gideon is alive, but I just couldn’t quite get the dialogue to work.
It was a real shame to cut a lot of the Ashoka stuff, but as you say it didn’t add to the story and in the end was an obvious cut to make. It does remove the Beskar staff origin, but I don’t think it’s needed. You get enough exposition from Boba when Mando pulls it out of the Razor wreckage. We don’t need to know where it came from, we just need to know what it is.
The Mando speech to a Gideon was in right until the end and was a nice spacer scene, but I felt there were too many quick scene cuts in short order, so I cut it.
I agree it would have been better to have the first Mando mask removal in, but that would involve having pretty much the whole episode in there. That would be too much in terms of time and plot.