Tag Archive: The Mandalorian


In addition to some Disney content previewed here yesterday in our mega-sized Trailer Park of previews, Disney revealed another half hour of previews this weekend for its annual D23 Expo, the event where it revs up its various fan bases with teases of what’s coming next.  One preview for Season 3 of The Mandalorian might just give you chills, as “baby Yoda” Grogu and his “dad” partner to become the Lone Wolf and Cub-inspired duo they were meant to be.  If you want proof time flies, think back to the very first time you saw Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury back in 2008 in Iron Man.  He has been the anchor of the MCU ever since, and the unique vibe of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s very cinematic appearing trailer for the Secret Invasion series will give fans of the very first Marvel movies something to get excited about all over again.  In news of the weird, the MCU is bring over its 1950s Werewolf by Night into something new for Disney+.

Back to Star Wars, Lucasfilm is pulling in an Expanded Universe/Legends title to fill in the blanks of the movies via the animated series Tales of the Jedi.  And more goosebumps are in order with another trailer for Andor, which brings Mon Mothma and Saw Gerrera full circle–and it looks awesome.  As a reminder that Lucasfilm isn’t only about Star Wars, Disney previewed a bigger look at the Willow series.  But that’s not all, we also have a trailer for a new National Treasure series, a Percy Jackson series, and a new Tim Allen Santa Clause movie.

Kick back–nine more trailers await ye.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The seventh Firefly novel has arrived at last, this time from a newer voice in the sci-fi genre, M.K. England, author of the great Guardians of the Galaxy: No Guts, No Glory (reviewed here), one of the more humorous and faithful tie-ins we’ve covered lately.  England’s latest is Firefly: What Makes Us Mighty, the latest episode in novel form of the short-lived Firefly series, which takes the crew of Serenity on another job, another cargo run, to another planet with quirky folk whose lifestyle mirrors something from Earth of the Past.  As with some of the better novels in the series, this story revisits the best of what Browncoats loved about the show.  It also does something much needed after all these years: It finally allows characters some room for expansion and growth.  England delivers a steady, slower paced journey, but it has all that space Western charm of Joss Whedon’s series, with Whedon back as consulting editor.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s full of concept artwork, poster art, and photographs from Chapters 9-12 of The Mandalorian–and it has page after page of the galaxy’s favorite green, long-eared sidekick.  It has a long title–Star Wars Insider Presents: Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season Two Collectors Edition Vol. 1and it’s a worthy look at the first part of the Disney+ series’ second season.  As with the past editions from the first season (discussed here and here), it has more mock-ups of Topps trading cards, and more beasts, planets, ships, battles, armor, and characters.  It’s available now in a glossy paperback magazine format here at Amazon.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

If you agree with us that the biggest landmark in the visual representation of futurism in science fiction over the last several years was Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow, Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and Netflix’s Altered Carbon, then you might also see something similarly new and refreshing–and yet new and different–happening with the new Paramount+ series Halo As I described it last month here at borg, Halo’s first episode was a dense set-up of a series opener, establishing the world building, the opposing factions and key characters in this new universe extracted from the video game franchise.  But the series’ second episode, titled “Unbound,” doesn’t miss a beat in showing viewers an even more layered science fiction story is in play, with plenty of visual surprises.

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After much speculation about this summer’s big Star Wars event–the return of Ewan McGregor in a painfully short six-episode mini-series for Disney+ titled simply Obi-Wan Kenobi–the first teaser-trailer for the series reveals Lucasfilm’s decision to lean hard on the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith.  This is the still blonde, 50-year-old Kenobi shortly after the prequels as opposed to the wise old Jedi wizard portrayed by gray-haired Alec Guinness at age 63.  If you were a fan of the prequels and the animated Star Wars Rebels, this seems made for you, as the music and characters new to the live-action side of the franchise are firmly seated in that source material.  From John Williams’ score from The Phantom Menace to the Inquisitors from Star Wars Rebels, there’s a lot to wrap your head around, but it’s clear this is going to be a dark, bleak look at the franchise, complete with a villain that looks like he was plucked from Hellraiser.

We finally got to see Luke Hamill as Luke Skywalker in full Jedi mode in The Mandalorian and Darth Vader saber-waving in Rogue One, will we finally get to see Obi-Wan let loose on the Empire?

Check out this first look at Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

This year on January 1 I reviewed the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett, the show about the Star Wars bounty hunter’s return, 38.5 years in the making.  The series’ first season had a bit of a tepid start, but over the next six episodes Star Wars fans learned what was happening.  This was never intended to be a separate series, but the third season of a Boba Fett/Mandalorian hybrid, Saturday morning Western serial like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas created with Raiders of the Lost Ark.  This may be Disney’s best amusement park ride yet.  Maybe it would have made more sense to some if it were called some Western title like Star Wars: The Outcasts and didn’t have those two separate titles.  Criticisms of this season have all been like that, all of it form over substance (or maybe it’s just people who forgot to have fun).  In my first review I identified what I thought the series needed to do in its next six episodes.  So how did they (and I) do?

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You haven’t yet seen the best of the concept artwork behind the Star Wars series The Mandalorian Fans of the series saw the first swath of those images in the eye candy-filled first season look at the artwork behind the series in The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian–Season One, which we reviewed here at borg.  Coming next month you’ll get to see the inspiration behind the return of Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker in the series, and the first live-action appearances of Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan, all found in the pages of Abrams Books’ The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian–Season TwoIt’s now available for pre-order here at Amazon.

The library of books, which feature the most thorough of the franchise’s chronicles of the films (in The Art of The Force AwakensThe Art of Rogue OneThe Art of The Last JediThe Art of SoloThe Art of The Rise of Skywalker, in The Art of The Mandalorian: Season One and even a look at the Earthbound destination in The Art of Galaxy’s Edge), repeatedly makes our end of year “Best of” lists.  Take a look inside the latest book in the series below.

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It’s been another long year of great entertainment.  It’s time for the ninth annual round of new honorees for the borg Hall of Fame.  We have several inductees from 2021 films and television – 16 in all, new borgs or updated variants of past members, bringing the borg Hall of Fame total to 281.

You can always check out the updated borg Hall of Fame on our home page under “Know your borg.”

Some reminders about criteria.  Borgs have technology integrated with biology Wearing a technology-powered suit alone doesn’t qualify.  Tony Stark aka Iron Man was named an honoree because the Arc Reactor kept him alive, not because of his incredible tech armor.  The Spider-Man suit worn by Tom Holland is similar to Tony’s, but it’s not integrated with Peter Parker’s biology.

Also, if the creators tell us the characters are merely robots, automatons, or androids (as in Westworld, and as in the Synths of Star Trek: Picard, and the new Dark Troopers of The Mandalorian), we take their word for it.  Again, integration is key, but in the Hall, once a member, always a member.  

So let’s get on with it.  Who’s in for 2021?

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the-mandalorian-chapter-14-baby-yoda- Simplicity baby Yoda

It’s been a year since the airing of Season 2 on Disney+ of the first episodes of The Mandalorian.  As they say, “better late than never.”  That applies to a round of craft patterns released this week for the first time by Simplicity, the pattern making company that has been making all sorts of clothes, craft, and utility item patterns for nearly a century.  Although crafters have been making and selling items in places like Etsy and eBay, these are the officially licensed plans to make your own Baby Yoda aka The Child aka Grogu.  Or make your kid into Baby Yoda.  Or carry Baby Yoda–or the Mandalorian logo or helmet image–around town on a snazzy laptop bag and be the envy of your co-workers.  The plush Baby Yoda evokes the plush Chewbacca and R2-D2 toys from the 1970s released for the original Star Wars.  They are definitely cute, and no doubt will be fun to make.  Check out the new product tie-ins for The Mandalorian from Simplicity below.

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luke cage

Ten years!  That’s ten years reviewing TV series in the decade that streaming services began to dominate TV viewing– and binge-watching was born as Netflix began releasing entire seasons at once in 2013.  How do you pick the best series?  As with yesterday’s list of movie recommendations, our theory from the very first day of publishing borg has been reviewing only those things we like, things we think are fun, imaginative, or just plain cool—because if we think they’re cool, maybe you will, too.  What makes a great TV series?  Great writing—great storytelling.  Also we looked to difficulty level and technology innovation—TV productions tend to get a fraction of the budget of big-screen features, so what they do with their time and money is critical, and some television series in the past decade were all-out feats.  The third factor we looked to is re-watchability—we’ll be watching the best series for years to come.  The big difference between ranking movies and TV is the change between seasons, that force that inevitably causes most shows to decline with each season.  So consistency is a factor.  Finally, as with movies the most important factor is the fun—why would you devote so many hours of your valuable time if you’re not going to have a great time?

Manda

One more thing: Ten years is a long time so we narrowed the series we’re including to those recommendations that fall primarily within the ten-year window.  We covered several fantastic, re-watchable series that cemented their status in reruns or syndication, many beginning before borg began publishing and finishing in the years after, including Burn Notice, White Collar, Warehouse 13, Leverage, House, MD, In Plain Sight, and three landmarks among the best pop culture-packed series of all time, Chuck, Psych, and Community.  We were disappointed that some of the best series were canceled and left to only a single season, otherwise they may have gone on to fare better against our top recommendations, shows like Jason Isaacs’ psychological police procedural Awake, Sarah Shahi’s all-for-fun Fairly Legal, Lauren Cohan’s action/spy series Whiskey Cavalier, the Doctor Who spin-off Class, the adaptation of Max Allan Collins’ popular noir novel series Quarry, the slick animated series Tron: Uprising, and the cyborg future-world Almost Human starring Karl Urban, to name a few.

Grimm

So here are the Top 40 series we recommend, spanning 2011 to 2021.  These are our favorites.  How should you use lists like this?  If you like what we talk about at borg, you’re probably going to like these shows.  If you’ve missed any, odds are you have some new series to take a look at.  Let’s start at #40 and move our way to #1.  As with everything borg, we’re stressing genre series.  Title links are to one of our previous borg reviews.

Let’s get started!

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