#NativeNerd: Taika Waititi Mandalorian finale is the best episode ever

Vincent Schilling

Taika Waititi gives The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda and the Stormtroopers a spin in the season one finale

As a Native Nerd, I have been waiting each week as The Mandalorian makes it’s way to Disney+’s newest live stream platform. Taika Waititi has made serious waves on social media by directing the eighth episode which is the season finale.

The season finale released today has generated a slew of Twitter and other social media trends, to include Taika Watiti, Baby Yoda, The Mandalorian, The Dark Saber and IG-11, the droid voiced by Waititi. Carrie Fisher is also trending because she passed three years ago today.

Waititi has a unique signature in the world of filmmaking that I have come to enjoy. He delves into the seemingly inconsequential human banter that people experience every day. Its as if your friend walks into a room and notices your haircut and gives you a compliment, but doesn’t notice your other friend also got a haircut.

You might get into a conversation about how unfair such a thing could be, and that’s what Taika does, he invests into that banter of the conversation following the situation where one friend gets snubbed and the other tells him or her to get over it.

In a conversation between two scout troopers, one of who hasn’t got to see the baby Yoda, he visibly gets his feelings hurt and overtly tries to manipulate a create excuses to see the child. The other admonishes him and says no. It was hilarious.

Taiki didn’t go too far in introducing humor into the episode, he told a Television Critics Association panel that audiences to Star Wars might not be so forgiving, as the viewers were toward Marvel’s Thor Ragnarok.

He said during the panel, “Star Wars, you know, is just very different to the Marvel style. They know that whatever was set up in the tone of the first films really should be kind of adhered to and that's what the fans like and you can't really disrespect it, I guess, is a nice way of saying it. Can't have too many jokes, but there's a little bit. Definitely my tone is in there, with the dialogue and stuff like that."

In addition to directing the eighth episode, Waititi also has also been voicing the Bounty Hunting droid turned Nurse Droid the IG-11.

The humorous moments are brief but truly enjoyable and Waititi sticks to the Star Wars model. But though I respect his wish to honor the Star Wars fans and franchise model, I personally wouldn’t have minded a little bit of a shakeup. But all said, I have no complaints about the episode, and the Mandalorian finally fought in a way that is living up to his reputation.

The episode is a blast (pun intended) and I loved seeing Giancarlo Espositio, playing Moff Gideon make an appearance. He is one of my favorite actors.

Great stuff Disney, keep it coming.

The Mandalorian’s all eight episodes are available on Disney+

Side note: A special honor today to the late Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia. December 27, 2019 marks three years since her passing.

Native Nerd Phone

Follow the #NativeNerd, Vincent Schilling, associate editor for Indian Country Today and a proud movie reviewer.

Have a film, product or another review request? Email me at vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com or reach out to me on social media, Twitter at @VinceSchilling and Instagram at @VinceSchilling.

Also, follow my Indian Country Today #NativeNerd account on Twitter at @ICTNativeNerd


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