The Mandalorian is the street mixtape we've all wanted for years. Boba Fett and the bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back were that one crew with so much potential that never got their shot to release an album. Sure, we got some posthumous verses from the shadowy Fett when George Lucas added some deleted footage in the '97 special edition, and the other characters lived on as street legends with their stories being told in novels, comics, and cartoons, but we never got that live-action heat you knew they could bring. The Bounty Hunter conglomerate were the most underused supergroup in the universe, and I'd have even settled for a weak spin-off, featuring just Dengar and whoever else needed a paycheck for the holidays (4-Lom maybe?). Eons later, just as Galaxy's Edge enters full-swing at Disney Parks, and the commercial friendly Skywalker Saga is about to end for good on the big screen, this bounty hunter drops a fire mixtape. WHAT? I was so psyched for Episode 9, then suddenly The Mandalorian kicked in the door, waving an amban rifle in the comfort of my own home. IG-88 is resurrected as trigger-happy, 360-motion IG-11, Bossk's crazy brothers stuck out like OG Bossk's feet, and Boba is living through Mando! There's even features from Ugnaughts, power droids, Long Snoot, and Sandcrawler scenes worthy of Bond movies. Real hip-hoppers rejected the shiny-suit era right? The Stormtrooper armor in this series is well-worn, dirty, and grimy. This is like hearing Ghostface over the Barry White break, what else do you need? With red-eyed AT-ST's, Apollo Creed, and the guy that made "Even Dwarfs Started Small," these chapters are harder than Beskar. I know Fett is not of Mandalorian descent, he's just rocking the gear for street cred, and we saw his soft upbringing on Kamino, but there's still similarities to the two, so put your EE-3 down. I bet if Redman could update his "Can't Wait" classic he'd change "I set shit off like Boba Fett" to a Mandalorian vambrace line because this guy is strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark (sorry). I'm still counting the minutes until I can enjoy the major theatrical release "The Rise of Skywalker," and you can bet your last credit I'm banking on the saga finishing strong, but The Mandalorian is scratching all of my Force-sensitive itches that I've struggled with since '83. You know, when you get that one mixtape that's rough and rugged and takes it back to what you loved about the artform? That's the Mandalorian, this is the way.
- Eso // @czarface_eso