Chances are as a Star Wars fan, you’ve seen the excellent Disney+ series The Mandalorian. It cemented Pedro Pascal as a superstar while providing yet another success for Jon Favreau and is partially responsible for generating work for writer Dave Filoni from now until the end of time. If you’re a fan, you might be excited to learn about a manga adaptation from Yusuke Osawa. If not, this could be your avenue into the series or the Star Wars fandom as a whole, so I’ve taken the chance to review Vol 1 of The Mandalorian: The Manga.
Faithful Adaptation to a Fault
The Mandalorian: The Manga translates well to the pages, with strong artwork from Osawa. The first volume is a breezy read which covers the duration of the show’s first episode. This means we get to see our yet-unnamed Mandalorian’s adventures as he improves his Beskar armor, the fun moments such as him freezing a bounty target into a slab of carbonite, and meeting The Child before he learned his name.
During this story, we see fun moments like IG-11’s introduction and the Mando in action. There’s plenty to enjoy if you’ve not read the series, and it’s admittedly funny to see Brian Posehn’s cameo brought into the manga. However, the series is a faithful adaptation to a fault, feeling less like an extension of the experience and more like a shot-for-shot remake. It could have been a cheekier take on it, and I’m still bothered they never wound up calling it The Mangalorian, but I digress.
The Verdict: Should You Check It Out?
I won’t stop Star Wars fans from buying up copies of it as they’ve settled for far worse over the decades of a franchise with such uneven installments. The Mandalorian: The Manga is almost more fun as an entry point into the franchise instead of the streaming series, but I only say that because if you watch the show, you realize this book doesn’t offer much of anything new aside from strong artwork.
It’s hard to disguise disappointment with this adaptation, a breezy 20-minute read rehashing the first episode. Combine this with the surprising $14.99 price tag for what is essentially an adaptation of one episode, this book should be considered more as merch, as which it will be seen in all likelihood.
This review was made possible by VIZ Media, along with a complimentary copy of Star Wars: The Mandalorian: The Manga, Vol 1, available physically and digitally as of September 12, 2023.
- This article was updated on September 16th, 2023