Like most people who signed up to the brand new streaming service Disney+ this week the very first thing I watched was The Mandalorian.
This is Disney's much hyped new Star Wars show. It's been much hyped because Disney+ doesn't really have anything else new to attract much hype. The key word there being 'new'.
While the nostalgic pull of their wondrous slate of childhood-defining classics mixed with their current-gen pop culture behemoths is strong, there's not a huge amount to see if you've seen those before.
Disney+ does, of course, have a full slate of original shows and movies being pumped down the pipeline but for now the heavy lifting of launching Disney+ is being left to Star Wars and its Mandalorian.
So it's a good thing the force is strong with The Mandalorian. This is the Star Wars show you're looking for. Luke, I am your Mandalorian.
Okay, okay. Not all Star Wars quotes can be shoehorned in here, but my point is that The Mandalorian is the Star Wars thing I've been wanting to watch for decades, and now, after two episodes, I am all in.
Finally! Something entirely new in the Star Wars universe that's not connected to the Skywalkers, their immediate friends, foes or family in any way. This stuff has been explored in novels, comics and video games since forever but onscreen events have either always revolved around characters we know or its had characters we know shoved in as immersion breaking fan service.
The Mandalorian certainly nods to the fans but has so far restrained itself from having a scene where Chewbacca is seen chillin' in the dive bar behind the stoic protagonist or had the droids bicker comically in the background as he walks through the market place.
Instead, the show's set in the wayback end of the universe, far, far away from all the characters we know, love and, let's be honest here, are a little bored of after 40 years...
And while The Mandalorian looks exactly like fan favourite Boba Fett, has the exact same bounty hunter job as Boba Fett and doesn't speak much just like Boba Fett, he is not, I assure you, Boba Fett. Apparently these are just the traits of the Mandalorian people.
Anyway, after taking an off-the-books bounty hunting job ( from none other than acclaimed fatalist documentarian and now Star Wars villain Werner Herzog) the steely Mandalorian finds he has a heart of gold when the bounty turns out to be an adorably cute baby Yoda. Not the Yoda of course - the series is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens so that'd be preposterous! - but it is a baby whatever Yoda is.
The first episode revolves around not-Boba Fett, rescuing not-baby Yoda with the help of the bounty hunting droid not-IG-88. Yes, there's a robot that looks just like fan favourite bounty hunting droid IG-88. But I can assure you it is not because I googled to find out if it was.
The second episode sees our anti-hero tangling with those pesky Jawas. First seen in A New Hope these popular little robed scavengers have stripped the Mandalorian's spaceship for parts stranding him on the dusty planet. What follows is a terrific action-packed scene of the Mandalorian attempting to crack into their wheeled fortress to get said parts back.
So yes, The Mandalorian is set far, far away but it never strays too far from the familiar. Which, ya know, is fine. Its story is entertaining and action-packed, funny at times and dangerous at others, its visuals are often stunning and the use of practical effects gives it a tangible physical quality that you can believe in.
But most importantly it captures that classic Star Wars feel. It's not going to turn people indifferent to the world conquering sci-fi franchise into fans but if you're already into it you'll undoubtedly dig this. And if like me you thought you were getting a little burnt out by the whole thing, well, The Mandalorian really will give you a new hope.