The Mandalorian Episode 1 Recap: A Bounty Hunter Walks Into a Bar….

The Mandolorian Walks Into a Bar
(inverse.com)

I love Star Wars, and dads love Star Wars, but it wasn’t until the end of the first-ever episode of the first-ever live-action show set in our favorite galaxy far, far away that I had a concrete reason to cover Disney+’s flagship show for The Dad. We’ll get to that in a bit, but first, let’s cover our bases by slapping a big ole’ Spoiler Warning on this here piece of content. Since I wasn’t thinking we’d do this when the show premiered, I was…not prepared for this column at first. So this article will cover the first episode, immediately followed by a recap of chapter two here. I’ll have coverage of the rest of the episodes as they release. 

Chapter One:

Meet The Mandalorian. He’s a Mandalorian. On a mission to collect a bounty on Blue Horatio Sanz, he has to rescue his mark from some standard-issue scum and villainy first. The two quickly head back to The Mandolorian’s ship, the Razor’s Crest, which is no Moldy Crow, but I’ll take it. (CAST ME AS KYLE KATARN, DISNEY+ YOU COWARDS).

The opening sequence of the show establishes two things: First, this show will capture the much-coveted “dark and gritty” tone in the Star Wars universe, and #2: they bein’ silly. Brian Posehn shows up as a Star Wars Uber driver, but his landspeeder is immediately eaten by a monster. It’s a comic beat for sure, followed by the second action sequence in the first ten minutes of the show. Despite the “Spaghetti Western” influence, a lot of things happen very fast in The Mandalorian.

Once we get into space, Blue Horatio Sanz is quickly frozen in carbonite after finding the first toilet ever seen in Star Wars. If it sounds like a lot is going on, brace yourself cause we just got started. The Mandalorian meets with his guild rep, Carl Weathers, who only has Empire credits to offer as bounty for former SNL cast members. The Empire is about 5 years done at this point, so the exchange rate there is less than ideal. To compensate, Carl says “Go talk to Werner Herzog, he’s a weird asshole with an under-the-table job and possible existential crisis for you.” 

Werner turns out to be an Imperial. Perhaps a disgraced Grand Moff like Peter Cushing’s Tarkin or something similar. There’s a squad of dinged up stormtroopers that add nice weight and texture to what’s going on. With little spoken exposition about what the galaxy has been up to since Return of the Jedi, we still get plenty of information if you pay attention. Werner and his goon squad don’t reveal what they’re up to – just that they will pay in a Super Special Metal™  for a special bounty, alive or dead. Werner suggests that it’s time to put things in the galaxy back to order, in very Werner fashion. In the grand scheme of Star Wars, I’m very curious if we’ll see the seeds for the First Order planted in this series. 

Before heading out on his mission, Mando takes his new Super Special Metal™  to his Mandalorian village, where it gets turned into a shiny new shoulder pad. What’s awesome is that we learn everything about our boy’s motivations. He’s not just Boba Fett clone, he’s fighting to help rebuild his tribe. If you follow director Daven Filoni’s previous Star Wars work, you know that Mandalorians are tribal warriors who got the shit end of a lot of deals; learning that our protagonist is working in service to a higher cause sets him up for a hard choice at the end of the episode, and (deep breath) makes him way more interesting than Boba Fett ever was *ducks from various tomatoes and furniture thrown at me.*  

We get flashes of a traumatic event from Mando’s childhood, and I honestly hope we never hear more about his past. The whole mystery box structure, where a character’s backstory is the main dramatic question doesn’t serve the immediate nature of Star Wars or spaghetti westerns. I think people forget that Vader being Luke’s dad wasn’t a big deal just because it was a reveal, it mattered because that reveal meant Luke couldn’t kill the bad guy, which is a tough pickle to have at the climax of a movie. Star Wars is best when its problems are rooted in the moment.

About halfway into the episode, Mando heads to some planet to get his job going. If I have one criticism of the show so far, it’s that while the locations are gorgeous, the planets themselves are lacking some personality. “Third Planet In The Hoth System.” “Forest Moon of Endor.” Let’s get some fun geography here, The Mandalorian.

Once on the ground, we meet Ugnaught Nick Nolte who teaches our hero to ride a Frog Dragon in a cool sequence that shows the resiliency of the Mandolorian and gives a bit more setup to their whole “be stubborn” way of life. Essentially this sequence is a lead up to Ugnaught Nolte showing Mando the bad guy’s lair, which is right out of a Clint Eastwood movie. Our hero reluctantly teams up with a droid bounty hunter, IG-Taika Watiti to take out the oddly huge band of generic bad guys. This is the money sequence of the show, and it’s a shame they showed it in the trailers, even though I get it. If you created IG-88 way back in 1980, seeing that character design in action like this must be as satisfying as a cold beer after a freshly mowed lawn. Maybe a smidge more, even.

The episode ends with our bounty bois finding what all this commotion has been about – a Baby Yoda! He’s not Yoda, I know, but his name is still Baby Yoda, I don’t care if the show ever says otherwise. IG-Taika Waititi wants to kill the lil’ bub, but not on The Mandolorean’s watch. With an ice-cold pull of the trigger, our hero makes the choice to become a dad (and give me the opportunity to write about Star Wars for work.) The faceless warrior reaches out to the innocent child. Perhaps things won’t be put back in order quite so soon, after all, Moff Herzog.

Blaster Fire:

  • If dads everywhere don’t start saying “I have spoken” to get their kids to do chores, what are we even doing here? Try with your wife to suffer a 10,000-year painful death, though.
  • I’m so disappointed that we only get one episode of IG-Taika Waititi. The Thor: Ragnarock director showed great comedic acting chops as Korg, and more recently as Imaginary Hitler in his latest film, JoJo Rabbit. It’s a real shame we won’t see him get to play with this restrained character more.
  • The fan service is almost obnoxious at first. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing Cthulhu Chin Boys, Long Snout Dudes, and the Eyeball Door Knocker Guy* too, but the whole thing with Star Wars was that it was a sprawling galaxy of infinite creatures and gizmos. I get that people like seeing their favorites, and Filoni and Favreau are nailing it, but it does remind me how much I appreciate the new movies for not just playing the hits in the design department.

If you’re all caught up, check out The Dad’s recap of The Mandalorian Chapter Two: The Child. New episodes drop every Friday, and I’ll be recapping them in a much more timely fashion here on out. 

Get Disney+ for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

*Yes, I know what Quarrens, Kubazes, and TT-8L/YZ Gatekeeper Droids are, I have all the Essential Guides To Star Wars Bullshit, do not come at me.

I have spoken.

Baby Confused By His Father’s Twin

NFL Star Pays off $80k in Holiday Layaway Accounts at Hometown Walmart

Khalil Mack Pays off Layaway Debt
(Getty/Quinn Harris)

Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack recently played hometown Santa when he paid off all the layaway items at a Walmart in Florida. Hundreds of families will have a happier Christmas as the Pro Bowler’s gift totaled nearly $80,000. The store tweeted about the heartwarming gesture.

“We have some wonderful News! If you have an active Holiday Layaway account at your local Ft. Pierce Wal-Mart, your account has been paid off! We here at Walmart would like to thank the Khalil Mack Foundation for your generosity, and for making so many families happy for the holidays!”

The Khalil Mack foundation approached the Walmart with interest in brightening the holidays for the community as a “secret santa”, which, admittedly, lost a lot of its secrecy when the store openly tweeted about it. Still, it’s a baller move to bring some Christmas joy to his community.

Mack, a former defensive player of the year and Pro Bowl regular, is a terrifying presence on the field, as he destroys offensive lines on the reg.

But it’s his big heart that’s earning him praise now. Mack has always been a big supporter of his community, as just earlier this year he donated cleats to everyone on the football team at his former high school.

Tis the season for heartwarming gestures from pro athletes, as this move comes just weeks after one star paid thousands to clear a middle school’s lunch debt.

Keanu Day: The Matrix 4 and John Wick 4 Share Same Release Date

Keanu Sequel Day
(Warner Bros./Lionsgate)

Keanu Reeves is having a resurgence over the past few years, and his apex is on the horizon, as we finally have a release date for the much-awaited Matrix sequel: May 21, 2021. Oh, and we also have a release date for the next installment of his beloved John Wick franchise and it is…May 21, 2021.

That’s right, the spring weekend will feature an epic Keanu v. Keanu box office showdown. Many have already started to call it “Keanu Day”, as the two mammoth titles will hit theaters at the exact same time.


In fairness, Keanu Reeves is the only actor who could compete with a Keanu Reeves opening. And while opening against a huge movie may be seen as a deterrent, it could actually help both films in this case as folks go out of their way to hit both.

It’s not yet clear which film would garner the bigger opening weekend. The Matrix 4 is a sequel to a beloved franchise, and there’s bound to be more than a healthy dose of nostalgia involved. And while some of the enthusiasm for the film may be tempered by the first lackluster sequels (2 and 3 both left fans dissatisfied), it’s hard to see how this could go wrong.

And you can’t sleep on John Wick 4 either, as that franchise doesn’t have any nostalgia factor, but does have a strong ass-kicking factor, one that has propelled it to strong box office openings. Case in point, John Wick 3 was the film that finally knocked Avengers Endgame out of the top spot at the box office.

It is possible that one of the films may change their release date, but for now, maybe block off the entire weekend for one giant Keanu celebration.

If you can’t wait for some Keanu content, check out how one artist worked him into the lives of every Disney Princess or check him out in the SpongeBob trailer.

Pringles Teams up with Rick and Morty for Limited Edition Pickle Rick Flavor

Pickle Rick Pringles
(Kellogg's/Adult Swim)

Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” cartoon is sort of like a bizarro Back to the Future based around a degenerate scientist and his idiot grandson as they have existential science-fiction adventures. It’s absurd and brilliant and intensely loved by its fans, so much so that an episode that referenced McDonald’s long-discontinued Szechuan dipping sauce provoked people into doing strange things to try and revive the item.

Now Pringles is releasing a new flavor based on the popular Rick and Morty episode Pickle Rick, in which Rick, the aforementioned degenerate scientist, accidentally transforms himself into a pickle. The episode features the often-drunk, extremely callous grandpa using all of his wits and resourcefulness to escape pickle bondage (in the most violent and grotesque manner possible).

The new flavor will only be available for a limited time, early next year, in a promotional tie in with the Super Bowl.

“We want to do something completely new for the brand for the 2020 Big Game and are thrilled to be partnering with Adult Swim and Rick and Morty, a show which continues to grow in popularity year after year and enjoys a cult fan following,” said Pringles senior director of marketing Gareth Maguire. “We hope the new special edition Pickle Rick flavour will be a hit with the show’s fans.”

I’m sure it will be. Hopefully, it won’t cause riots! Adult Swim seems confident in the partnership.

“We’re very thoughtful about who we partner with around Rick and Morty and we couldn’t be more pleased with our new relationship with Pringles,” said Adult Swim senior vice president for marketing and partnerships Jill King.

“Not only are the Rick and Morty show creators making a hilarious spot for the Big Game, we’re extending this partnership in really exciting ways, all year long. Rick and Morty fans are going to be given amazing new opportunities to illustrate their love for this iconic show, thanks to Pringles.”

It’s a very smart, and very unhinged show, and the actions of some of its more intense fans shouldn’t be held against it.

Nor should the taste of these potato chips, unless Pringles goes all out to make them taste anything like actual Pickle Rick would. Because that’s just nasty.

You Asked For a Miracle, I Give You a ‘Die Hard’ Christmas Pop-Up Bar

Die Hard Pop up Bar
(The Sixth Bar)

Welcome to the party, Chicago! The rest of the country won’t be joining you for the rest of their lives.

Sorry. I’m just jealous that I don’t live in the Windy City, because this time of year, my wife drags me around to countless holiday-based activities and events here in NYC. The tree at Rockefeller Center, Santa at Macy’s, the ice rink in Bryant Park, various terrible Christmas-themed pop-up bars and shops. Meanwhile, there’s finally a pop-up bar that I want to go to and it’s halfway across the country!

The Sixth, a bar on 2200 Lawrence Avenue in Chicago, has turned itself into Yippie-Ki-Yay, a Die Hard themed bar complete with Die Hard themed drinks, and it will stay that way until the end of the year. What better place to ring out 2019 than in a rooftop bar covered in broken glass! (I assume that’s the situation, again, I live thousands of miles away.)

According to Block Club Chicago, the bar will be decorated in 80s Christmas style, which means lots of garish gold and glittery decorations, and will be festooned with props and custom artwork related to the greatest action movie of all time.

The cocktails were inspired by events and quotes from the film, focusing on beloved characters like John McClane, Hans Gruber, Sgt. Al Powell, Holly Gennaro McClane, and Argyle the limo driver. And if there isn’t some kind of Twinkie-based dessert, well, we’re gonna need some new bar manager guys.

Here’s the full cocktail list:

Adam Sandler Wants an Oscar for ‘Uncut Gems’ or He’ll Make a Bad Movie

Uncut Gems
(YouTube/A24)

If you’ve seen The Ridiculous Six, Jack and Jill, Grown Ups, Bulletproof, The Cobbler, Mixed Nuts, The Do-Over, or Blended – you probably think you’ve seen Adam Sandler at his worst. But don’t test the man.

Love him or hate him, Sandler is one of the biggest comedic movie stars of the past 25 years. The SNL alum has been churning out movies for the better part of 3 decades, and while not everyone is a classic, most of them have been successful. Even his latest Netflix movie, Murder Mystery, allegedly did huge numbers for the streaming service, despite the fact that even his biggest fans probably wouldn’t consider it among his best work.

The fact is, Sandler’s persona has remained largely unchanged for his entire career, even when he – and his audience – grew up, he stayed firmly ensconced in the juvenile man-child space. He was astute enough to shift towards child-friendly stuff like his Grown Ups movies and the Hotel Transylvania franchise, but his best comedic days appear to be behind him. His best dramatic days, however, may still be here.

Over the years he’s given his dramatic chops a-go in a handful of well-received movies, like Punch-Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign O’er Me, Netflix’s The Meyerowitz Stories, and, this Oscar season, Uncut Gems.

The gritty thriller from the Safdie Brothers may be Sandler’s most intense role yet, and it’s already getting Oscar buzz. So much buzz, in fact, that Sandler is uncharacteristically making the rounds to promote the movie. And, at least half-seriously, making it clear that he would love to get nominated.

OR ELSE.

In an appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius, he said that getting nominated for Uncut Gems would be “a funny big thing” and that he’d go all-out to campaign for it, i.e., he’d actually attend the ceremony in a tux, instead of a tracksuit. Then he got down to business, threatening Oscar voters, moviegoers, and Netflix subscribers everywhere with some extreme consequences should his role as an over-leveraged, gambling-addicted diamond broker go unnoticed by the Academy.

He told shock jock Stern that if he doesn’t win an Oscar, he’s “going to f—ing come back and do [a movie] that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That’s how I get them.”

Given that many of us regret spending money on Mr. Deeds, back when Sandler was supposedly aspiring to make something worthwhile, the prospect of him intentionally striving to make something terrible should have us all quaking in our boots.

Or at least switching over to Disney+.

Walmart Apologizes for Cocaine Santa Christmas Sweater, Things Get Ugly

Cocaine Santa Sweater
(Walmart Canada)

It’s hard to introduce a new element to something as rigid as the holiday season and see it really take hold. One tradition that has brought some levity to December: the ugly Christmas sweater.

The ugly sweater phenomena traces its roots to the 1980s and Bill Cosby (yikes), but it’s only within the last decade-plus that ugly Christmas sweaters have earned a prominent place on the fringes of the Holiday Party Season. The craze has resulted in an influx in specialty Christmas sweaters, but you can go too far, which is what Walmart learned when they had to apologize for their sweater featuring (checks notes)…Santa in front of a table of cocaine.

The sweater has an excitable yet crazed Santa is shown in front of a table featuring clear lines of “snow”, along with the expression “Let It Snow”. OK, so, that couuuuld be ambiguous, right? Maybe we all just have sick minds and are jumping to conclusions. Let’s check the product description to find some redeeming counterarguments.

“The best snow comes from South America” ok welp, end of argument. If you need more, there’s this: “santa likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A snow from Colombia.” It even goes on to say “he packs it in perfect lines on his coffee table and then takes a big whiff to smell the high quality aroma of the snow.” I mean, all that’s missing is giant font spelling out “YOU KNOW THIS IS COCAINE, RIGHT???”

Walmart apologized for the sweater, and blamed it on a third party seller and that it does not represent “their values.”

Now the government of Columbia is threatening to sue Walmart.

“The Walmart sweater is an offense to the country,” said Camilo Gómez Alzate, director of Colombia’s National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State, according to the Washington Post and El Tiempo. “It generates damage to the legal products of Colombia and damage to the country’s reputation. Although Walmart apologized, the damage was done.”

The agency is asking Walmart to pay monetary damages. If Walmart fails to comply, they plan to file a lawsuit.

Either way, you’ll have to get your cocaine Santa elsewhere now (try Kohl’s).

8-Month-Old Can’t Stop Giggling When Meeting His Hero, Chewbacca

Lil Chewie Meets His Hero
(Rachel Herrholz)

The best part about Star Wars is that there’s something that most people can appreciate—rich character arcs, badass villains, and otherworldy droids and weapons.

But Chewbacca… Chewbacca is for everyone. Man or woman, young or old, human or otherwise – you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love that big walking carpet. Even someone as young as 8-months-old can’t keep their cool around him, as shown by a recent viral video.

“Lil Chewie” was visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World Resort, Florida with his grandparents, Rachel and Eric Herrholz, when he finally met his hairy hero. Sporting his own Chewbacca apparel, the little boy was totally tickled while the famed Wookiee co-pilot playfully grunted and poked at him.

“This was Lil Chewie’s first visit with Chewbacca. We dressed him in a Chewbacca outfit, and Eric wore a Han Solo shirt,” said Rachel, regarding her Facebook video, which has since been viewed over 2 million times. “We were not expecting him to react the way he did. Chewbacca came over to get us.

“Next thing I know, I heard him laughing. I looked up and he was belly-laughing. Chewbacca was just as excited. I started to record. I was amazed and I wished his Mom and Dad were with us.”

(Rachel Herrholz)

The adorable interaction took place in the ‘Star Wars Launch Bay,’ an attraction where park-goers experience “immersive exhibits of costumes, models, concept artwork and actual movie props” as well as a meet-and-greet with Chewie himself.

“I am blessed that my grandson can make people smile and bring them happiness in this world we live in,” Rachel added.

I’m pretty sure any world with more Chewbacca in it is going to be happier, overall.

12 of Our Best Dads Jokes (Memes) of November

Our Best Memes of the Month

Nothing is more dad than laughing at your own jokes. Here are our 12 personal favorites from last month. (Actually as voted by you, based on Facebook engagement.)

1. 20/80 Rule

2. Adventurous Eaters

3. Morning Person

4. Change the Channel

5. Didn’t Do My Research

6. This IS Christmas Music

7. Suspect Has Been ID’d

8. Careers

9. Yelling Match

10. Origins of Cool

11. Ooops

12. Curtains

Check out last month’s top memes here.