The Mandalorian: The Complete First Season – Steelbook (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Disney+ television shows roll out to the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray continues with the exciting dive into their Star Wars programming. And no better place than to star than with The Mandalorian. And not just the first season, they’ll be doing both seasons in steelbook packaging, complete with art cards, Atmos sound and a pair of never before seen featurettes for them. In this review, we’ll be looking at the first season of the show. You can order yourself a copy to own by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows after the review.



After the fall of the Galactic Empire, lawlessness has spread throughout the galaxy. A lone gunfighter makes his way through the outer reaches, earning his keep as a bounty hunter.

The Mandalorian’s first season, beyond the show itself, served as a very important asset for a whole myriad of reasons. First of which, it was the television show used to the launch the Disney+ streaming service. This flagship show was the centerpiece of bringing excitement and subscribers to the new application. It also bucked the popular trend of dumping the entire season on a single day. The Mandalorian opted for the classic format of dropping episodes week to week on a specific date and time. A smart move, as the show was a constant source of excited discussion across articles and social media for a few months, rather than just a hot weekend. Once again, appointment viewing was shown to be a more proven way, and I’m sure kept subscribers longer than just the on/off to see it. Bingers would also be there once the show completed the season.

Another aspect of the show was that it actually ran concurrent with a Star Wars film in theaters. The Rise Of Skywalker was released during the latter part of the season and they linked up with a storytelling aspect. However, the important thing was how well The Mandalorian was being received and the consensus of it being quality programming helped to balance the disappointing film that was running in theaters at the time. Now, it is yet to be seen if The Mandalorian was the start of taking away the “special” of Star Wars and making it something people would rather catch on TV than get off the couch to see in an auditorium. But, time hopefully will tell us.

In the first season, you sort of get exactly what many have asked for from Star Wars in a long while – getting away from it all. The Mandalorian’s first outing truly lies in the outskirts from things that may be more of the “main” line in the story. The entire season is full of brand new characters, in a “new” world, with a new agenda. It feels fresh and it feels very much like its own thing that is taking place in a world we are all familiar with. It plays with toys that have been left around and makes additions and alterations that feel naturally evolved. Sure, we follow around a hero that never takes the mask off, who is co-starring with a puppet and they may or may not having genuine humans sharing the screen with them in an episodes, but that’s sort of something you could do and test with science fiction/fantasy. A cartoon or comic truly come to life in a sense. I’ve long been one that has begged for them to please trust a movie where Transformers are the actual lead characters in the…Transformers!…movies, so I admire the testing out here.

An aspect of Star Wars that attracted me so much to the Disney era films of The Last Jedi and Rogue One is the adherence to Kurosawa/Samurai movies and World War II inspired spacecraft and weaponry. The Mandalorian also carries that baton. Sure, there is absolutely a Western influence here (Which many of those were inspired by Samurai movie as well). The way of the Mandalorian people as well as the riff on Lone Wolf And Cub really hit it home here and inform both the adventures and character motivations. And those adventures feel very much a “bounty contract of the week” type procedural while loosely carrying an overarching story of villainy seeking and coming for “The Child”.

Star Wars has always been known for pushing the technological envelope in the film world. While it was a divisive experiment, I applauded Rogue One for its digital recreations of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher to use their characters in that film. I considered it a sort of “heat check” in terms of where we were in producing it in a believable way for the film. Years later, has my mind changed on that? Surely. Now, The Mandalorian won’t use that exact technology until the next season, but it did innovated and change the realm of film and television with its use of “The Volume”. For this first season, it was a magnificent magic trick and none of us had any idea it was going on until they pulled back the curtain in their documentaries on making the episodes. Now that we’ve been told, we all look for it and can kind of tell when its used in projects, but for this one season, it was quite a marvel.

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were put an a giant pedestal by Star Wars fandom after this first season of The Mandalorian, and its pretty easy to see why. Though very safe and simple, they and their eclectic group of directors fashioned something very true to itself that fit like a glove in the world of Star Wars and allowed itself to play in its own rules and give us different looks at different adventures. It wasn’t worried about how exactly it would touch base or fit in with everything that had come before or after or which known characters should stop in and say hello for an episode. It was crafting a new world within a world and there is still a fresh, relaxed, easy going sense to it all even now when returning to it.


1. Chapter 1: The Mandalorian
2. Chapter 2: The Child
3. Chapter 3: The Sin
4. Chapter 4: Sanctuary
5. Chapter 5: The Gunslinger
6. Chapter 6: The Prisoner
7. Chapter 7: The Reckoning
8. Chapter 8: Redemption


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are studio promotional images, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/DetailThe Mandalorian: The Complete First Season comes with a noticeably dark and refined transfer on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. This helps for a nice contrast with some of the more vivid and vibrant colors. There is a strong sense of fine detail and sharpness to the image. Much of The Volume material holds up and holds shape with the reality of the actors/props in front of it.

Depth:  Depth of field is pretty strong with some nice open and big feeling imagery on display. Scale is quite impressive for a TV show. Motion is cinematic and smooth with no issues regarding motion blur or jitter during the action sequences.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and natural with terrific shadowing, nighttime and darkened ship interior sequences. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors do have some boldness to them. Its a very used, dirty, worn, rusted out and desert look to most of the show, so nothing is meant to pop. Though some alien skin tones, fabrics and the like do stand out and above. HDR helps too with glowing on blaster bolts, lasers, engine fire, explosions, planets in space and more.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the season. Facial features and textures on both human and make-up/puppet work are clear as day.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: The Mandalorian: The Complete First Season features a very refined and thought out Atmos track. The volume is set a little lower than than your default, but it is quite well done for effect and impact once up a few clicks. Its well balanced and layered showing some nice depth and impact for some good engagement.

Height: From above you get ships flying over, debris falling, crackling ice, laser bolts whizing, jet packs flying over and much more.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer hits with some really nice, rich impact. From explosions, to stomping giant aliens, to sandcrawlers rumbling and ships flying across, it is felt.

Surround Sound Presentation: The room is well designed for maximum enjoyment. The rear and side channels build terrific room ambiance with nice light touches as well as keeping track of offscreen activity and angle changes. Sound rolls around and is felt in any direction it travels.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


The Mandalorian: The Complete First Season is a 2-Disc set. This particular version comes in collectible steelbook packaging and includes 3 art cards. For a look at the packaging, see the video above. All Extras are found on Disc 2.

Remnants Of The Empire (HD, 5:46) – A brief featurette on the backdrop of where/when the show takes place and the type of characters and attitude it carries.

Forging The Covert: Part One (10:35) – This featurette looks at the creation of Mando, Grogu and the Razor Crest. You get to see lots of sketches, prop work, model shooting and behind the scenes footage.


Regardless of how much or how little you care for the Star Wars Disney+ television output, it is still a relief to see them getting a physical media release. The Mandalorian is the streaming service’s flagship program and they have done its presentation well here. However, the extras, while both new, are very lacking compared to the wealth of documentaries available on the streaming service that should have been included here. Having them on a physical format is just as important in my eyes to own as the show is. Nonetheless, this is the show, its pretty good, grab it when you can.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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