Star Wars fans will finally be able to add The Mandalorian to their physical media shelves this holiday season, making the releases a perfect match for our Geek Pick of the Week.
As the Holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week leading up to Christmas, we’ll be highlighting a cool product we’ve found that we feel would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use these to help fill in your own wish list or find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to read more about previous Picks of the Week!
Pretty much since The Mandalorian kicked off on Disney+ back in 2019, one of the main things on fans’ minds was when we would be getting physical disc copies. After all, Star Wars and physical media have always gone hand-in-hand, with Lucas famously championing better formats as the years went on.
As the years, and seasons, went on, however, many of us feared we’d never get a physical release to help complete our Star Wars shrines. Thankfully, Disney has seen the light and began giving their Disney+ exclusive series traditional physical releases.
The rollout began with Loki and Wandavision (which were excellent transfers), but just in time for the holidays, The Mandalorian is getting his time to shine. Disney was kind enough to send me both of the new steelbooks, and it was love at first sight.
For one, the art on the steelbook cases are absolutely gorgeous. It’s even better as they include a handful of tiny concept art prints on the inside as well, so you can display some of that great art in different ways around your house if you choose. It’s always nice to get a little something extra to go with your discs and I very much dig their inclusion here.
As for the seasons themselves, I think they still hold up incredibly well. This isn’t the first time I’ve re-watched these seasons and I know it won’t be the last. I know some had issues with how things went down in some of the season two episodes, but re-visiting them again made it clear how much groundwork was being laid for this overall era. Even that aside, the episodes still bring an undeniable fun factor that’s pure Star Wars.
Since I was given the Blu-ray sets, I can’t speak to the quality of the 4K transfers, but I will say, I enjoy watching them on a physical disc so much more. Even without the additional “Ultra HD,” the Blu-ray transfer brings a crispness to the image that streaming compression simply can’t bring. The same could be said for the surround sound and generally how much sharper each episode feels thanks to the format.
In terms of the bonus features, each release features all new content. These include high-quality (and textless) galleries of the end credits concept art, along with a pair of featurettes. Season one brings “Remnants of the Empire” and “Forging the Covert: Part One,” while season two brings “Designing the New Republic” and “Forging the Covert: Part Two.” All together, between both seasons, these bonus features total up to just under 30 minutes of content.
That’s…less than ideal. They’re fun little featurettes, but offer little more than surface fluff. Honestly, it’s more surprising (frustrating?) they didn’t include multi-episode Disney Gallery making of series as well. Those were pretty great, and throwing them on the discs for their respective seasons would have added a lot of value to the overall set.
Despite this omission, these steelbooks are still very much worth picking up (I say go ahead and spring for the 4K UHD sets). If you’re shopping for a Star Wars fan, I can guarantee they won’t be disappointed seeing these under the Christmas tree this year. It makes for an excellent gift and in an age where things keep disappearing off streaming services, it almost feels essential to make sure they don’t go anywhere.
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