The Mandalorian appears to be the cornerstone of the original programming available at launch on Disney+. Its enticing mix of spaghetti westerns, epic samurai, and space wizard movies has an undeniable appeal.
The tight, spare dialogue of the series has its roots in the spaghetti westerns of the 60s and 70s, films that were shot for international release and often featured actors of varied nationalities who spoke dialogue on their native language that was later dubbed for release in the local language where the film would be exhibited. Less dialogue made for less time in the recording studio, so these movies were made to rely on the visual vocabulary of film instead of words.
The Mandalorian excels at telling stories by showing action and reaction visually by necessity, since the titular character wears a mask as a part of his personal code and has no ability to emote beyond a head tilt or shift of body position. While it would be natural to make dialogue the natural solution to the challenge a helmeted protagonist, the series instead explores visual storytelling augmented by the surprising score and familiar sound design in a creative and beautiful way.
Still, there is dialogue. It's often dense with Star Wars references, so some of them are explained below. (You can find the six previous entries in the glossary here, here, here, here, here, and here):
● Gungan: Aquatic species from the planet Naboo who was instrumental in the winning of the Battle of Naboo against the Separatist droid army. Jar-Jar Binks and Boss Nass are two notable members of the species.
● Egghead: Nickname for New Republic guards who wear rounded, egg-shaped helmets. These helmets were in use by troopers in the Rebel Alliance all the way back to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
● Nevarro: Rocky, volcanic planet that is home of the Bounty Hunters Guild and a town controlled by its leader, Greef Karga. The town was previously the home to an enclave of Mandalorians. The planet was also the site of a battle between the Empire and Rebels where Rebel forces lost a substantial number of fighters. The Empire controlled the planet until the end of the war.
● Mudscuffers: Mild insult used by Cara Dune toward those who bet against her during a fight on Sorgan.
● Strand-Cast: A being created by genetic engineering. The Mandalorian believes The Child might be a Strand-Cast, an idea that Kuiil refutes, having worked on gene farms.
● Cytocaves of Nora: Location where genetic engineering of beings took place. Kuiil remarks that Cara Dune looks like she was grown there based on her imposing physicality.
● Dropper: Nickname for Republic shock troopers, so called because they were dropped into hot spots to put an end to violence.